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Jewish Mothers and Jewish Babies

jewish baby in pushchair

Dr Angela Davis

This Wellcome Trust funded project is a comparative study of childbearing and childrearing amongst Jewish women in England and Israel since 1948.

The aim of the project is to find out about women's experiences of motherhood and inform current debates about mother and child health and welfare.

As well as looking at the history, I also want to find out about contemporary experiences of motherhood in the UK and Israel and I am interviewing four groups of women - Israeli women living in Israel, women from Israel now living in Britain, women from Britain now living in Israel and British women living in Britain.

While there is a substantial body of research on childbirth, maternity and childcare, this study will move beyond traditional narratives of a US/European and indeed Christian perspective to offer new insights into the relationship between individual and collective experiences of maternity and childcare across geographic boundaries. Employing a comparison of England and Israel, the project will shed light on the behaviour of religious and ethnic minority groups in Western countries, and navigate the relationship between religion, society and medicine in the Middle East. Motherhood is an area where a number of discourses and practices meet. The experience of motherhood therefore reveals change not only in women’s lives, but also gender relations, culture and society, family and community patterns, health and welfare, and the relationship between the family and the state.