The Future Face of the Jewish State
Chair: Sally Berkovic
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Israel today is navigating internal struggles over what kind of Jewish state it wants to be—a debate that is playing out through tensions over reproduction. As demographic forecasts show that by 2065 Haredim will constitute a third of Israel’s Jewish population, Israeli policy makers have attempted to manage the rapid increase through steep cutbacks in child benefits. Lea Taragin-Zeller of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem offers an overview of these Jewish ‘womb-wars’ while providing an ethnographic account of Orthodox reproduction today, in the face of vast policy changes. In conversation with author Sally Berkovic.
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Lea Taragin-Zeller is a medical and social anthropologist with research interests in religion, ethics, medical anthropology, gender and reproductive politics. She is Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and Public Policy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an affiliated scholar at the Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc), University of Cambridge. Lea has published in leading international journals, such as American Anthropologist, Medical Anthropology, and Public Understanding of Science. Her book The State of Desire: Religion and Reproductive Politics in the Promised Land is forthcoming with NYU Press. Image cr Oron Film Production
The Jewish Chronicle
Sally Berkovic was born in Australia and is the daughter of Slovakian Holocaust survivors. She studied at Melbourne University and worked as a social worker and academic for ten years. Sally lived in Jerusalem and New York before an epistolary romance brought her to London in 1993 where she established a freelance writing career while her children were young. Since 2009, she has been the CEO of the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe, supporting Jewish heritage and culture across Europe
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