Four Centuries of Jewish Women's Spirituality

Four Centuries of Jewish Women's Spirituality Cover

Four Centuries of Jewish Women's Spirituality

By Ellen M. Umansky (Editor); Dianne Ashton (Editor)

Beacon Press (MA), Paperback, 9780807036136, 350pp.

Publication Date: July 31, 1992


Four Centuries of Jewish Women's Spirituality is the first book-length exploration of Jewish spirituality as seen through the eyes of women. Drawing on archival material that has not been available to the contemporary reader, as well as new pieces written specifically for this volume, Ellen M. Umansky and Dianne Ashton have woven together a multiplicity of international voices, revealing the great variety of spiritual paths that modern Jewish women have taken. Contributors include Rebecca Gratz and Emma Lazarus, Amy Eilberg, Marcia Falk, Blu Greenberg, Kadya Molodowsky, and Judith Plaskow, among many others.

About the Author
Dr. Ellen M. Umansky is the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Professor of Judaic Studies at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. She is currently working on a book focusing on Judaism, liberalism, feminism, and God. She contributed to Who by Fire, Who by Water Un'taneh Tokef, We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism Ashamnu and Al Chet and All These Vows Kol Nidre (both Jewish Lights).

Dianne Ashton is Professor of Religion Studies and former director of the American Studies program at Rowan University. She is the author of four books, including the first modern biography of the American Jewish education trailblazer, Rebecca Gratz (1997), and, with Ellen M. Umansky, the widely read Four Centuries of Jewish Women s Spirituality: A Sourcebook (revised 2009).She is currently editor of the scholarly journal, American Jewish History.

Praise For Four Centuries of Jewish Women's Spirituality

There are not enough superlatives to describe this anthology of diary entries, letters, prayers, poetry, sermons, speeches, rituals, and even minutes of meetings which together reconstruct the world of Jewish women and their concerns as spiritual human beings from the year 1560 until just yesterday. It is a feast for the hungry, a cornucopia of useable ceremonies, a glorious, full-throated chorus of women's voices where before there was silence or whispers or, worst of all, men telling us what women want, need, and care about. To Ellen Umansky and Dianne Ashton, brava and thank you! —Letty Cottin Pogrebin, author of Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America

"This is a wonderful collection that recovers the voices of Jewish women. It is essential reading, and a valuable resource, for all who are interested in Jewish history and culture." —Paula Hyman, Yale University

"The most deeply spiritual moments are those of connecting and healing. Not only are there many such moments in the specific tellings of this book, but the book as a whole makes a connection across the oldest, deepest split in Jewish life—the split between the well-told stories of men and the little-told stories of women." —Arthur Waskow, author of Seasons of Our Joy: A Modern Guide to the Jewish Holidays