Contemporary Jewry

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 17–31 | Cite as

The political economy of gender in Jewish Federations

  • Barry A. Kosmin


Jewish Community Jewish Population Jewish Woman Contemporary JEWRY Woman Leader 
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  1. 1.
    e.g.,Mitzvat Nashim, Venice, 1552;Seder Nashim, Prague 1629;Mitzvat Ha’Nashim, Hanau 1677. However, most contemporary authorities now discount the exaggerated claims of almost universal female literacy in Hebrew made by Cecil Roth in “Outstanding Jewish Women in Western Europe; 15–17 Centuries”; Leo Jung, ed.,The Jewish Library-Third Series, New York, 1934.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. P. Schultz, “the ‘Ze-enah U-Re’enah’: Torah for the Folk,”Judaism, No. 141, Winter 1987, pp. 84–96.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. Carlebach, “Ze’nah Ur’enah: The Story of a Book for Jewish Women,”L-Eylah, 23, 1987, p. 43.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    L. Finkelstein,Jewish Self-Government in the Middle Ages, West-port, Conn., 1924, p. 379. Z. W. Falk,Jewish Matrimonial Law in the Middle Ages, Oxford, 1966, supports Finkelstein’s position.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    The source for all campaign statistics is Council of Jewish Federations,Fund Raising Survey: Women’s Divisions, 1986, September 1986.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    A May 1987 program from the Federation Endowments Corporation and Women’s Leadership Board of the Federation of Jewish Agencies of Greater Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    For data on the high volume of geographical movement, see B. A. Kosmin, P. Ritterband and J. Scheckner,Jewish Population in the United States, 1986, in D. Singer and R. Seldin, eds.,American Jewish Year Book 1987, New York, American Jewish Committee, 1987, pp. 34–56.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hilkhot Melakhim, 1:5. For a comprehensive treatment of this theme see Rachel Biale,Women and Jewish Law, New York, 1986.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    I. Jakobivits, “Women in Community Service,”L’Eylah, 23, 1987, p. 5.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    What follows is a condensed version of the findings. The full report was published as B. A. Kosmin and J. Scheckner,The Place of Women in the Leadership of Federations, 1975–1986, CJF, New York, 1986.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    The content and range of programs is well presented inIdeas Bazaar published by the CJF Women’s Division.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Some awareness of such issues is shown by certain Federations e.g., Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles,Women in Federation and Agency Leadership, Los Angeles, 1983.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    J. Fuld,Child Day Care Under Jewish Auspices, Community Planning Dept., CJF, New York, 1984.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    I am indebted for many of these insights to Sue Stevens, Director of Women’s Division, CJF.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    A Cantor, “Power Plays: Breaking the male monopoly of Jewish community leadership,”Lillith, 14, 1985, p. 13.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    For other examples of this paradox involving (a) the English working class-see B. A. Kosmin, “Political Identity in Battersea,” in S. Wallman, ed.,Living in South London, London, 1982, pp. 17–50, and (b) Black Americans: P. Ritterband, “Community Control and the Black Political Agenda,” in W. C. McCready, ed.,Culture, Ethnicity and Identity, New York, 1983, pp. 291–300.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    M. Passon,The Status of Women in Federation, Women’s Division Jewish Welfare Federation of Detroit, 1987.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry A. Kosmin
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School & University CenterCity University of New YorkUSA

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