Laura Leibman

Laura Arnold Leibman’s work focuses on religion and the daily lives of women and children in early America, and uses everyday objects to help bring their stories back to life.  She is the author numerous articles as well as Indian Converts (Massachusetts, 2008), Messianism, Secrecy and Mysticism: A New Interpretation of Early American Jewish Life (London, 2012), and The Art of the Jewish Family: A History of Women in Early New York in Five Objects (New York, 2020). Her current book project uses the family of Sarah Rodrigues Brandon to retell the story of multiracial Jews in early America.

Articles by this author

Sarah Rodrigues Brandon

Sarah Rodrigues Brandon (1798-1828) was born poor, enslaved, and Christian on the island of Barbados. By the time of her death thirty years later she was one of the wealthiest Jews in New York and her family were leaders in Congregation Shearith Israel. This entry explains Sarah’s life journey and highlights how her story relates to that of other women of mixed African and Jewish ancestry in early America.

Colonial Period in the United States

Jewish women in colonial America led varied lives, with some occupying traditional roles as mothers and wives and others remaining single. Some ran their own businesses and others worked as servants for Jews with more money. Both in and out of the synagogue, women played a crucial role in early American Jewish communities.


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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Laura Leibman." (Viewed on April 20, 2024) <>.