CFP: Contemporary Jewry Special Issue: Responding to and Emerging from Crisis

Harriet Hartman's picture

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Call for Papers
March 1, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Social Sciences, Research and Methodology, Religious Studies and Theology, Race / Ethnic Studies, Political Science

Contemporary Jewry is soliciting papers for a special issue entitled Responding to and Emerging from Crisis. As its etymological origins suggest, crisis is a decisive or critical point when change becomes possible, when events may take a substantially different turn, when distinguishing and making sense become possible. Whether in response to contemporary events or those deeper in the past, we invite scholars of Jewry to dwell upon the subject of emerging from crisis and life in the aftermath.


Examples of possible topics include:


  • What lessons have Jewish communities learned from the pandemic, in terms of the efficacy of on-line programming, asynchronous content dissemination and the ongoing relevance of remote communal activities in the post-pandemic world?
  • What does mental wellness look like in Jewish communities? Is Jewish mental health gendered? Which are our vulnerable sub-groups and how can we best support them as we emerge from a global pandemic?
  • Can it be said that survivors of the Shoah, their direct descendants—and world Jewry—will ever emerge from the Shoah? 
  • What is the nature of the experience of agunot and agunim  (lit. chained ones, those whose spouses refuse to divorce them by Jewish law)?
  • How do victims, communities, and organizations emerge from the crisis of sexual, physical and emotional abuse allegations? What do healing, advocacy and support look like? What do victims want from their communities or organizations, why does that matter and is that currently happening?
  • For those raised Orthodox who later in life identify as OTD (Off the Derech, or formerly Orthodox), what does that process of life change involve? Is this transformation a form of crisis?
  • The sociology of religion has identified faith, community and belonging as protective against the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune. What does Jewish coping and support look like?

Two years have passed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it is unclear whether the pandemic is entirely over, sufficient time has passed, allowing scholars to explore some of these questions analytically and reflectively. But the pandemic is only one framework with which to understand crisis and how Jews respond to and emerge from it. Contemporary Jewry is an important venue for research and theoretical advances in the social scientific study of contemporary Jewry. We feel the time has come to grapple with these questions in this special issue. 

We welcome both professional and personal perspectives on this issue (and their intersections). Both longer and shorter pieces are welcome.

The target date for submission is January 1, 2023. Abstracts may be submitted earlier for feedback, but are not required.


Contact Info: 

Harriet Hartman, Editor-in-chief, Contemporary Jewry,

Adina Bankier-Karp, Associate editor, Contemporary Jewry,

Contact Email: 
Categories: CFP
Keywords: CFP