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Jewish Education

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.

Eastern European Immigrants in the United States

Of all Jewish immigrants to the United States from 1886 to 1914, forty-four percent were women, far more than for other immigrants groups arriving during the heyday of mass immigration. The more than two million Jews from the Russian Empire, Romania, and Austria-Hungary who entered the United States in the years 1881 to 1924—when the American government imposed a restrictive quota system—came to stay. Only 7 percent chose to return to Europe, as opposed to about 30 percent of all immigrants. Jewish immigrants intended to raise American families. Ashkenazi (European) Jewish culture and American values as conveyed by social reformers as well as by advertising, and the economic realities of urban capitalist America, all influenced the position of women in immigrant Jewish society in America. Jewish immigrant women shared many of the attributes of immigrant women in general, but also displayed ethnic characteristics.

Dulcea of Worms

Dulcea of Worms came from the elite leadership class of medieval German Jewry. She was the daughter of a cantor and the wife of a major rabbinic figure, Rabbi Eleazar ben Judah of Worms (1165–1230), also known as the Roke’ah (the Perfumer), after the title of one of his most famous works (Sefer ha-Roke’ah). Dulcea and her husband were members of a small pietistic circle of Jews, the Hasidei Ashkenaz, that developed following the devastations of the First Crusade of 1096. The documents of this movement include many mystical works, as well as a volume reflecting their ethical concerns, Sefer Hasidim (The Book of the Pious), an important historical source for everyday Jewish life in medieval Ashkenaz. R. Eleazar ben Judah may have written some of the passages in Sefer Hasidim, and could have been its editor.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Education." (Viewed on December 14, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/jewish-education>.

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