The Birdcage: Gender Inequity in Academic Jewish Studies

  • Jennifer ThompsonEmail author


This article reviews existing research on the particular conditions of gender inequity, how it is formed, and what sustains it in academic contexts, and connects those studies to the context of Jewish Studies. It also discusses what we still need to know in order to try to address gender inequity thoroughly in Jewish Studies. Ambient and direct sexual and gender-based harassment, lack of senior women mentors, exclusion from collaboration opportunities, gender stereotyping concerning personality and maternal duties, poor institutional policies, and lack of enforcement of existing nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policies all contribute to a leaking pipeline, that is, a dearth of women in senior academic positions compared to the number who enter academia. Academic Jewish Studies is unique in its overlap with Jewish religious and communal organizations; reform in one area must go hand-in-hand with the others. Areas for further research are suggested.


Gender equity Gender inequity Academia Leaking pipeline Leaky pipeline Jewish Studies 



The author wishes to thank Riv-Ellen Prell, Arielle Levites, Matthew Boxer, Gila Silverman, and the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on the manuscript of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California State University, NorthridgeLos AngelesUSA

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