Melissa R. Klapper

Melissa R. Klapper

Melissa R. Klapper is Professor of History and Director of Women's & Gender Studies at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ, and a member of the Jewish Women's Archive Academic Advisory Council. She is the author of Jewish Girls Coming of Age in America, 1860-1920 (NYU, 2005); Small Strangers: The Experiences of Immigrant Children in the United States, 1880-1925 (Ivan R. Dee, 2007); and Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women's Activism, 1890-1940 (NYU, 2013), which won the National Jewish Book Award in Women's Studies. Her latest book is Ballet Class: An American History (Oxford, 2020).

Blog Posts

Ballerina stretching

Seamstresses, Shop Girls... and Ballet Dancers?

Melissa R. Klapper

Ballet is not the first thing that comes to mind when we think of early-twentieth century Jewish American life. And yet...

Topics: Dance
"The Boston Girl," by Anita Diamant, cropped

Book Review: The Boston Girl

Melissa R. Klapper

Frequent readers of novels know to expect certain tropes and themes in any coming of age tale: family, school, work, some combination of love, sex, and marriage. If the protagonist is female, then gender discrimination is sure to follow, and if the protagonist is from an immigrant family in America, then conflict over Americanization is equally inevitable. Anita Diamant’s new novel, The Boston Girl, hits every one of these story beats, yet the book is nonetheless an entertaining read enriched by historical research.

Topics: Fiction


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Jewish Women's Archive. "Melissa R. Klapper." (Viewed on May 22, 2024) <>.