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Jewish Education

Evelyn Garfiel

A successful psychologist who also devoted her life to religious education and leadership, Evelyn Garfiel offered generations of women a model for balancing academic pursuits and religious commitment.

Mamie Gamoran

When Mamie Goldsmith Gamoran graduated from the Teachers Institute Extension Course of the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1922, she was acutely aware of how much needed to be accomplished in the field of Jewish education. She was saddened that the youth of her generation had “forged new chains and ties,” thereby dismissing their heritage. As a proud American and ardent Zionist, Gamoran believed that one could synthesize American culture with one’s commitment to Judaism. Although born to parents who were not strongly affiliated Jews, Mamie Gamoran dedicated her life to the Jewish community.

Ray Frank

While her career was short-lived, Ray Frank remains significant as the first Jewish woman to preach from a pulpit in the United States, and the first to be seen as a Jewish religious leader.

Sarah Feiga Meinkin Foner

Sarah Feiga Meinkin Foner wrote about the issues that concerned her most in the language she loved most, Hebrew.

Irene Fine

In the field of continuing Jewish education for women, the preeminent pioneer is Irene Fine, the founder in 1977 of the Woman’s Institute for Continuing Jewish Education, based in San Diego, California. The institute continues to innovate in Jewish women’s education and in the publication of books on Jewish women by Jewish women.

Jessica Feingold

Jessica Feingold was the director of Intergroup Activities at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America from 1959 to 1983 and served in administrative capacities in the seminary’s two principal “intergroup relations” programs, the Conference on Science, Philosophy, and Religion and the Institute for Religious and Social Studies.

Sylvia Ettenberg

Sylvia Ettenberg has dedicated her life to the advancement of Jewish education. Her concern for building strong leaders to represent the Conservative Movement prompted her to develop ways to search for and inspire promising teenagers and young adults to further their studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Many of today’s rabbis, teachers, school administrators, and scholars entered their fields because they were either personally influenced by Sylvia Ettenberg or influenced by the programs she helped to create.

Shulamith Reich Elster

In the 1980s, when she served as headmaster of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in suburban Washington, D.C., Shulamith Elster was often referred to as the dean of Jewish education.

Amy Eilberg

On May 12, 1985 Amy Eilberg became the first woman ordained by the Conservative movement.

Education of Jewish Girls in the United States

The secular and religious education of Jewish girls in America has very modest roots. Initially perceived as seamlessly bound together, over the course of nearly three and a half centuries, the general and Jewish education of Jewish girls took separate paths, which crossed and on occasion entered into conflict with each other. Secular education of Jewish girls has consistently expanded, but the path of Jewish education has been inconsistent.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Education." (Viewed on February 18, 2019) <https://jwa.org/topics/jewish-education>.

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