Serving the Jewish People: The Rebbetzin as Religious Leader

By Shuly Rubin Schwartz

Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) Press, 2004

To the author, this article sheds light on an oft-ignored topic- namely, the role the rebbetzin (the term for a Rabbi's wife in Yiddish) has played in the religious development of American Jewry. This topic is specifically important to Schwartz as she argues that there has been a general lack of scholarship on the topic of women's contributions to public life. As such, the article is mostly concerned with telling the stories of specific rebbetzins in the inter-war period, yet it additionally provides a psychological profiling of the type of woman who sought to become a rebbetzin, and details their motivations for doing so. Ultimately, in a time before women were able to become Rabbis, the role of rebbetzin provided a unique platform from which to serve the Jewish people.

Topic: Tradition, Orthodox Judaism, Jewish Identity, Leadership, Women, Religion, Identity

Name of Publication: Jewish Religious Leadership: Image and Reality

Editor: Wertheimer, Jack

Volume/Issue: Vol.2

Page Number(s): 633-657

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Genre: Book Chapter

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Rubin Schwartz, Shuly. Serving the Jewish People: The Rebbetzin as Religious Leader. Jewish Religious Leadership: Image and Reality. Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) Press. 2004: 633-657. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=5597


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