The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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

Ada Rapoport-Albert

Ada Rapoport-Albert is Reader in Jewish History and head of the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at UCL, London University. Her research is focused on Jewish spirituality and the history of the Jewish mystical tradition. Her forthcoming book is Female Bodies and Male Souls: Asceticism, Mysticism, and Gender in the Jewish Tradition.

Articles by this author


Sabbateanism—a messianic movement of unprecedented duration and scope—was centered on the charismatic personality of Shabbetai Zevi, who was believed by many to be the ultimate redeemer and an incarnate aspect of the kabbalistic godhead. Uniquely in the history of rabbinic Judaism, Sabbateanism displayed a particular interest in women and was especially attractive to them.

Ludomir, Maid of

A series of traumatic events motivated the Maid of Ludmir to begin practicing male ritual Hasidic observances as a young adult, and she became renowned for her miracle-granting abilities. Although she was able to hold a position of religious power in the Hasidic community without the help of powerful Hasidic men in her family, her story ultimately upholds gender expectations.


Hasidism is a spiritual revival movement associated with the founding figure of Israel Ba’al Shem Tov (Besht, c. 1700–1760). Although some have depicted the movement as nothing less than a “feminist” revolution in early modern Judaism, in actuality the Hasidic movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries conceptualized gender in conventional terms drawn unquestioningly from the classical rabbinic, philosophical, and kabbalistic sources.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Ada Rapoport-Albert." (Viewed on July 28, 2021) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox