Social change strategies of Jewish-Orthodox women activists in Israel

Edith Blit-Cohen, Ayelet Makaros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines Jewish women’s activism in Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox society in Israel. In order to gain an in-depth perspective on their experience and coping in leading change processes in their society, it focuses on strategies and tactics they use in the course of their activism and on what motivates them or constraints their choices. Informed by thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with fourteen activists, the findings indicate that they walk between raindrops, making judicious and carefully planned use of a variety of strategies and tactics, of both consensus and confrontation, to promote their aims. Together with their protest against injustices in their society and attempts to redress them, they observe the norms of the religious world and avoid crossing “red lines,” as they put it. Combined, their complex combination of strict observance of religious and social conventions and their feminist outlook are their way of overcoming obstacles and achieving desirable change. This study sheds light on the phenomenon of women activism in patriarchal societies, and in particular, on how social change can be pursued by women even in extremely traditional societies with strict behavioral norms, in Israel and worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-49
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Community Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024

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© 2024 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Activists
  • Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish women
  • social change
  • strategies
  • tactics


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