In this Book

NYU Press
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2006 National Jewish Book Award, Modern Jewish Thought

Long the object of curiosity, admiration, and gossip, rabbis' wives have rarely been viewed seriously as American Jewish religious and communal leaders. We know a great deal about the important role played by rabbis in building American Jewish life in this country, but not much about the role that their wives played. The Rabbi’s Wife redresses that imbalance by highlighting the unique contributions of rebbetzins to the development of American Jewry.

Tracing the careers of rebbetzins from the beginning of the twentieth century until the present, Shuly Rubin Schwartz chronicles the evolution of the role from a few individual rabbis' wives who emerged as leaders to a cohort who worked together on behalf of American Judaism. The Rabbi’s Wife reveals the ways these women succeeded in both building crucial leadership roles for themselves and becoming an important force in shaping Jewish life in America.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. p. v
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xiii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-24
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  1. 1. The Pioneers
  2. pp. 25-50
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  1. 2. The Power behind the Throne
  2. pp. 51-87
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  1. 3. “ Mr. & Mrs. God”
  2. pp. 88-127
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  1. 4. Two for the Price of One
  2. pp. 128-167
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  1. 5. “ Please [ Don’t] Call Me Rebbetzin!”
  2. pp. 168-208
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  1. 6. They Married What They Wanted to Be, but What Does That Mean for the Future?
  2. pp. 209-221
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 223-278
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 279-298
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 299-311
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  1. About the Author
  2. p. 312
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