Gen­der and Jew­ish History

Mar­i­on A. Kaplan and Deb­o­rah Dash Moore, eds.
  • Review
By – August 29, 2011
Through her work and research, Paula Hyman, pro­fes­sor of mod­ern Jew­ish his­to­ry at Yale, has brought atten­tion to the role of women in Jew­ish his­to­ry. In hon­or of Hyman, Gen­der and Jew­ish His­to­ry brings togeth­er a wide-rang­ing col­lec­tion of orig­i­nal essays that, in high­light­ing sev­er­al aspects of her pio­neer­ing work, offer a fresh look, informed by gen­der, at mod­ern his­to­ry.

By study­ing often over­looked doc­u­ments and look­ing at events from a new per­spec­tive, these essays offer a fuller pic­ture of the Jew­ish fam­i­ly, Jew­ish women’s social and polit­i­cal roles, and the reshap­ing of reli­gious prac­tice. By bring­ing to the fore some of the less known fig­ures — men and women — in the cap­ture and tri­al of Adolf Eich­mann, Deb­o­rah Lip­stadt calls atten­tion to Hyman’s res­cu­ing many peo­ple — pri­mar­i­ly, but not only, women — from his­tor­i­cal obliv­ion.” Col­lec­tive­ly these essays under­line the impor­tance of Hyman’s work in pro­vid­ing a clear­er and rich­er under­stand­ing of mod­ern Jew­ish his­to­ry.

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. For libraries there is also a hard­cov­er edition.

Maron L. Wax­man, retired edi­to­r­i­al direc­tor, spe­cial projects, at the Amer­i­can Muse­um of Nat­ur­al His­to­ry, was also an edi­to­r­i­al direc­tor at Harper­Collins and Book-of-the-Month Club.

Discussion Questions