Women and Judaism: New Insights and Scholarship

Fred­er­ick E. Greenspahn, ed.
  • Review
By – August 26, 2011
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.

Discussion Questions