On 19 May 2021 at 6pm (UK time), Dr Ronit Irshai of Bar Ilan University presented ‘Jewish and Muslim Feminisms in Israel—Nomos, Narrative and Multiculturalism’ as part of the Brichto Israeli Arts & Culture Lecture series.
This lecture is based on a work in progress which I conduct together with Dr. Tanya Zion-Waldoks and Adv. Bana Shoughry. We examine the legal struggles of Jewish and Muslim feminism in Israel and consider the complex intersection between gender, culture, state and law. Theoretically, we adopt the notion of nomos and narrative, drawn from Robert Cover’s seminal work, and develop it to propose a new theoretical model, the “narrative ripeness test” which evaluates the state of the relationship between culture and law and gauges the possible effects of state intervention, or lack thereof. As a case study, the lecture deals with the 2017 appointment of a Palestinian-Muslim woman to position of qadi (judge in a Muslim Shari’a court of law) vis-à-vis the Jewish feminist struggle to appoint women to administrative and religious roles in Rabbinic courts.