During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American Jewish women were consistently and publicly engaged in all the major issues of their day, including suffrage, birth control, Zionism, and the labor and peace movements. Philadelphia was home to numerous American Jewish women whose activism was grounded in their gender, religious, cultural, and ethnic identities. This talk will explore some of their stories and their impact on both American Jewish history and American women's history.
Dr. Melissa R. Klapper is Professor of History and Director of Women's & Gender Studies at Rowan University. She is the author of Jewish Girls Coming of Age in America, 1860-1920 (NYU, 2005) and Small Strangers: The Experiences of Immigrant Children in the United States, 1880-1925 (Ivan R. Dee, 2007). She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards and lectures frequently in the community. Dr. Klapper's most recent book, Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women's Activism, 1890-1940 (NYU, 2013) won the 2013 National Jewish Book Award in Women's Studies.