Gender and Jewish History

Gender and Jewish History

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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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 428 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 27.94mm | 566.99g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 13 b&w illus.
  • 025322263X
  • 9780253222633
  • 2,171,271

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: Sosua, 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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Review quote

[T]he subject matter of the essays shows how gender analysis can and should belong in a variety of fields and areas of study, from religious thought to the history of art to activism and politics. The result is a fitting tribute to one of the great historians of modern Judaism. * Religious Studies Review * Owing to the calibre of its scholarship and the fact that it brings together important work by scholars of European and American Jewish history, literature, culture, religious studies, and Holocaust studies, this book is unquestionably the most significant volume on the topic to appear in English in over a decade.11.3 2012 * Journal of Modern Jewish Studies * Marion A. Kaplan and Deborah Dash Moore have created a worthy tribute to Hyman's pioneering role in establishing gender as an essential component in the scholarly interpretation of the Jewish experience. * H-Judaic * Written by authorities in their fields, these essays are nevertheless accessible and uncover many previously hidden aspects of social, cultural, religious, and political Jewish life since the mid-18th century. Fall 2011 * Jewish Book World * Gender and Jewish History will ultimately be valuable to both scholars and graduate students in a number of disciplines. Although these essays did not arise out of a conference, they nevertheless engage in dialogue with one another to a remarkable degree. * Studies in Contemporary Jewry * Gender and Jewish History makes an important contribution to our understanding in three ways. First, it gathers together eminent and emerging scholars in one comprehensive collection. Second, its essays are engaging and wide-ranging in focus, depth and breadth, and accessibly written, without dense academic jargon, so that nonacademics can dig in, as well. Finally, it's a moving testament to just how much an individual can influence the development and trajectory of an entire scholarly field through persistence, persuasion and extraordinary vision. * ForeWord * Imagine sitting down for delicious tapas at a long table with a group of old friends. The flavors are nuanced and varied, while the conversation is lively, provocative and deeply engaging. Reading Gender and Jewish History, edited by noted historians Marion A. Kaplan and Deborah Dash Moore, is a bit like that imagined leisurely meal. * Jewish Daily Forward * [T]he incredible breadth of essays in Gender and Jewish History proves that few topics in modern Jewish history can be understood without paying attention to gender, as a set of relationships that structure power. * The Jewish Quarterly Review *
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About Marion Kaplan

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.
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