Jewish Feminism and Intersectionality

By Marla Brettschneider

Subjects: Jewish Studies, Judaica, Women's Studies, Women In Religion, Queer Studies
Series: SUNY series in Feminist Criticism and Theory
Paperback : 9781438460345, 206 pages, January 2017
Hardcover : 9781438460338, 206 pages, May 2016

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Table of contents


1. To Race, to Class, to Queer: Jewish Feminist Contributions to Intersectionality Studies

2. Jewish Feminists and New Diaspora Theorizing: The Life and Work of Jamaica Kincaid

3. Race, Gender, Class, Sexuality, and the Jewish Goldbergs in the Suburbs

4. Ritual Encounters of the Queer Kind: A Political Analysis of Jewish Queer Ritual Innovation

5. Jewish Feminism, Race, and a Sexual Justice Agenda

6. Reproductive Justice: Costs of Increased Adoption Access

Conclusion: Jewish Race Segregation and Jewish Feminism

Works Cited

Addresses the absence of Jewish subjects in intersectionality studies and demonstrates how to do intersectionality work inclusive of Jewish perspectives.


Jewish Feminism and Intersectionality explores a range of opportunities to apply and build intersectionality studies from within the life and work of Jewish feminism in the United States today. Marla Brettschneider builds on the best of what has been done in the field and offers a constructive internal critique. Working from a nonidentitarian paradigm, Brettschneider uses a Jewish critical lens to discuss the ways different politically salient identity signifiers cocreate and mutually constitute each other. She also includes analyses of matters of import in queer, critical race, and class-based feminist studies. This book is designed to demonstrate a range of ways that Jewish feminist work can operate with the full breadth of what intersectionality studies has to offer.

Marla Brettschneider is Professor of Political Philosophy and Women's Studies at the University of New Hampshire. She is the author of several books, including the award-winning The Family Flamboyant: Race Politics, Queer Families, Jewish Lives, also published by SUNY Press.


"…Jewish Feminism and Intersectionality presents a wonderful encapsulation of specific issues that more broadly convey the role that Jewish feminism plays in intersectionality. This is a necessary volume that adjusts intersectional viewpoints to include Jewish issues and Jewish feminism. Brettschneider's creative theoretical approaches in her various chapters enable her to demonstrate that there are multiple ways to accomplish this work. " — Reading Religion

"There is void in intersectionality theory left by the absence of attention to Jewish concerns and antisemitism, and Brettschneider's book begins to fill this void. It makes a contribution to the theory of intersectionality and will be most beneficial in an academic setting to help scholars and students form a more complete analysis of the human condition. " — Sex Roles

". important book … Through her strong analysis and illuminating case studies, Brettschneider is making a vital contribution by encouraging Jewish feminists to work to create an American Judaism that acknowledges all of its constituencies, and seeks alliances with non-Jewish groups in the US who are thinking in new ways about intersectionality. Nothing could be more crucial for American Judaism today. " — hypatia

". ..a work of seminal scholarship that is unreservedly recommended as a core addition to college and university library Judaic Studies and Feminist Studies collections. " — Midwest Book Review

"Blending feminist political theory with personal narratives, Brettschneider makes a compelling case for the inclusion of Jewish feminist perspectives in intersectionality studies—particularly its potential to provide insight in the undertheorized intersection of race, sexuality, and religious culture. " — Kimala Price, San Diego State University