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"Both of us were raised in homes that were more German than American or Israeli," says Grunbaum."Even today, my husband is more correct and more polite than the average Israeli, and so am I." Still, despite the variables, there is surprising agreement among the American wives -- similar reactions and observations, and shared experiences that reveal the differences between American and Israeli outlooks.Barbara Bar-Yaakov, a graphic artist and mother of two sabras, or native-born Israelis, always regarded herself as a liberal, committed to civil rights for African-Americans.

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Kellman says she is being forced to examine what it means to be Jewish in a Jewish state, "especially when you are not Orthodox." Her husband laughs at her when she lights Shabbat candles on Friday night or uses special dishes for Passover.

"For him, there is an all-or-nothing element to religion," says Kellman.

Yet in the six weeks that I’ve been in Israel, I have been inspired by Israel’s special brand of feminism. Caption: The recent Women Innovation Technology Conference in Israel, which was organized by a group of 25 Stand With Us Israeli student fellows. ” And she laughed at me as if I was kidding, until she realized I was completely serious.

“Feminism” is often thought of as a “dirty word,” as it is largely portrayed by mainstream culture as an extreme ideology associated with angry, militant women, bra burning, and man hating. Credit: Courtesy Eliana Rudee." data-lightbox-theme="" This happened again just last week, when another American (this time a female) told me, “I heard you’re good at ping pong! These moments stand in stark contrast to the week I’ve had in Israel.

"We're bringing about some changes as well as being changed," says Judith Even-Ari, an active U. feminist who married "a typical macho Israeli." Despite that, Even-Ari, a Jerusalem resident, has managed to create with her husband "sharing frameworks" for child care and household chores.