Her Works Praise Her: A History of Jewish Women in America from Colonial Times to the Present

Her Works Praise Her: A History of Jewish Women in America from Colonial Times to the Present

by Hasia Diner, Beryl Lieff Benderly
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

From salons in Federal Philadelphia to Frontier homesteads to settlement houses in city slums to 1970s consciousness-raising sessions, American Jewish women have brought a distinctive sense of self and community to bear on the economic, social, and family life around them. Hasia R. Diner and Beryl Lieff Benderly draw upon long-neglected public records, private

Overview

From salons in Federal Philadelphia to Frontier homesteads to settlement houses in city slums to 1970s consciousness-raising sessions, American Jewish women have brought a distinctive sense of self and community to bear on the economic, social, and family life around them. Hasia R. Diner and Beryl Lieff Benderly draw upon long-neglected public records, private diaries, memoirs and letters to overturn the widespread notion that Jewish life began at Ellis Island and happened only in New York. They offer a complex portrait of flesh-and-blood characters such as Emma Lazarus, Mrs. Wyatt Earp, Ethel Rosenberg, Betty Friedan, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The result is a comprehensive account of how America transformed generations of Jewish women--and how these women transformed America.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
For many years, Jewish women have played a key role in American life. They have made untold contributions to our culture and to the growth of American Judaism. Authors Hasia R. Diner and Beryl Lieff Benderly have written the first comprehensive "social history of America's Jewish women," including such notables as Emma Lazarus, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Bess Myerson, and Betty Friedan.
Women's Review of Books
Diner and Benderly have produced a popular book that is filled with surprises...a lovely bat mitzvah gift.
Lilith
Ambitious and comprehensive...an intelligent book and an accessible, entertaining read.
Publishers Weekly
New York University historian Diner (Lower East Side Memories) and award-winning journalist Benderly (Dancing without Music) present a well-researched and consistently absorbing chronicle, the first social history of American Jewish women, according to the publisher. From the moment they arrived in New Amsterdam (to the displeasure of Peter Stuyvesant, who referred to them as "enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ"), Jewish women have (like other women, and men for that matter) struggled to pave their way in American society and to improve the lot of others. That this country is home to the "largest, richest, freest Jewish community in the world," the authors contend, "is largely the work of women doing the sacred tasks of Jewish womanhood." By the late 1700s, they were initiating charity projects and realizing the Jewish concept of tzedakah, and while their primary loyalty was to other Jewish immigrants, they became involved with the wider community as well. When Christian interest in proselytizing increased, Jewish women took the lead in resisting it. Rebecca Gratz (1781-1869), for example, hired a tutor to teach her Hebrew and arranged for family members to attend lessons. The 20th century witnessed the ascendance of Jewish women to the forefront of just about every social justice movement: they were involved in organizing labor unions, building hospitals and settlement houses, running vocational programs and establishing job-referral agencies. But while the authors give considerable attention to Jewish women's passionate involvement in the feminist movement, they ignore their significant contributions to the gay and lesbian movement. This is a minor point, however, in a fundamental contribution to women's and Jewish studies that is certain to inform and engage. 16 pages of b&w illus. not seen by PW. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465017119
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
07/10/2003
Pages:
486
Product dimensions:
6.02(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.47(d)
Lexile:
1450L (what's this?)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >