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Women’s and Gender Studies

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Gail Twersky Reimer

By collecting the history of Jewish women in the Jewish Women’s Archive, Gail Twersky Reimer ensured that anyone with an internet connection could get a more accurate, inclusive story of the Jewish community.

Rising Voices Retreat Workshop

Addressing #MeToo with Jewish Teens

by Larisa Klebe

If you work with teens in any number of settings, you know that for many of them, the #MeToo movement is at the forefront of their minds ... Although it’s not our primary role as educators to provide counseling for teens who may be struggling with their own #MeToo experiences, we can play a part in helping them navigate this complex and multi-faceted conversation, and in a Jewish context.

Ruth Franklin Einstein

From the Archives: Saturday Luncheon Club

by Robbie Terman

With the wonders of social media, I have a place to ponder the fate of Jimmy Hoffa and share anecdotes that I find in the archives. In 1921, a group of women with curious minds found a different method to uncover and share stories: The Saturday Luncheon Club (SLC).

Dafna Nundi Izraeli

Dafna Nundi Gewurtz Izraeli examined Israeli society through the lens of gender studies, showing how sexism in the Israeli army had wider repercussions for gender inequality in Israeli businesses and politics.

Bonnie Anderson

Combatting centuries of sexism that had erased women’s contributions, Bonnie Anderson published one of the first major surveys of women’s history, A History of Their Own.

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.

Benevolent Societies and Tzedakah

Examine different ways that American Jewish women historically—and we today—fulfill the obligation of tzedakah (charity) and gemilut chesed (acts of loving kindness).

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.

Sue Levi Elwell

A pioneer of inclusive Judaism as one of the first openly gay women rabbis, Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell helped empower countless Jewish women to take ownership of Jewish tradition.

Episode 2: Body of Knowledge

45 years ago a group of women in the Boston area collectively published Our Bodies Ourselves—a groundbreaking book that put forward the radical notion that women should get to know their own bodies and take charge of their health and sexuality. Since its first publication, the book has sold more than four million copies and been adapted into 30 languages.

Ros Baxandall, 1939 - 2015

With her daring, her chutzpah, her athleticism, her many male lovers and her even greater number of enduring female friendships, she exemplified the complexities of a feminist form of freedom.

Joani Blank

Sex-positive activist Joani Blank created one of the first woman-friendly sex stores in America, Good Vibrations, as well as sex toys like the Butterfly vibrator.

Amy Swerdlow

An active member of Women Strike for Peace and founder of Women’s History Month, Amy Swerdlow created opportunities for ordinary women to become agents of change.

Eva Schocken

As the daughter of Salman Schocken, founder of Schocken Books, Eva Schocken pushed the publishing company to the forefront of both education and women’s studies.

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 Torton Beck

Evelyn Torton Beck made contributions to women’s studies and the Jewish community through her scholarship and her efforts to ensure lesbian inclusion in Jewish life.

Deborah Dash Moore receives the Jewish Cultural Achievement Award

June 10, 2013

"No area offered greater freedom and challenge than American Jewish history… It has been a great voyage.” - Deborah Dash Moore

Debra L. Schultz

Debra Schultz served as an advisor to the Jewish Women’s Archive in creating the Living the Legacy curriculum based on research she had done on the history of Jewish women in the civil rights movement.

Anne Lapidus Lerner

Both through her scholarship and through her service as the first woman vice chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Anne Lapidus Lerner helped make women’s studies an important sub-discipline of Jewish studies.
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