The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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

Karla Goldman

Karla Goldman is the Sol Drachler Professor of Social Work and Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, where she directs the Jewish Communal Leadership Program. With primary interests in Jewish women’s history and American Jewish communities, Goldman was previously Historian in Residence at the Jewish Women’s Archive and associate professor of American Jewish history at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. 

Articles by this author

Jennie Franklin Purvin

Jennie Franklin Purvin was one of a few Jewish women to become prominent in both civic and Jewish communal work in Progressive Era Chicago. Of her many efforts to improve the city, Purvin’s most visible and long-lasting accomplishment is the beachfronts on Lake Michigan for swimming and recreation.

Reform Judaism in the United States

The 150-year history of organized Reform Judaism in the United States has been marked by a continuous adjustment to roles and expectations for women in Judaism that, in many ways, has been the movement’s signature defining feature. The Reform Movement has been a pioneer in forwarding women’s public engagement and leadership as Jews. At the same time, those advances have often been accompanied by experiences of exclusion and discrimination that have, at times, belied the movement’s rhetorical embrace of equality.

Rebekah Bettelheim Kohut

Rebekah Bettelheim Kohut made her mark on the American Jewish community in the areas of education, social welfare, and the organization of Jewish women. Grounded in her Jewish identity as the daughter and wife of rabbis, Kohut had a public career that paralleled the beginnings of Jewish women’s activism in the United States.

Laura Geller

One of the first American women rabbis, Laura Geller has repeatedly challenged exclusions and shown that women’s leadership could bring a different, more meaningful, experience of Judaism. As a leader at the University of Southern California Hillel, the American Jewish Congress, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, and ChaiVillageLA, Geller showed the emerging possibilities of women’s leadership.

Jewish Women's Archive

Founded in 1995 on the premise that the history of Jewish women must be considered systematically and creatively in order to produce a balanced and complete historical record, the Jewish Women's Archive took as its mission “to uncover, chronicle and transmit the rich legacy of Jewish women and their contributions to our families and communities, to our people and our world.”

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Karla Goldman." (Viewed on September 28, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/author/goldman-karla>.

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