JPS Reading List: Women’s History Month


Founded in 1888, The Jewish Publication Society is the preeminent publisher of classic and contemporary Jewish texts for readers of English worldwide. The current list includes nearly three hundred scholarly and popular works of history, philosophy, ethics, and theology. Below find books that highlight the role of women in Jewish history and religion.



Path of the Prophets: The Ethics-Driven Life

Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz

While the Bible almost exclusively names men as prophets, Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz celebrates heroic, largely unknown biblical women such as Shiphrah, Tirzah, and Hannah.



A Bride for One Night: Talmud Tales

Ruth Calderon

Calderon rewrites Talmudic tales as richly imagined fictions, drawing us into the lives of such characters as the woman who risks her life for a sister suspected of adultery; a humble schoolteacher who rescues his village from drought; and a wife who dresses as a prostitute to seduce her pious husband in their garden.



Studies in Bible and Feminist Criticism

Tikva Frymer-Kensky

This book is unique, not only because it is the only volume in the JPS Scholar of Distinction series written by a woman, but also because Frymer-Kensky’s personal and forthright voice resonates so clearly throughout each piece.



The Bible On Location: Off the Beaten Path in Ancient & Modern Israel

Julie Baretz

Julie Baretz is a tour guide in Jerusalem. In this innovative guide book, she takes readers to twenty-one off-the-beaten-path locations in Israel where Bible stories are said to have happened. At each site she sets the scene by relating the historical context of the event, then follows with the biblical text itself and her own lively commentary.



The JPS Bible Commentary: Esther

Adele Berlin

The commentary, which accompanies the Hebrew biblical text and the JPS translation, approaches the Book of Esther from a fresh literary point of view.



Sarah Laughed: Modern Lessons from the Wisdom & Stories of Biblical Women

Vanessa L. Ochs, Ph. D

Intimate, familiar, and wise, the heroines in Sarah Laughed are revealed to be inspiring role models for women today.



The Lost Matriarch: Finding Leah in the Bible and Midrash

Jerry Rabow

Although Leah is a major figure in the book of Genesis, the biblical text allows her only a single word of physical description and two lines of direct dialogue. The Lost Matriarch reveals Leah’s full story and invites readers into the delightful, provocative world of creative rabbinic and literary commentary.

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