The experience of single mothers by choice in Israeli Jewish society

Sima Zalcberg-Block, Shelly Malka, Ester Zychlinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Single motherhood by choice is a culturally dependent phenomenon related to values and perspectives of the society in which a woman lives. This study examined the experiences of such women in the Israeli Jewish society, which is characterized by post-modern Western values, religious values and practices that emphasize a traditional family structure, and a patriotic spirit that considers motherhood a nationalist ideal. The current study qualitatively analyzed 11 semi-structured interviews conducted with Israeli Jewish single mothers by choice. The interviews revealed six key themes, reflecting the challenges and benefits of their experiences. All themes expressed the complexity of their choice, reflecting their internal dialogue about which socially constructed gender roles to preserve and which to reject. Findings reinforce the perception that single motherhood, like motherhood generally, is a process involving social constructions influenced by cultural, gender, and religious contexts. Study limitations are discussed and future research recommendations are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102716
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
StatePublished - 1 May 2023


  • Gender roles
  • Israeli society
  • Motherhood
  • Single mother by choice
  • Well-being


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