Shulamit S. Magnus

Shulamit S. Magnus is Professor Emerita of Jewish Studies and History at Oberlin College, where she helped found and directed the Program of Jewish Studies, having previously taught at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford University. She is the author of Jewish Emancipation in a German City: Cologne, 1798–1871 (1997), the two-volume unabridged translation and critical edition of Pauline Wengeroff, Memoirs of a Grandmother: Scenes from the Cultural History of the Jews of Russia in the Nineteenth Century (2010, 2014), and A Woman’s Life: Pauline Wengeroff and Memoirs of a Grandmother (2016), as well as scores of articles. She is the winner of a National Jewish Book Award and a Hadassah-Brandeis Translation Award. She was a founder of women's group prayer at the Kotel and is first-named plaintiff in a case before the Supreme Court of Israel for enforcement of Jewish women's already-recognized right to read Torah at the Kotel. She is a frequent contributor of opinion and other pieces to Tablet, the Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post, Moment, and the Forward. She resides in Jerusalem, Israel, where she is currently at work on a book combining scholarship and policy advocacy aimed at ending Jewish marital captivity (iggun) and freeing agunot, women held in marriage against their will.

Articles by this author


Agunot are women who are unable to obtain a rabbinic divorce because their husbands or husbands’ male next of kin are unable to give one, leaving them chained in marital captivity. Although many efforts have been made to address these problems, for those most part agunot in halakhically observant communities continue to face deep-seated challenges.

Pauline Wengeroff

Pauline Wengeroff was the author of an extraordinary two-volume work in German, Memoirs of a Grandmother: Scenes from the Cultural History of the Jews of Russia in the Nineteenth Century. First published in 1910, the memoir richly depicts traditional Jewish society in Russia, its unraveling during the nineteenth century, and the devastating impact this dissolution had on families and especially on women.

Feminist Jewish Ritual: The United States

Ritual behavior is one of the fundamental pillars of Judaism, and of all religions, whose concern is precisely with ultimate meaning and purpose. Since the 1970s, Jewish feminists have gained access to male-identified rituals, developed a wide variety of new rituals, and feminized core male rituals.


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Jewish Women's Archive. "Shulamit S. Magnus." (Viewed on February 25, 2024) <>.