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CMENAS Fall Colloquium. Higher Ed between Tradition and Inclusion

Tova Hartman, Ono Academic College (Israel)
Monday, November 28, 2022
12:00-2:00 PM
2022 CMENAS Fall Colloquium: Higher Education & Reformation across the MENA: A Geopolitical Exploration

“Higher Ed between Tradition and Inclusion”

Tova Hartman, Ono Academic College (Israel): Can a Liberal Democracy tolerate gender segregated higher education: Haredim in Israeli Higher Education

Over the past two decades a number of Israeli institutions of higher education have opened gender-segregated programs for the ultra-Orthodox, or haredim. The growth of these programs has generated an intense debate in Israel, reflected throughout Israeli media and in several appeals to Israel's Supreme Court. The issues raised concerning gender-segregated higher education reflect an overarching inquiry that is of great interest to multicultural theoreticians: the relationship of liberal democracies to their illiberal minorities. Multicultural theoreticians agree that healthy democracies must tolerate some illiberal practices while acknowledging that not every illiberal practice can be tolerated. In the case at hand, the essay addresses the question: can a liberal democracy tolerate gender-segregated higher education? Using work by Charles Taylor, Michael Walzer, Kwame Anthony Appiah, John Inazu, and others, the essay reviews the arguments for and against gender segregation in higher education for Israeli haredim. The essay explores the limits of toleration of illiberal cultures within liberal democratic societies and finds crucial the right to exit such a culture—a right whose viability is dependent upon adequate education. The essay concludes by discussing the multiculturalism organization development model and what has been termed the manyness and messiness of multiculturalism.

Speaker Bios:

Tova Hartman is the dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ono Academic College, the largest private college in Israel. Her last book, Are You Not a Man of God?: Devotion, Betrayal, and Social Criticism in Jewish Tradition (Oxford), brought feminist theory and relational psychology to bear on Jewish theology and culture. Her prior book, Feminism Encounters Jewish Tradition: Resistance and Accommodation (Brandeis), won a National Jewish Book Award. Her first book, Appropriately Subversive: Modern Mothers in Traditional Religions (Harvard), based on her doctoral thesis under Carol Gilligan, was a comparative study of the experiences of traditional Catholic and Jewish women as mothers and as agents of socialization in their communities and cultures. She has just completed a book on male breakup trauma. She is the co-founder of Shira Hadasha, a feminist traditional synagogue in Jerusalem.

Register to the virtual event:

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Link:
Event Type: Class / Instruction
Tags: Cmenas Colloquium Series, Higher Education, Middle East Studies, Virtual
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, International Institute, Department of Anthropology, School of Education Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education