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Book Talk with Pamela Nadell: Our American Jewish Matriarchs

Hosted By: Streicker Center Temple Emanu-El NYC

Abigail Franks was pressing for the modernization of American Judaism even before George Washington set up camp at Valley Forge. A century later, Rebecca Gratz took action, establishing the first Hebrew Sunday school. Not long after, Rosa Sonneschein founded the magazine The American Jewess, which echoed the rising cries for emancipation from the kitchen.

As Jews poured into the US from Russia, Germany, Spain and the Ottoman Empire, they reinvented what it meant to be Jewish — and Jewish women reinvented what it meant to be female — leading strikes, creating social service organizations, steering a feminist movement and seizing major roles in government.

Pamela Nadell, author of America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today, winner of the National Jewish Book Award, will bring these women to life and talk about how Jewish women found their power, and in the process, changed not only their own destinies, but those of their daughters, their community and the nation.

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