"[Davidman's] rich ethnographic observations and lucid prose illuminate two of the more important aspects of modern religion generally: the changing role of women and the resurgence of traditional faith."Robert Wuthnow, author of Meaning and Moral Order
Davidman (sociology and women's studies, Univ. of Pittsburgh) offers an intriguing sociological exploration of the world of Orthodox Judaism and its resurgence among modern American women. The experiences of two distinctly different groups of single Jewish American women are traced as they return to their secular roots at a contemporary Orthodox synagogue (Lincoln Square) in New York City and a Lubovitch Hasidic community (Bais Chana) in St. Paul, Minnesota. Life experiences, individual reasons for returning, reflections on the meaning of Orthodoxy before and after conversion, and the roles of Orthodox Jewish women in modern American society are revealed, compared, and discussed throughout this study. This is an excellent introduction to an often misunderstood way of life. Highly recommended for synagogue libraries, public libraries, and Judaic studies collections.-- Ann E. Cohen, Rochester P.L., N.Y.