McGill University

Research Topic

Homeless in Their Home/land: Mizrahis, Gender, and Public Housing in Israel


Dr. Claris Harbon is an Arab Jew/Mizrahi feminist and a human and socioeconomic rights lawyer and scholar, originally from Israel. The socio-legal status of Mizrahis in modern Israel has been at the center of her work both academically and practically, with special focus on the discriminatory impact of Israeli land law and public housing policy. Her forthcoming book on Mizrahi women squatters is one of the first interventions in the study of Israeli law that redefines legal categories from a Mizrahi vantage point, showing the interrelationship between law and the construction of Mizrahi, particularly women’s, inferiority.

An activist pioneer within the Israeli legal professoriate, she has long been committed to community organizing and experiential education. She founded several anti-racist feminist NGOs and developed an innovative model for working with racialized minorities of the global South, including mostly female Palestinians, Mizrahis, Ethiopians, undocumented immigrants, and children. She is also a published poet with a children’s book coming out soon.

Selected publications

  • Squatting and Invasion to Public Houses in Israel: Mizrahi Women Correcting Past Injustices (Hebrew; Hakibbutz Hameuchad, forthcoming)



Devoted to the home, and seeking to advance research that will shed light on this most formative and intimate of contexts for Jewish life.