Women are half of the Jewish populationand they have always played an important role in Jewish life, but, until recently, they have been largely left out of history. Their important contributions to the development of Jewish values and culture remained unknown. Now scholars are bringing these accomplishments to light. This book of essays compiled by Frederick E. Greenspahn, a scholar in Judaic studies at Florida Atlantic University, brings readers the work of female scholars from universities in the United States, Canada, and Israel. They look at feminist approaches to the Bible, women and Jewish law, women during the Middle Ages and in modern times, women and American Judaism, and women in Jewish literature. They offer insight into the major changes in history that improved the status of women and gave them broader roles in the Jewish community. From running successful businesses in medieval France to becoming rabbis in 20th century America, their accomplishments are no longer hidden.
Barbara M. Bibel is a librarian at the Oakland Public Library in Oakland, CA; and at Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley, CA.