Jewish Studies

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Collection

Ruth Calderon

As a Talmud scholar and a member of the progressive Israeli political party Yesh Atid, Ruth Calderon has sought to break down the traditional divide in Israeli society between right-wing Orthodoxy and secular liberalism.

Ellen Umansky

Through both her scholarship, Ellen Umansky has reshaped our understanding of the influence women have had on centuries of Jewish practice.

Tamara Cohn Eskenazi

For Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, editor of The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, becoming a rabbi was the culmination of a lifelong examination of the intersection of women and faith.

Elyse Goldstein

As one of the first women rabbis in Canada, Elyse Goldstein has broken down barriers by founding inclusive communities for learning and prayer.

Susan Grossman

As a member of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS), Rabbi Susan Grossman has helped shape the Conservative Movement’s policies on women’s rights and their roles in Jewish life.

Dalia Marx

As a professor of liturgy at the Jerusalem campus of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, where students from around the world learn to become Reform rabbis, Dalia Marx is helping to shape how a new generation approaches prayer.

Haviva Ner-David

Haviva Ner-David’s 2006 ordination made her one of the first Orthodox women to claim the title of “Rabbi,” part of her lifelong work to enable Jewish women—and Jews in general—to reexamine and reengage with the tradition.

Delphine Horvilleur

Delphine Horvilleur is helping transform the traditional French Jewish community through her work as a leader of the Liberal Jewish Movement of France.

Biblical Deborah

My Gateway to Jewish Feminism

by Lili Klayman

When I was younger, I learned about a woman who drove a people from war times to peace. She was widely respected in a male dominated era, and she was one of only seven women who spoke to God directly. The protagonist of the story is the prophetess Deborah. 

Penina Migdal Glazer

As a historian, Penina Migdal Glazer has shed new light on the struggles of women to gain acceptance even in eras of supposedly greater opportunity.

Immigration and Generations: Anzia Yezierska's Children of Loneliness

Children of Loneliness, a short story by immigrant writer Anzia Yezierska, illustrates how one young woman's struggle to find her own place in American society tears her from her parents and their way of life.

A Young American Jew in Israel, 1947-1948

Learn about the founding of the State of Israel from the perspective of Zipporah Porath, a young American woman who joined the Zionist effort in 1947.

Lilith Evolved: Writing Midrash

Interrogate the notion of midrash using "The Coming of Lilith" by theologian Judith Plaskow as an example of how contemporary Jewish feminists have created their own midrashim—retellings of biblical stories—to incorporate women's viewpoints into the traditional texts of Judaism.

Queen Esther and Bella Abzug: Costumes, Leadership, and Identity

Discover how two remarkable Jewish women: The biblical figure, Esther, and the historical figure, Bella Abzug, both fought for justice and liberation by adopting personas that helped them achieve their goals.

Tefillin Barbie: Considering Gender and Ritual Garb

Using the provocative image of "Tefillin Barbie"—created in 2006 by soferet (ritual scribe) Jen Taylor Friedman—examine the relationship between gender, body image, and ritual garb.

Writing Home: A Letter from an Early American Jew

Learn about Jewish immigration and the development of the Jewish community in America through a 1790s letter, originally written in Yiddish by Rebecca Samuel to her parents in Hamburg, Germany, describing her life in Petersburg, Virginia.

Laura Geller

One of the first women rabbis, Laura Geller has helped create new possibilities for Jewish women, from rituals to leadership roles.

Rachel Ertel

Shaped by Yiddish culture from an early age, Rachel Ertel sparked a love of Jewish studies in others through her work as the most respected scholar of Yiddish in France.

Joy Ungerleider-Mayerson

Joy Ungerleider-Mayerson rescued the faltering Jewish Museum in New York and created Dorot, which launched some of the finest non-denominational Jewish study programs worldwide.

Shulamith Nardi

Shulamith Nardi helped shape relations between Jews and gentiles in the fledgling State of Israel through her analysis of Jewish literature and her work as advisor on Diaspora affairs to four Israeli presidents.

Linda Rosenberg Miller

Unsatisfied with the traditional pursuits of married women of her day, Linda Rosenberg Miller devoted herself to Jewish studies and collecting art and archeological treasures.

Mayim Bialik

Actress Mayim Bialik defied Hollywood stereotypes by not only playing brilliant, strong women on TV and in film, but also working as a neuroscientist in real life.

Irene Fine

Faced with a mandatory internship for her PhD but nowhere she could actually practice Jewish feminist scholarship, Irene Fine created the innovative Woman’s Institute for Continuing Jewish Education in 1977.

Laura Geller

As one of the first women rabbis, Laura Geller pushed for women’s greater inclusion in both Jewish liturgy and Jewish leadership.

Evelyn Garfiel

Evelyn Garfiel’s Jewish scholarship on topics like the prayer book and the Hebrew language helped make Jewish study accessible to the broader public.
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