Lihi Ben Shitrti, "Women and the Holy City: The Struggle over Jerusalem's Sacred Space"

When and Where

Monday, February 12, 2024 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Room 100
Jackman Humanities Building
170 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5R 2M8


Lihi Ben Shitrit


Granovsky-Gluskin Lecture in Jewish Studies

Lihi Ben Shitrit (New York University) 

Women and the Holy City: The Struggle over Jerusalem's Sacred Space

Jerusalem’s Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif is the holiest place in the world for Jews, the third-holiest place for Muslims and a constant feature in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Yet the gendered dimensions of inter-communal disputes over sacred space in Jerusalem, as well as in other holy places around the world, have been largely neglected, as have women’s roles in these site-specific conflicts. Lihi Ben Shitrit will present her book, which looks to three contemporary women’s movements in and around Jerusalem’s Sacred Esplanade: Women for the Temple; the Murabitat; and Women of the Wall, and demonstrates how attention to gender and to women’s engagement in conflict over sacred places is essential for understanding what makes contested sacred sites increasingly “indivisible” for parties in the inter-communal context.


Lihi Ben Shitrit is the director of the Taub Center for Israel Studies and the Henry Taub Professor of Israel Studies at the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Her research focuses on the intersections of gender, religion, and politics in the Middle East. She is the author of Righteous Transgressions: Women’s Activism on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right (Princeton University Press, 2015) and Women and the Holy City: The Struggle over Jerusalem’s Sacred Space (Cambridge University Press, 2020) as well as numerous articles and book chapters. Ben Shitrit’s work has been supported by various fellowships including from Harvard Law School’s Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World (2023), ACLS/Luce Religion, International Affairs and Journalism fellowship (2019-2020), Harvard Kennedy School’s Middle East Initiative (2018-2019), University of Pennsylvania’s Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies (2017), and Harvard Divinity School’s Women’s Studies in Religion Program (2013-2014). She holds a Ph.D., M.Phil., and M.A. in political science from Yale University and a B.A. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University.




This event will be delivered in-person in JHB100 (170 St. George Street) on Monday, February 12, 2024 at 4 PM.



Granovsky-Gluskin Lecture in Jewish Studies


170 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5R 2M8