Paula Hyman

Paula Hyman’s work as a historian recovered the stories of Jewish women’s pasts, while her work as a member of Ezrat Nashim helped create new possibilities for their future by pushing the Conservative Movement to ordain women rabbis. Hyman’s Columbia University doctoral dissertation formed the basis for her first book, From Dreyfus to Vichy: The Remaking of French Jewry, 1906–1939, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. She then collaborated with Charlotte Baum and Sonya Michel in writing The Jewish Woman in America, which formed the basis for her later encyclopedias on Jewish women in America with Deborah Dash Moore and her comprehensive encyclopedia of Jewish women’s history with Dalia Ofer. She helped found Ezrat Nashim, which lobbied the 1972 Rabbinical Assembly Convention for full participation of women in synagogue life and the opportunity for women to become rabbis. Eleven years later, as a faculty member of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Hyman took part in the historic vote to allow women to become Conservative rabbis. She served as the first female dean of the Seminary College of Jewish Studies at JTS before becoming professor of modern Jewish history at Yale.


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Paula Hyman, celebrated social historian, Jewish feminist, and founding member of Ezrat Nashim.

Date of Birth

Boston, MA
United States

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Paula Hyman." (Viewed on January 25, 2021) <>.


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