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Read Elana Sztokman's new book TODAY!

Dr. Elana Sztokman, an award-winning author and anthropologist, is getting personal. In this new essay collection, she reveals the real reasons why she has spent the past 30 years fighting for women's rights in Israel and around the world. She confronts the personal struggles behind the public persona, revealing the traumas from her past that affected her entire relationship with her body.

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From two-time winner of the National Jewish Book Council Award comes a refreshing and very personal exploration of cultures of the female body in Jewish life. This collection of essays – marking the 25-year anniversary of her feminist awakening and spanning a diverse career of research, writing, and advocacy around Jewish women’s experiences – offers political and personal insights and retrospectives on some of the most burning issues today. Topics include: sexuality, relationships, body-image, body-cover, ritual immersion, fat-shaming, slut-shaming, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. Elana brings her characteristic honesty, courage, wit, and profound insight into her writing, and shares some of her own traumas that set her on a sometimes tortuous life path.

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Conversations with My Body is Elana Sztokman's report from the front lines about the battle to control gender socialization in contemporary Orthodoxy.  As her account illustrates, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and secular patriarchies employ similar strategies to control how women may present and perceive themselves. Unflinchingly and personally, she describes the impact on women’s body images, aspirations, and self esteem from the perspective of the injured parties. This was a very moving collection and personally painful to me to read."

Prof Rabbi Rachel Adler, professor of Modern Jewish Thought and Judaism and Gender at Hebrew Union College


Author of, Conversations with my Body 


I've been having conversations with my body for as long as I can remember. Not always pleasant ones. 
Having grown up in Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn, I heard a lot of things about what a "correct" woman's body should be. Be covered but not TOO covered, be attractive but not alluring, be noticed but MODEST, have lots of babies but be THIN, and make sure there is always lots of food on the table -- but don't eat too much of it. And more...
I spent my entire career advocating on behalf of women. I have worked as a professional feminist for the past 25 years -- as a researcher, advocate, writer, and activist. I have taught and written around the world about gender issues, especially in traditional societies. But all the time I've been talking about women's stories, I have never told my own. 
With this new book, Conversations with my Body, I'm finally telling my truth. I'm talking about how gender cultures have affected not only the women I advocate for, but also myself. 
If you're interested in Conversations, you can buy the book here. Thank you! :-)

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