Gender and Jewish History

Gender and Jewish History

Marion Kaplan and Deborah Dash Moore
Distribution: World
Publication date: 12/03/2010
Format: Paperback 13 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-22263-3
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Winner, 2011 National Jewish Book Awards, Anthologies and Collections category

By revealing the importance of gender in interpreting the Jewish past, this collection of original essays highlights the profound influence that feminist scholarship has had on the study of Jewish history since the 1970s. Gender and Jewish History considers the impact of gender on Jewish religious practices and political behavior, educational accomplishments and communal structures, acculturation and choice of occupations. The book stimulates conversations on such topics as Jewish women's creativity and spirituality, violence against women, Jews' reactions to persecution in the Holocaust, and Judaism as lived religion and culture. Honoring Paula Hyman, one of the founders of Jewish gender studies, this volume shows gender to be an eye-opening entry into realms of Jewish history previously untouched by it.

Author Bio

Marion A. Kaplan is Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History at New York University.

Deborah Dash Moore is Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History and director of the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan.


“A major collection of scholarship that contains the most up-to-date, indeed cutting-edge work on gender and Jewish history by several generations of top scholars.”
 — Atina Grossmann, The Cooper Union

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Table of Contents


Introduction / Deborah Dash Moore and Marion A. Kaplan

Part 1. Women's Culture in Modern Jewish History
1. How Does a Woman Write? Or, Pauline Wengeroff's Room of Her Own / Shulamit S. Magnus
2. Wives and Wissenschaft: The Domestic Seedbed of Critical Scholarship / Ismar Schorsch
3. Jews, Women, and Coffee in Early Modern Germany / Robert Liberles
4. Water into Blood: Custom, Calendar, and an Unknown Yiddish Book for Women / Elisheva Carlebach
5. "The Murdered Hebrew Maidservant of East New York": Gender, Class, and the Jewish Household in Eastern Europe and Its Diaspora / Rebecca Kobrin
6. Jewish Courtship and Marriage in 1920s Vienna / Marsha L. Rozenblit
7. "Did you bring any girls?" Gender Imbalance in a Jewish Refugee Settlement: Sosúa, the Dominican Republic, 1940-1945 / Marion A. Kaplan
8. The Contribution of Gender to the Study of the Holocaust / Dalia Ofer

Part 2. Gendered Dimensions of Religious Change
9. Women in the Thought and Practice of the European Jewish Reform Movement / Michael A. Meyer
10. German Orthodox Rabbinical Writings on the Jewish Textual Education of Women: The Views of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer / David Ellenson
11. Gender and Conversion Revisited / Todd M. Endelman
12. The Politics of Love in Lev Levanda's Turbulent Times / ChaeRan Y. Freeze
13. Fruitful Weaving: Eve and Penelope as Icons in the Poetry of Linda Pastan / Anne Lapidus Lerner
14. Vernacular Kabbalah, Embodiment, and Women in the Early Modern and Contemporary Periods / Chava Weissler
15. Telling Stories: The Legal Turn in Jewish Feminist Thought / Claire E. Sufrin

Part 3. Jewish Politics in American Accents
16. "The Call to Action": Margaret Sanger, the Brownsville Jewish Women, and Political Activism / Judith Rosenbaum
17. "Too Good to Have Been Made by a Woman": American Jewish Women Artists as Political Activists from the 1920s to

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