Welcome to my website. My name is Shai Feraro, and I’m a lecturer at the Oranim Academic College, with a PhD in History from Tel Aviv University. My primary scholarly interests are contemporary forms of spirituality in Israel and throughout the Western world. I am also interested in feminist and transatlantic history, as well as in aspects of British and American cultural history during the 20th Century. In recent years my studies have focused mainly on Contemporary Paganism and the Feminist Spirituality Movement in North America, Britain and Israel.
My PhD Dissertation dealt with women’s involvement in British magical and Pagan groups, c. 1888 – c. 1988. This work was preceded by my MA thesis on the influence of radical and cultural feminisms on the development of the American Feminist Spirituality Movement during the 1970s-1980s. Another avenue of research I’m currently pursuing is the fledgling Israeli Pagan community. This research involves archival work, academic interviews, online survey work and participant-observant research in the community’s rituals and social gatherings.
I’m also interested in the broader study of religion and spirituality in Israeli society. I am the Secretary of the Israeli Association for the Study of Religions (IASR), and sat on the board of the Steering Committee for the founding of the Israeli Center for Information on Contemporary Religions (now part of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute) between 2012 and 2015. I furthermore served as Coordinator for the yearly Israeli Conference for the Study of Contemporary Religion and Spirituality between 2010 and 2015, and I’m the co-editor of Contemporary Alternative Spiritualities in Israel, published in 2016 by Palgrave Macmillan.
I am a member of the following scholarly associations: The American Academy of Religion (ARR), the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE), the Coordinating Council for Women in History (CCWH), the Israeli Association for the Study of Religions (IASR), the Israeli Anthropological Association, the Israeli Association for Feminist and Gender Studies, and the Association for Israel Studies (AIS).
In recent years I have presented my research in various conferences in the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Israel.
I live in the city of Haifa, in northern Israel, with my beloved wife Tom and our adorable son, Sa’ar. In addition to my scholarly interests I’m also into long-range trekking, urban photographing and boutique breweries, and occasionally I act in local amateur Sci/fi and fantasy Films.