Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Department

Religious Studies

Advisor's Name

Oren Baruch Stier

Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Advisor's Name

Ana Maria Bidegain

Advisor's Name

Albert Wuaku

Keywords

Feminism, Judaism, Gender, Latin America, Conservative Judaism, Woman Rabbi, Latin American Jewry, Gender and Judaism

Date of Defense

3-29-2011

Abstract

The aim of this research is to analyze the impact of gender on the work of Latin American rabinas within Conservative congregations in Latin America. The fact that women’s roles in Latin America and in Judaism have been traditionally linked to nurturing and caring serves as the point of departure for my hypothesis, which is that the role rabinas play within their congregations is also linked to those traits. In this research I utilize a social scientific approach and qualitative methodology, conducting personal interviews with the rabinas. While this work proves that Conservative congregations in Latin America are gendered, my research demonstrates that this gendered division of labor does not have a negative impact on the work of rabinas. On the contrary, by embracing attributes of womanhood and motherhood rabinas become imah (mother) on the bimah (pulpit), educating, caring, and nurturing their congregations in a special and unique way.

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