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Community, identity, and religious leadership as expressed through the role of the Rabbi's wife

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Community, identity, and religious leadership as expressed through the role of the Rabbi's wife

Landau-Chark, Susan J (2008) Community, identity, and religious leadership as expressed through the role of the Rabbi's wife. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This study analyzes the role of the Canadian rabbinical wife married to a rabbi who can be hired and fired from his position. While archival sources and secondary historical sources were utilized to some extent, the substantive work of the research is to be found in the interviews conducted over a period of three years. Interviews took place in areas where major Jewish populations reside such as Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver; and in the smaller Jewish communities throughout Canada, such as the Maritimes, Ottawa, Hamilton, London, and Winnipeg. The interviews were sorted according to the year of birth of the interviewees. This provided a contemporary perspective on how these women function in the role today, as well as demonstrating the consistency of the position from the early 1950s to the present. Fifty-nine women, either currently or previously married to congregational rabbis, met with the researcher. They were asked to respond to a series of questions addressing aspects of their lives as rabbinical wives. The initial interview was tape-recorded and transcribed. The transcripts were then used in a follow-up email and/or phone interview to clarify issues that arose during the initial interview. These interviews allow us to hear from the women themselves. Many of the women were wholly involved in their communities, despite the fact the role has no official status within the Jewish community. The rabbinical wife is required to be gracious and attentive to the needs of the community and will frequently have people in her home for religious and social events. At the same time, her position inhibits deep relationships with the people around her. This research provides detail on the role of the rabbinical wife, and contributes to a rereading of the history of religious leadership in the Jewish community.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Religions and Cultures
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Landau-Chark, Susan J
Pagination:viii, 311 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Religion
Date:2008
Thesis Supervisor(s):Joseph, Norma Baumel
ID Code:975803
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:15
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:41
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