Ruppin Academic Center, Israel
Charles W. and Sally Rothfeld Fellowship

Research Topic

Surrogacy in Israel: Between Jewish and Secular Law


Elly Teman is an associate professor of medical anthropology and head of the Sociology/Anthropology Program in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Ruppin Academic Center, Israel. At the Katz Center, she will explore how orthodox Jewish-Israeli women who become surrogates navigate the jurisdiction in matters where secular and rabbinic laws interact.

Teman received her PhD in social anthropology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has previously held fellowships at the Science, Technology, and Society Center and at the Beatrice M. Bain Research Group in the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley as well as at the Center for the Integration of Genetic Healthcare Technologies (Penn CIGHT) at the University of Pennsylvania.

Selected publications

  • with Tsipy Ivry, “Pregnancy and the Reproductive Habitus of Haredi Women,” Medical Anthropology (forthcoming)
  • with Zsuzsa Berend, “Surrogacy as a Family Project: How Surrogates Negotiate Familial Identity and Belonging,” Journal of Family Issues (2020)
  • Birthing a Mother: The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self (University of California Press, 2010)



Studying law between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries, an age of transition from a world of empires to the modern age of the nation-state and international law.