Innovative Orthodoxies
Presented by Adam Ferziger and Michal Raucher


This two-part mini-series will unpack some of the new trends in Orthodox Judaism. In session one, Professor Adam Ferziger will explore the ways that Orthodox Judaism has developed transnationally between America and Israel. In session two, Professor Michal Raucher will examine some of the changes in the area of women’s religious leadership.

 Adam FerzigerAdam S. Ferziger , the Allen and Joan Bildner Visiting Scholar in 2022, is a professor in the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, and holds the Rabbi S.R. Hirsch Chair for Research on the Torah and Derekh Erez Movement at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He is a senior associate at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University of Oxford and co-convener of the annual Oxford Summer Institute on Modern and Contemporary Judaism. His research focuses on the history of religious responses to modern and contemporary life in Western Europe, North American, and Israel as reflected, among others, in denominational and ideological divides, Jewish law, leadership and gender. A past of recipient of Bar-Ilan's "Outstanding Lecturer" prize, Ferziger has been as a visiting professor/fellow at University of Oxford, UK (2013), University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (2012), and University of Shandong, Jinan, China (2005). In 2017, he was Arnold Distinguished Visiting Chair in Jewish Studies, College of Charleston, South Carolina, and in 2018 he was a visiting scholar at the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research, University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is the author or editor of seven books, including Exclusion and Hierarchy (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), Jewish Denominations (Melton Institute – The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2012), and his monograph, Beyond Sectarianism (Wayne State University Press, 2015), was the winner of the National Jewish Book Award in American Jewish Studies.

RaucherMichal Raucher is an assistant professor and Undergraduate Director in the Department of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. Her research lies at the intersection of Israel studies, religious ethics, and the anthropology of women in Judaism. As a Fulbright Fellow, Dr. Raucher conducted ethnographic research on reproductive ethics of Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish women in Israel. She has been awarded grants from the Wenner Gren Foundation for anthropological research, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Crown Family Foundation. Drawing on this research, Michal published her first book, Conceiving Agency: Reproductive Authority among Haredi Women with Indiana University Press. Michal has degrees from Columbia University, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate from Northwestern University. She is currently researching the ordination of Orthodox Jewish women in Israel and America with the support of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, the American Academy of Religion, the University of Cincinnati, and the Israel Institute.

Op-Ed "Religious Women Have Abortions, Too"

Image Credit: Tanya Habjouqa/NOOR for NPR