Navigating Kol Isha: Women's Voices in The Australian Jewish Community
AuthorGolan Burnett, Hannah
AffiliationMelbourne Conservatorium of Music
Document TypeHonours thesis
Access StatusOnly available to University of Melbourne staff and students, login required
© 2020 Hannah Golan Burnett
Kol Isha is a religious law that states men should not hear women’s singing voices. This law is most often referred to in synagogue, where women do not take on any ritual roles and sit separately from men. Over the past fifty years, new styles of prayer have emerged that attempt to maintain tradition, whilst allowing women to sing and actively take part in ritual. This dissertation examines how Orthodox Jewish women maintain authenticity as Orthodox Jews and feminists whilst negotiating Kol Isha. It interviews seven self-identifying Orthodox Female Jewish Women, who have attended such congregations about how they negotiate secular and sacred values during prayer. Preliminary findings suggest that women negotiate their authenticity by taking part in current ideological conflicts within their communities. Their standpoints are made public through where and how they use their voices within sacred settings.
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