The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Gershon Bacon

Gershon Bacon is associate professor of Jewish history at Bar-Ilan University, where he holds the Klein Chair for the History of the Rabbinate in Europe during the Modern Period. His areas of research are the social, political and religious history of Polish Jewry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Among his best-known works are The Politics of Tradition: Agudat Yisrael in Poland, 1916–1939 (1996) and The Jews in Poland and Russia: Bibliographical Essays (1984).

Articles by this author

Poland: Interwar

A minority habitually ignored by scholars, Polish-Jewish women played important roles in the changing cultural and political framework of the interwar years.

Ita Kalish

Ita Kalish was a Zionist activist, Jewish Agency employee, Israeli civil servant, journalist, and memoir writer. Born into the Warka Hasidic dynasty, Kalish rejected her upbringing and went on to write nuanced portrayals and female-centered literature about the Hasidic community. Kalish’s memoirs are a rich source on the inner life of the Hasidic courts of Poland at the turn of the twentieth century and center around her own and her friends’ journey to leave what they considered the stifling atmosphere of the Hasidic world.

Agudat Israel: Interwar Poland

Agudat Israel, the world movement of Orthodox Jewry, introduced substantial reforms that changed the status of women in Orthodox society. In particular, the Bais Ya’akov model pioneered by Sarah Schenirer focused on women’s education as a way of creating a more robust Orthodox community against the pressures of modernity.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Gershon Bacon." (Viewed on October 1, 2023) <>.


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