The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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

Tova Cohen

Tova Cohen is a professor emerita of Hebrew Literature at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, where she also directed the Inter-disciplinary Program in Gender Studies and the Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Center for the Study of Women in Judaism. She co-edited, with Prof. Shmuel Finer, an anthology of Hebrew women writers in the nineteenth century (2006) and published a book-length study of the Italian Hebrew poet Rachel Morpurgo entitled A Silenced Harp (2016).

Articles by this author

Maskilot, Nineteenth Century

Nineteenth-century maskilot were Jewish women proponents of the Haskalah, who wished to take part in the cultural and social revolution it preached. Despite assumptions that the Haskalah was an exclusively male movement, a small number of women read Hebrew literature, wrote in Hebrew, and regarded themselves as part of the Haskalah movement.

Leaders in Israel's Religious Communities

Since the late twentieth century, Israeli women have begun to assume leadership positions that are undoubtedly “religious” in both content and form. In the Reform and Conservative movements, gender equality has existed for decades, while in the most traditional ultra-Orthodox societies distinctive female religious leadership exists only within halakhic constraints. In modern Orthodoxy, measured changes have led to significant changes over the years and a new generation of religious leadership.

How to cite this page

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


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