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Identity, Heroism and Religion in the Lives of Contemporary Jewish Women

Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz

What makes us what we are? How does our gender affect our identity? Who are our heroes and heroines and how do they mould the decisions we make and the way we live our lives? In what ways does our connection – or lack there of – to our birth religion shape our adult selves? These are just some of the questions which Identity, Heroism and Religion in the Lives of Contemporary Jewish Women addresses. In examining the lives and deaths of various Jewish women during the 20 th and 21 st centuries this study focuses on the dynamic by which they formed their identities at times of crisis, whether in pre-State Israel, during and after the Holocaust in liberated Europe, or throughout Israel’s formative years. As refugees, survivors, new immigrants or veteran citizens of a country these women’s lives are probed and analyzed in terms of their relationship to each other, to their surroundings, their past, their future, their ideologies, and their geographic and virtual communities, presenting us with a mosaic of contemporary Jewish women’s lives.


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illustration: „Selbstbildnis“ by Anita Rée (1911). Cover design : Didier Studer, Peter Lang AG ISBN 978-3-0343-1345-2 pb. ISBN 978-3-0351-0638-1 eBook © Peter Lang AG, International Academic Publishers, Bern 2013 Hochfeldstrasse 32, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland, All rights reserved. All parts of this publication are protected by copyright. Any utilisation outside the strict limits of the copyright law, without the permission of the publisher, is forbidden and liable to prosecution. This applies in particular to reproductions, translations, microfilming, and storage and processing in electronic retrieval systems. Printed in Switzerland Dedicated to my wonderful in-laws, Dr. Arthur and Bernice Schwartz, for their 90th birthdays, with love. 6 7Acknowledgements The chapters of this book first appeared as articles in various journals and I wish to thank the publishers for permission to use them in this volume: Bridges Between Yesterday and Tomorrow: The Role of Diaspora Culture in the Sto- ries of Fifth Aliyah Heroines” (Heb.), Cathedra 144 (December 2004): 121– 148, with permission from the journal. The Rescue of Jewish Girls and Teenage Young Women to England and the USA dur- ing the Holocaust from the Gendered Perspective, Jewish History 26:1 (2012): 223–245, with permission from Springer. The Identity of Women in the She’erit Hapletah: Personal and Gendered Identity as Determinants in their Rehabilitation, Immigration and Resettlement, in: Dalia Ofer, Francoise Ouzan and Judith Baumel-Schwartz (eds.), Holocaust Survivors: Resettlement, Memories, Identities, New York & Oxford: Berghahn Press, 2012: 16–45. Teacher, Tiller, Soldier, Spy: Women’s Representation in Israeli Military Memorials, Journal...

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