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Deborah Marcus Melamed

Deborah Marcus Melamed encouraged Jewish women to form their own relationship with Jewish practice through her 1927 book The Three Pillars, an interpretive guide to rituals and customs. Melamed studied classics at Hunter College before becoming a high school Latin teacher. In 1915 she moved to Philadelphia, where she married classicist Raphael Melamed and became a fellow in Semitic languages at Dropsie College. In 1923, the pair moved to Elizabeth, New Jersey, where Melamed became supervisor of foreign languages for the local public schools, a position she held until 1954. Melamed also served as vice president of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism from 1920–1930 or 1932, and founded the Elizabeth chapter of Hadassah. But she was best known as the author of The Three Pillars, which offered both a clear guide to Jewish practice and interpretive passages she hoped would empower women to forge more meaningful relationships with the tradition. As of 2014, the Women’s League has reprinted the book nine times.

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Date of Birth
July 21, 1892
Place of Birth
New York, New York
Date of Death
November 4, 1954

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Deborah Marcus Melamed." (Viewed on December 17, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/melamed-deborah>.

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