JPS Guide to Jewish Women: 600 b.c.e.-1900c.e. available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- The Jewish Publication Society
A history and celebration of Jewish women through the centuries.
This is an indispensable resource about the role of Jewish women from post-biblical times to the twentieth century. Unique in its approach, it is structured so that each chapter, which is divided into three parts, covers a specific period and geographical area.
The first section of the book contains an overview, explaining how historical events affected Jews in general and Jewish women in particular. This is followed by a section of biographical entries of women of the period whose lives are set in their economic, familial, and cultural backgrounds. The third and last part of each chapter, “The World of Jewish Women,” is organized by topic and covers women’s activities and interests and how Jewish laws concerning women developed and changed.
This comprehensive work is an easy-to-use sourcebook, synopsizing rich and diverse resources. By examining history and analyzing the dynamics of Jewish law and custom, it illuminates the circumstances of Jewish women's lives and traces the changes that have occurred throughout the centuries. It casts a new and clear light on Jewish women as individuals and sets women firmly within the context of their own cultural and historical periods.
The book contains illustrations, boxed text, extensive endnotes, and indices that list each woman by name. It is ideal for women’s groups and study groups as well as students and scholars.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This volume is more than a superior reference book. It offers to even the casual reader an exciting world, heretofore almost unknown to most people, a world of exceptional individuals and a revealing and unexpectedly vivid portrayal of their milieu. The book is studded with quotations from historical documents as well as excerpts from the subjects' own writings. Its pages yield a new look at the procession of everyday Jewish communal life from antiquity to current times.
I marvel at the research, the very readable text, and the sheer fun it is to dip into the book and find colorful stories. The authors pulled off an amazing feat, and made what could have been a dull reference book into a pleasurable experience in every way.
This book is perfect for anyone curious about how Jewish women lived in the centuries before the 20th century. It would also be wonderful for a Bat Mitzvah gift or a gift for a college student. While it is encyclopedic in format and content, the fascinating letters, memoirs, stories and photographs of famous, as well as unknown, women bring their successes, trials, and religious life to the reader with great impact. The excellent index lets you follow any topic over the centuries, and the copious notes answer the ever-present question: where did the authors discover that gem? It is a fantastic value.