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The JPS Guide to Jewish Women 600 BCE–1900 CE

By 3 authors Emily Taitz Sondra Henry Cheryl Tallan / Jewish Publication Society / 2003


Print: $30.00


This is an indispensable resource about the role of Jewish women from post-biblical times to the twentieth century. Unique in its approach, it is structured so that each chapter, which is divided into three parts, covers a specific period and geographical area.

The first section of the book contains an overview, explaining how historical events affected Jews in general and Jewish women in particular. This is followed by a section of biographical entries of women of the period whose lives are set in their economic, familial, and cultural backgrounds. The third and last part of each chapter, “The World of Jewish Women,” is organized by topic and covers women’s activities and interests and how Jewish laws concerning women developed and changed.

This comprehensive work is an easy-to-use sourcebook, synopsizing rich and diverse resources. By examining history and analyzing the dynamics of Jewish law and custom, it illuminates the circumstances of Jewish women’s lives and traces the changes that have occurred throughout the centuries. It casts a new and clear light on Jewish women as individuals and sets women firmly within the context of their own cultural and historical periods.

The book contains illustrations, extensive endnotes, and indexes that list each woman by name. It is ideal for women’s groups and study groups as well as students and scholars.

With Noet, The JPS Guide to Jewish Women 600 BCE–1900 CE is easily searchable. Scripture passages appear on mouse-over, and all cross-references link to the other resources in your digital library, making this collection more powerful and easier to access than ever before for matriarchal study. With Noet’s advanced search features, you can perform powerful searches by topic or Scripture reference, for example, finding every mention of “devotion” or “peace.”

Key Features

  • Explains how historical events affected Jews
  • Discusses how Jewish laws concerning women developed and changed
  • Examines history and analyzes the dynamics of Jewish law and custom
  • Each chapter covers a specific period or cultural context

Praise for the Print Edition

A jewel.

Publishers Weekly

[A] wonderful, unique contribution to the study of Jewish women.

Canadian Jewish News

An impressive chronological and geographical sourcebook . . . Recommended.


This is a good reference book for almost any library with a Judaica collection. It would also be a fine Bat Mitzvah gift.

Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter

. . . an excellent tool for exploring a rich sampling of individual Jewish women from ancient times to the beginning of the twentieth century and learning what historians have unearthed about them.

Feminist Collections

Product Details

  • Title: The JPS Guide to Jewish Women 600 BCE–1900 CE
  • Authors: Emily Taitz, Sondra Henry, and Cheryl Tallan
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 382

About the Authors

Cheryl Tallan received an MA in interdisciplinary studies from York University in Toronto, with a specialty in medieval Jewish widows. In addition to numerous articles, Tallan is the author of Medieval Jewish Women in History, Literature, Law and Art: A Bibliography.

Sondra Henry is a historian, lawyer, and coauthor with Emily Taitz of six books for young adults. She writes for the literary magazine of Temple Israel in Great Neck, New York.

Emily Taitz taught Women’s Studies and general history courses for 10 years at Adelphi University. She has published numerous articles and books on Jewish women.