Departmental Papers (SPP)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

October 2007


This paper explores the question, "How do Jewish men and women who have become Orthodox (baalei teshuvah) compare in their constructions of spirituality, work, learning, religious practices, and community?" It is based on a qualitative research study that included interviews with 48 baalei teshuvah (24 men, 24 women), two focus groups, and ten key informant interviews. Participants were from the East Coast of the USA. We found the women more affirmative about their spirituality and feelings about community; men identified with these experiences but not the terminology. The men gave more attention to work and to their struggles integrating work and religion. The women expressed excitement about learning whereas the men conveyed self-consciousness over their language and learning deficiencies.


Postprint version. Published in Sex Roles, Volume 57, Issues 7-8, October 2007, pages 527-541.
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Date Posted: 06 November 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.