Publication Date: November 1999
Publisher: Hadassah International Research Institute on Jewish Women
Author(s): Riv-Ellen Prell
Research Area: Culture and religion; Population and demographics; Social conditions
Keywords: Women; History; Feminism
Coverage: United States
The first conference of the International Research Institute on Jewish Women in 1997 coincided with a remarkable publishing event: the publication of the Encyclopedia of Jewish Women in America. This two-volume work is testimony to a transformation in both American and American Jewish life. It would have been unthinkable merely thirty years ago, unlikely two decades ago, and probably unmanageable ten years ago. It was not a paucity of Jewish women and activism that proved a challenge to this undertaking; the Encyclopedia brims over with exciting historical figures. What has changed in recent decades is the recognition of the importance of documenting American Jewish womenÂ’s lives and organizations, the expansion of Jewish womenÂ’s participation in the secular and Jewish spheres of the nation, and the birth and growth of a scholarship that allow us to reflect on those processes.