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Women's Studies

Midrash and Aggadah: Introduction and Sources

This Encyclopedia presents the portraits of seventy-five women in the Bible as they appear in the aggadic and midrashic expansions of the Biblical narrative that were composed by the Rabbis in the first centuries c.e., in Erez Israel and in Babylonia.

Literature Scholars in the United States

At the start of the twenty-first century, women of all classes, races, and ethnicities are so fully integrated into American literary academia that it is astonishing that, as little as a century ago, the idea of a woman professor teaching, for example, the novels of George Eliot or Henry James to a roomful of young men and women was inconceivable. In all highly literate cultures, secular and religious knowledge used to be the domain of men, while women were in charge of the practical side of daily life and, in the upper classes, of certain social matters.

Gerda Lerner

Entering the field of United States history with a freshly minted Ph.D. in 1966, Gerda Lerner blazed a new professional path that led to the establishment of the field of women’s history. The force of her personality and her commitment to the possibilities contained in the historical study of women made her impervious to the ridicule with which the male-dominated historical profession initially responded to the notion of women’s history.

Lazarus, Nahida Ruth

In 1891 Nahida Ruth Lazarus published The Jewish Woman, a product of her fundamental interest in both feminism and Judaism, which aroused enormous interest. It was and remains an important source book for women’s studies, used and cited by countless female and male authors.

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook

The basic approach of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook to women corresponds with his hierarchical approach to existence and to humankind (Yaron 1974; Bin Nun 1988): “I cannot make absolute divisions between entities, but only divisions according to rank” (Sarid 1998, 144).

Kolot: Center for Jewish Women's and Gender Studies

Kolot grew out of what had been the Jewish Women’s Study Project (JWSP) at The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC). From its inception in 1990, JWSP worked at RRC to include the field of women’s studies in the curriculum and to offer co-curricular programs that reflected women’s place in Judaism.

Sarah Kofman

The Holocaust, the study of philosophy and the undergoing of analysis—all three profoundly marked the course of Sarah Kofman’s life and are what link the texts that she authored. Thus one cannot adequately summarize Kofman’s texts and intellectual positions without invoking her biography. Yet she repeatedly denied that her autobiography could be found anywhere other than in her most impressive bibliography.

Ruth Klüger

On the occasion of Ruth Klüger’s seventieth birthday, Germany’s leading literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki congratulated the acclaimed author with a tribute published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, in which he praised her work as a writer and as a scholar in the field of German literature. Reich-Ranicki noted Klüger’s distinguishing characteristics by summarizing that “she is an Austrian Jew, an American professor, a German writer, and one of the most brilliant Germanists in the world.”

JWRC: Eleanor Leff Jewish Women's Resource Center

The Eleanor Leff Jewish Women’s Resource Center (JWRC) of the National Council of Jewish Women, New York Section, maintains an extensive collection of materials by and about Jewish women and creates Jewish programming with a feminist focus. The JWRC was founded in 1976 to document and advance the modern Jewish women’s movement.

Jewish Women's Archive

Founded in 1995 on the premise that the history of Jewish women—celebrated and unheralded alike—must be considered systematically and creatively in order to produce a balanced and complete historical record, the Jewish Women's Archive took as its mission “to uncover, chronicle and transmit the rich legacy of Jewish women and their contributions to our families and communities, to our people and our world.”

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women's Studies." (Viewed on December 9, 2016) <https://jwa.org/topics/womens-studies>.

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