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Jewish Studies Research Guide



Tefillin Barbie

Tefillin Barbie by Jen Taylor Friedman. Visit at


Emory’s collection houses a broad range of resources that reflect the multifaceted engagement of Jewish Studies with gender and gender studies. In their historical transformations, Jewish literatures and scholarship developed varying approaches (primarily) to notions of masculinity and (secondarily with) femininity and described and prescribed behaviors that conformed to these notions of gender, while also delineating what constituted transgressions to the social order based on the very definitions of normative gender identities. Since the late nineteenth century, there is an increasing Jewish literary and scholarly interest in topics related to sexual orientation and gender identities gong beyond the purview of traditional Jewish literature. Modern literature, whether religious or secular, addresses Jewish LGBTQIA+ identities, histories, cultures, and religious experiences from ancient times to today across the world. Additionally, it engages with Gender Studies and applies its methods to conduct research on various aspects of Jewish experiences related to gender and sexual orientation. The following small sampling—in separate subdivisions focusing on books, periodicals, and movies pertaining to the study and representation of masculinities, femininities, and LGBTQIA+ identities—illustrates the transforming conceptualization of gender and sexuality and the social constructions of gender roles in texts contributing to Jewish Studies. These include Jewish law’s approach to gender identities and relations, gender in Jewish thought, Jewish gendered and gender politics, discussed in various genres, such as autobiographical works, scholarly and literary writings, and more.

This selection aims to raise interest and offer insights into the rich collection of resources accessible in the library and online.



LGBTQIA+ Identities, Cultures, and Histories


Eytan Fox, יוסי וג'אגר Yossi & Jagger (2002) Based on a true story, Yossi & Jagger portrays the love affair of two Israeli officers in a remote army base on the Israeli-Lebanese border. They are commanders, they are in love, and they try to find a place of their own in an oppressing and rigid system, which sends them to defend a cause they do not necessarily believe in.


Eytan Fox, הסיפור של יוסי Yossi (2012) Yossi, Fox's fifth feature film, is a sequel to the director's breakthrough work Yossi & Jagger (2002). The plot takes place a decade after the events in that previous film. It follows the title character, a closeted gay cardiologist who struggles to find meaning in his life while overcoming the loss of his lover and reconciling his past with his future.


Poster for The Cakemaker / HaOfe MeBerlin

Ofir Raul Graizer, האופה מברלין Der Kuchenmacher (The Cakemaker) (2017) Thomas, a young German baker, has an affair with Oren, a married Israeli man. After Oren unexpectedly dies in a car crash, Thomas travels to Jerusalem seeking answers about his death. Under a fake identity, Thomas enters the life of Anat, his lover's newly widowed wife. There, he begins to work for Anat, baking pastries that bring her cafe to vibrant life. Thomas becomes deeply involved in her life beyond his own expectation and stretches the lie about himself to a point of no return.


Haim Tabakman, עיניים פקוחות Eyes Wide Open (2009) Aaron, a butcher and devout family man in Jerusalem's ultraorthodox Jewish community, has his quiet life interrupted when Erzi, a handsome, young Yeshiva student, happens on his shop. Intrigued by the young man, Aaron offers Erzi a job and becomes his friend and mentor. The two grow closer, and soon other feelings surface. As their forbidden sexual desire grows, Aaron begins to neglect his business and his family. When Aaron and Ezri begin spending time together, Aaron is quickly ostracized within the Orthodox community. But guilt, torment, and pressure from the community lead him to make a radical decision.


הבועה The Bubble  (2006) Three young Israelis, two guys, Yali and Noam, and a girl, Lulu, share an apartment in Tel Aviv's hippest neighborhood. Noam meets and falls in love with a Palestinian man and he and his friends conspire to help Ashraf stay on in Tel Aviv illegally.



The Secrets (2007) - IMDb

 הסודות The Secrets While studying at a women's religious seminary in Safed, Naomi and her new friend explore the complexities of a religious lifestyle in a vibrant environment of youth, rebellion, and desire as they befriend a beautiful, mysterious older woman.




Disobedience (2017) A woman returns to the community that shunned her for her attraction to a childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.

Periodicals and Additional Resources

Jewish women : a comprehensive historical encyclopedia / Jewish Women's Archive is an online encyclopedia documenting Jewish women's life and work.

Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues provides an international, interdisciplinary, and scholarly forum in Jewish women’s and gender studies, and is the only one of its kind. It creates communication channels within the Jewish women’s and gender studies community and brings forth that community’s work to a wider audience. Each thematic issue is produced in consultation with a distinguished feminist scholar, and includes articles on literature, text studies, anthropology, archeology, theology, contemporary thought, sociology, the arts, and more. Nashim is a joint publication of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University, the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and Indiana University Press.

Jewish Woman Magazine provides resources than can enhance a woman's Jewish identity, personal spirituality and lifestyle choices.

Women in Judaism:  A Multidisciplinary Journal explores women's voices and topics relating to woman history, religiosity and female identities and representation.

Bridges = Gʹsharim = Gesharim = Brikn = Briḳn = Puentes = Pue̓ntes "A journal for Jewish feminists and our friends," 1990–2004; "A Jewish feminist journal," 2005-2011.

The American Jewess, edited by Rosa Sonneschein, between 1896–99, this periodical was "The only Jewish periodical for women." and "Devoted to social, religious and literary subjects.

Hadassah Magazine is the magazine of Hadassah the Women's Zionist Organization of America.

Digest is the Newsletter of the World Congress of Gay and Lesbian Jewish Organizations 


Gay Theological Journal: Homosexual Hermeneutics on Religion and the Scriptures