The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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

Norma Baumel Joseph

Norma Baumel Joseph, an associate professor in the Department of Religion at Concordia University, is chair of the Department of Religion, director of the Women and Religion specialization, and an Associate of the Concordia Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies. Her teaching and research areas include women and Judaism, Jewish law and ethics, and women and religion. Joseph appeared in and was consultant to the films Half the Kingdom and Untying the Bonds: Jewish Divorce. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the legal decisions of Rabbi Moses Feinstein as they describe and delineate separate spheres for women in the Jewish community. She is currently working in two research areas, Jewish law and gender, and food, identity and gender. A founding member of the Canadian Coalition of Jewish Women for the Get (Jewish divorce), Joseph successfully worked with the community and the Federal Government to pass a law in 1990 (Divorce Act, ch.18, 21.1) that would protect Jewish women in difficult divorce situations and aid them in their pursuit of a Jewish divorce. Her communal activism in this and other arenas is ongoing.

Articles by this author

Rabbi Moses Feinstein

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, one of the great Jewish legalists of the twentieth century, wrote numerous legal decisions responding to and affecting women’s lives. His pronouncements regarding women aimed to respond to women’s issues with respect and careful consideration, while also establishing a system in which the roles of men and women were distinctly imbalanced.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Norma Baumel Joseph." (Viewed on October 1, 2023) <>.


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