08/05/2013 05:01 pm ET Updated Aug 05, 2013

Orthodox And Progressive Women Unite To Save Israel From Fundamentalism


On a warm June day in 2011, Nili Philipp was powering her bike down Herzog Boulevard, a major thoroughfare in Beit Shemesh, a sleepy bedroom community in the Judean hills. A pretty, vivacious mother of five and fitness buff, Philipp is what American Jews would call “modern Orthodox” and Israelis call “national religious.” She keeps a kosher home and wears a knee-length skirt and head scarf, as traditional Jewish law demands, but she is also a confident college-trained engineer, with a smartphone and high-tech sneakers. As she rode, she tried to push the anxiety she felt to the back of her mind.