The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom: The United Response of Muslim and Jewish Women to "Moral Shocks"

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dc.contributor.advisor Cadge, Wendy
dc.contributor.advisor Levisohn, Jon
dc.contributor.advisor Sara, Shostak
dc.contributor.author Hersch, Rebecca
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-14T15:40:03Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-14T15:40:03Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10192/36656
dc.description.abstract Founded by Sheryl Olitzky and Atiya Aftab in 2010, the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom (SOSS), a Jewish and Muslim women’s interfaith movement primarily located in the United States, has been working to “change the world” through relationship building. Paralleling the rise of Islamophobic and anti-Semitic hate crimes in the U.S., the Sisterhood experienced rapid growth following President Donald Trump’s election in 2016. This thesis builds upon previous literature on interfaith dialogue in addition to social movement literature on mobilization processes, emotions, and collective identities to address the following research questions: What motivates women to become involved in the Sisterhood, how did they become involved, and how does this mobilization process vary based on one’s role in the Sisterhood? What are the goals of the members of the Sisterhood and how do these goals compare with those of the founders and chapter leaders? How do these women experience membership and how do emotions impact their actions and experiences? To answer these questions, this qualitative study focuses on one chapter in the Massachusetts area and on the experiences and goals of its members. The central finding is as follows: While a variety of logistical factors such as biographical availability and social networks enable the sisters to become involved, the moral shock of Trump’s election and an environment of increasing heinous hate crimes have strengthened their ties to one another and to the Sisterhood as a whole. Despite their struggle to define collective goals, their support for one another in times of such devastation serve as a reminder of their purpose and enable successful collective action. The Sisterhood story demonstrates that shared visceral reactions to moral shocks enable individuals of different, and even conflicting identities, to work together and develop friendships. Because movement participation becomes a requisite for such collective responses to tragedies, it is also important to understand that movement participation is often exclusive in that it stems from preexisting social networks and activities and ultimately relies on biographical availability. Despite consequences of such unintentional exclusivity, such as a “preaching to the choir” effect, the Sisterhood’s intentional exclusivity as Muslim and Jewish women is crucial to its framing and success.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Rebecca Hersch 2019
dc.title The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom: The United Response of Muslim and Jewish Women to "Moral Shocks"
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Department of Sociology
dc.degree.name BA
dc.degree.level Bachelors
dc.degree.discipline Sociology
dc.degree.grantor Brandeis University, School of Arts and Sciences


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