WSRP Research Associate 2014–15
Yakir Englander is a specialist in modern Jewish philosophy, with a focus on gender issues. His PhD, from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (2012), is in Jewish philosophy and gender studies. His dissertation, "The Perception of the Male Body in Ultra-Orthodox Society during the Last Sixty Years, and its Ramifications for Understanding the Human Subject and the World" offers new understandings of the images of the male body in Jewish Ultra-Orthodox contexts in recent decades.
Englander's research is interdisciplinary, touching on the interfaces between Jewish philosophy, Jewish law and gender studies. He has authored articles on sexuality in Judaism (gay and lesbian issues, masturbation, and women's sexuality in Jewish divorce law), on the role of the body as a mnemonic in the work of post-Holocaust writer Aharon Appelfeld, on "shame" in the Talmud, and on the body of the Hasidic tzadik (Jewish saint). His forthcoming book (coauthored with Avi Sagi) examines aspects of the religious-Zionist image of the body and sexuality during the last decade.
Englander is interested interfaith dialogue, as well as theory and practice of nonviolent social change. He has been developing understanding of these issues through his volunteer work as director of Kids4Peace in Israel and Palestine—a member of the global interfaith dialogue organization Kids4Peace International. In 2011, he received the Berlinsky-Sheinfeld Award for Change in Israeli Society from the Israel Council of Higher Education, for his work in Kids4Peace.
Within and Without the Walls: The Status of Ultra-Orthodox Women in the Jewish Public Sphere (1980-2010)
Focusing on the Lithuanian ultra-orthodox community in Israel, this project examines the exclusion of women both from the point of view of (male) Haredi literature and through the eyes of women as revealed in rebbitzins’ recorded lectures. It examines definitions of 'public sphere' and 'private sphere' in the Haredi world-view.