Dr. Elana Maryles Sztokman is a leading writer on issues of feminism, Judaism, Orthodoxy and education. Elana holds a doctorate in education and sociology from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and wrote her dissertation on the identity development of adolescent religious girls in schools. She then went on to do post-doctoral research, thanks to a grant from the Hadassah Brandeis Institute, on the “other” side of the mechitza, i.e., on identities of Orthodox men. This research has become the book, “The Men’s Section: Orthodox Jewish men in an egalitarian world”.
Elana writes about these issues in many forums – in a regular column at the Forward Sisterhood, at the Jerusalem Post, for Lilith, in the Australian Jewish News, in the JOFA journal, in Jewish Educational Leadership, and more. She has also written book chapters, book reviews, and academic articles. She has also taught these subjects in several different institutes of higher education at the Florence Melton Adult Mini-school in Melbourne, Australia (2002-2005), at the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies, at the Efrata Teacher Training College, at the Bar Ilan University Gender Studies Department, and on Young Judea. Her Master’s Degree is in Jewish Education from Hebrew University, and her BA is from Barnard College, where she majored in political science and received a New York State teaching certificate in high school social studies.
Elana started her career as a teacher, and eventually segued into Jewish organization life, as one of the founders of Mavoi Satum, helping agunot (chained women) in Israel, and for a bunch of other organizations. Today, in addition to writing and educating about gender and Jewish life, Elana runs her own writing and consulting business, Spirit Consulting, which offers marketing and fundraising writing primarily (but not only) for not-for-profit organizations. She is also one of the founders of the Modi’in Women’s Fund,the first community-based women’s pooled charity in Israel.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, and a graduate of the Yeshivah of Flatbush, Elana moved to Israel in 1993 and today lives in Modi’in, Israel with her ever-supportive spouse Jacob and their children.