Rachel Adler receives National Jewish Book Award

March 11, 1999

Feminist theologian Rachel Adler.

Institution: Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles.

Rachel Adler was awarded the National Jewish Book Award for Jewish Thought on March 11, 1999. The award recognized Engendering Judaism: A New Theology and Ethics, which set forth a new model for integrating modern feminism with traditional Jewish theology.

Adler's work applies feminist theory to traditional Jewish texts. In perhaps her most radical integration of modern feminism and traditional Judaism, Adler's last chapter proposes a new marriage ceremony based on the Jewish laws of partnership. Adler suggests that rather than fighting for the inclusion of gay and lesbian Jews in the traditional Jewish wedding ritual, progressive Jews should question and replace the traditional ceremony which is about a groom taking ownership of his bride.

The book, while considered radical by some critics, was hailed as a groundbreaking contribution by others. The Journal of the American Academy of Religion called it "not only the most sophisticated and important book in the field of Jewish feminist thought but a study that can serve as a model for all feminist theological writings."

Adler is Professor of Modern Jewish Thought and Judaism and Gender at the School of Religion, University of Southern California and the Rabbinical School at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. In addition, she serves on the editorial boards of Tikkun, Shofar, and Nashim, and as a member of the academic board of the Institute for Progressive Halacha.

Sources:www.huc.edu/news/adleraward.html; www.jewishpub.org/product.php?isbn=9780827605848; Rachel Adler, Engendering Judaism: An Inclusive Theology and Ethics (Philadelphia, 1998).


Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox

Read the latest from JWA from your inbox.

sign up now

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rachel Adler receives National Jewish Book Award." (Viewed on April 22, 2024) <http://jwa.org/thisweek/mar/11/1999/rachel-adler>.