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Rabbi's Wife: The Rebbetzin in American Jewish Life

Rabbi's Wife: The Rebbetzin in American Jewish Life

ISBN 9780814740538
Edition 1
Publication Date
Publisher NYU Press
Author(s)
Overview
Winner of the 2006 National Jewish Book Award, Modern Jewish ThoughtThis is a fine and much-needed book that certainly fills a gap in American Jewish religious history.—Journal of American History''The first book to study the evolution of the role and the women who have filled it, The Rabbis Wife not only honors many unsung heroines but provides a significant contribution to American Jewish history. In this well-written work, the women are no longer footnotes to their husbands careers.'' —Jewish WeekThe book overflows with interesting stories and sharp insights into the nature of American Jewish communal life and culture. The strategy of profiling individuals valuably restores these women to the historical narrative...The Rabbis Wife provides a model for further investigation into the role of womens leadership in American religious life —Journal of American HistoryIn this well-researched and clearly written book, Schwartz illuminates an important area of Jewish women's religious and social life that most previous scholarship has either ignored or inadequately explored.'' —Choice, recommended''(Schwartz) has succeeded in systematically exploring an important aspect of American Jewish life that was previously little known and largely ignored.''—Buffalo Jewish ReviewIn telling the story of the rabbis wives in the United States in the twentieth century, Shuly Rubin Schwartz brings a new awareness to this group of women whose notable accomplishments have been neglected by scholars of American Jewish history.— American Jewish History[It] will certainly entertain readers with personal stories about many of the well-known rabbis wives (and their husbands) who have graced American Jewish history— Jewish Book World ''Historian Shuly Rubin Schwartz makes it quite clear that my fore-rebbetzins were hardly handmaidens of Congregation Beth Stepford. Rather, many were leaders in their own right, both inside and outside their congregations: teaching, lecturing, starting schools, engaging in philanthropy, founding and helming major national Jewish organizations—and having people over for study and sponge cake.'' —Lynn Harris, NextBook.org''This well-written book successfully uses the rebbetzin as a window into larger issues: the evolution of Judaism in America, the opening of possibilities for women in the late twentieth century and the changing mores of the institution of marriage. —Publishers Weekly''Schwartz adds a new and important dimension to the history of American Judaism, to the history of American women, and to the history of American religion. She has introduced a new set of actors to the historic drama of religion in America.'' —Hasia R. Diner, author of The Jews of the United States, 1654-2000''This is the definitive work on the American rebbetzin. At once well-written and well-researched, it makes a notable contribution to the history of women in American Judaism, and puts forth a highly persuasive thesis: that many rabbis' wives in America married what they wanted to be. A landmark study.'' —Jonathan D. Sarna, author of American Judaism: A History''In this original and inventively researched study, Shuly Rubin Schwartz offers a moving portrait of women who have played an important, yet unheralded role in the religious and educational history of American Jews. The Rabbi's Wife compels us to rethink the nature and contours of leadership.'' —Jack Wertheimer, Jewish Theological SeminaryLong the object of curiosity, admiration, and gossip, rabbis' wives have rarely been viewed seriously as American Jewish religious and communal leaders. We know a great deal about the important role played by rabbis in building American Jewish life in this country, but not much about the role that their wives played. The Rabbi's Wife redresses that imbalance by highlighting the unique contributions of rebbetzins to the development of American Jewry.Tracing the careers of rebbetzins from the beginning of the twentieth century until the present, Shuly Rubin Schwartz chronicles the evolution of the role from a few individual rabbis' wives who emerged as leaders to a cohort who worked together on behalf of American Judaism. The Rabbi's Wife reveals the ways these women succeeded in both building crucial leadership roles for themselves and becoming an important force in shaping Jewish life in America.
Overview
Winner of the 2006 National Jewish Book Award, Modern Jewish ThoughtThis is a fine and much-needed book that certainly fills a gap in American Jewish religious history.—Journal of American History''The first book to study the evolution of the role and the women who have filled it, The Rabbis Wife not only honors many unsung heroines but provides a significant contribution to American Jewish history. In this well-written work, the women are no longer footnotes to their husbands careers.'' —Jewish WeekThe book overflows with interesting stories and sharp insights into the nature of American Jewish communal life and culture. The strategy of profiling individuals valuably restores these women to the historical narrative...The Rabbis Wife provides a model for further investigation into the role of womens leadership in American religious life —Journal of American HistoryIn this well-researched and clearly written book, Schwartz illuminates an important area of Jewish women's religious and social life that most previous scholarship has either ignored or inadequately explored.'' —Choice, recommended''(Schwartz) has succeeded in systematically exploring an important aspect of American Jewish life that was previously little known and largely ignored.''—Buffalo Jewish ReviewIn telling the story of the rabbis wives in the United States in the twentieth century, Shuly Rubin Schwartz brings a new awareness to this group of women whose notable accomplishments have been neglected by scholars of American Jewish history.— American Jewish History[It] will certainly entertain readers with personal stories about many of the well-known rabbis wives (and their husbands) who have graced American Jewish history— Jewish Book World ''Historian Shuly Rubin Schwartz makes it quite clear that my fore-rebbetzins were hardly handmaidens of Congregation Beth Stepford. Rather, many were leaders in their own right, both inside and outside their congregations: teaching, lecturing, starting schools, engaging in philanthropy, founding and helming major national Jewish organizations—and having people over for study and sponge cake.'' —Lynn Harris, NextBook.org''This well-written book successfully uses the rebbetzin as a window into larger issues: the evolution of Judaism in America, the opening of possibilities for women in the late twentieth century and the changing mores of the institution of marriage. —Publishers Weekly''Schwartz adds a new and important dimension to the history of American Judaism, to the history of American women, and to the history of American religion. She has introduced a new set of actors to the historic drama of religion in America.'' —Hasia R. Diner, author of The Jews of the United States, 1654-2000''This is the definitive work on the American rebbetzin. At once well-written and well-researched, it makes a notable contribution to the history of women in American Judaism, and puts forth a highly persuasive thesis: that many rabbis' wives in America married what they wanted to be. A landmark study.'' —Jonathan D. Sarna, author of American Judaism: A History''In this original and inventively researched study, Shuly Rubin Schwartz offers a moving portrait of women who have played an important, yet unheralded role in the religious and educational history of American Jews. The Rabbi's Wife compels us to rethink the nature and contours of leadership.'' —Jack Wertheimer, Jewish Theological SeminaryLong the object of curiosity, admiration, and gossip, rabbis' wives have rarely been viewed seriously as American Jewish religious and communal leaders. We know a great deal about the important role played by rabbis in building American Jewish life in this country, but not much about the role that their wives played. The Rabbi's Wife redresses that imbalance by highlighting the unique contributions of rebbetzins to the development of American Jewry.Tracing the careers of rebbetzins from the beginning of the twentieth century until the present, Shuly Rubin Schwartz chronicles the evolution of the role from a few individual rabbis' wives who emerged as leaders to a cohort who worked together on behalf of American Judaism. The Rabbi's Wife reveals the ways these women succeeded in both building crucial leadership roles for themselves and becoming an important force in shaping Jewish life in America.

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