Join our email list

Between Traditionalism and Feminist Activism

Jewish life needs to be updated to meet our times. Mizrahi women directly experience marginalization of class, gender, and ethnic positions.
©ink drop/
©ink drop/
Yafa Benaya is one of the leaders of Degel Yehuda, a Sephardi Egalitarian community in Jerusalem, and a founder and activist of Israeli Mizrachi social justice movements Tikkun and Memizrach Shemesh. She is a Research Fellow of the Kogod Research Center and is a former David Hartman Center and Maskilot Fellow. Born in Casablanca, Morocco, she carries with her the “pain of both homelands,” and especially the joy of the dream of immigration to Israel

“THE TRADITIONAL Sephardi-Mizrahi identity – the identity of Jews from Muslim countries – is not always understood. It does not correspond to the range of Jewish identities that emerged in Europe as part of their encounter with modernity. In our world there are no Orthodox, Reform or Conservative denominations.

The Sephardi world does not recognize these denominations, nor the conflicts between them. They are not part of the history of Jews from Islamic countries.

As a result, the encounter with modernity in these countries bred a different type of Jewish identity and a different model of community. This identity does not accept the dichotomy between religious and secular. On the other hand, the Jewish community in these countries became a universe of diversity without division.”

Read full article on Plus61JMedia (Australia)

You care about Israel, peoplehood, and vibrant, ethical Jewish communities. We do too.

Join our email list for more Hartman ideas

Join our email list


The End of Policy Substance in Israel Politics