Women and American Judaism: Historical Perspectives

Front Cover
Pamela Susan Nadell, Jonathan D. Sarna
UPNE, 2001 - History - 322 pages
In April 1998, the front page of the Los Angeles Times proclaimed that Jews "live in extraordinary times, when American women have transformed their status in Judaism, creating one of the most dramatic cultural shifts in centuries of Jewish history." At the end of the 20th century Jewish women had indeed redefined the ways they lived their Judaism: innovative religious ceremonies welcoming the birth of daughters proliferated, girls came to mark their bat mitzvah, and Jewish women turned out for feminist seders and became rabbis.

As the 12 essays in this volume demonstrate, Jewish women from the colonial era to the present have continually reshaped their roles as Jews and as members of their synagogues and communities. Offering nothing less than a gendered overview of three centuries of American Jewish religious life, the authors raise key questions about how women from across the nation conceptualized their ideas of Jewish womanhood even as they transformed their roles at home, in synagogues, as volunteers, and in the public eye.

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Holly Snyder
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William Toll
Felicia Herman
Beth S Wenger
Regina Stein
Joyce Antler
Deborah E Lipstadt
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About the author (2001)

Pamela S. Nadell is Professor of History and Director of the Jewish Studies Program at American University, and Chair of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society. Her most recent book is Women Who Would Be Rabbis (1998).

Jonathan D. Sarna, Joseph and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University, has written, edited, or co-edited 16 books, including Minority Faiths and the American Protestant Mainstream (1998) and Religion and the State in the American Jewish Experience (with David G. Dalin, 1997).

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