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America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today

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Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University

617 Kent Hall

New York, NY

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America’s Jewish Women uncovers what it has meant to be a Jewish woman in America by weaving together the stories of remarkable individuals—from the colonial matron Grace Nathan and her great-granddaughter, the poet Emma Lazarus, to labor activist Bessie Hillman and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In this groundbreaking history, we see how they and the scores of women—the wives, mothers, activists, and workers who appear in these pages—maintained their Jewish identities as they wrote themselves into American history. Defined by a strong sense of self, a resolute commitment to making the world a better place, and diverse notions of what being a Jew means, America’s Jewish women left deep imprints on their families, communities and the nation they call home. Join us for a lunch time conversation with Pamela Nadell.

Supported by the generosity of the Kaye and Radov families.

Co-sponsored by the Ingeborg, Tamara, and Yonina Rennert Fund for Jewish Studies at Barnard College.


Pamela Nadell holds the Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History at American University where she directs the Jewish Studies Program and is a recipient of American University’s highest faculty award, the Scholar/Teacher of the Year. She earned a doctorate in history from Ohio State University (1982), a B.A. from
Douglass College, Rutgers University (1973) and studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (1971-72).

Prof. Nadell’s other books include Women Who Would Be Rabbis: A History of Women’s Ordination, 1889-1985 (1998), which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and a main selection of the Jewish Book Club. She is the immediate past president of the Association for Jewish Studies, the learned society of 2,000 Jewish Studies scholars and students. She was one of the four historians comprising the founding historians’ team for the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. The American Jewish Historical Society recognized her distinguished service to the profession with its Lee Max Friedman Award.

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Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University

617 Kent Hall

New York, NY

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