Tanya Zion-Waldoks is a gender scholar, feminist activist and mother of four – intertwined callings. Her research interests include the intersection of religion, gender, and politics, with a focus on social movements. Using qualitative methodologies and sociological analysis, she investigates the identities and strategies of women who fight for gender equality within ethno-religious communities and the democratic Israeli state, affecting local and national arenas. Her research explores feminist political subjectivities, relations between belonging and critique, and how shifting gender politics integrate culture and law and challenge the private/public divide. Zion-Waldoks has also edited an anthology on Genesis, directed national Israeli campaigns on religious LGBTQ, human trafficking, Agunot, community-based social justice, and is involved in leading egalitarian Halakhic communities (partnership-minyanim) and innovating Jewish life-cycle rituals.
Zion-Waldoks received her PhD in 2016 from the Gender Studies program at Bar-Ilan University for her dissertation titled: “Resistance, Tradition and Social Change: Orthodox Jewish Women Activists Fighting to Free Agunot in Israel”. Having completed a Kreitman and Israel Institute Post-doctoral fellowship at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, she now joins Princeton University’s CSR as a visiting fellow with the support of post-doctoral awards from the Rothschild (Yad Hanadiv) Foundation, the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), and others.
Zion-Waldoks has published several articles in leading academic journals such as Gender & Society and Signs, one of which was awarded a prize by the Israeli Sociological Association. Her current project is a comparative study of religious feminisms in Israel – primarily modern-Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jews and Muslims – from an intersectional and multi-cultural perspective. While at CSR, she will be working on the manuscript of a book comparing Jewish and Islamic Feminism, co-authored with Dr. Ronit Irshai and Bana Shoughry, as well as editing a book with Dr. Ofir Abu on Israeli Visions of the Jewish World.