Women Who Would BE Rabbis

Making Women's History

New Essays


Women and American Judaism

American Jewish Women's History







Pamela S. Nadell holds the Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women's and Gender History and is Chair of the Department of History and Director of the Jewish Studies Program. Prof. Nadell is also the Vice President for Program for the Association of Jewish Studies. In 2007, she received AU's highest faculty award, the Scholar/Teacher of the year, and in 2010 she received the Lee Max Friedman Award from the American Jewish Historical Society for distinguished service to the profession. She holds a doctorate in history from Ohio State University, a B.A. from Douglass College, Rutgers University, and studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

She is the author of Women Who Would Be Rabbis: A History of Women's Ordination, 1889-1985 (Beacon Press, 1998), which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and a main selection of the Jewish Book Club, and Conservative Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook (1988). Her other books include Women and American Judaism: Historical Perspectives (2001), American Jewish Women's History: A Reader (2003); Three Hundred and Fifty Years: An Album of American Jewish Memory (2005); New Perspectives in American Jewish History (2010); and Making Women's Histories: Beyond National Perspectives (2013). She has won accolades for teaching from both Ohio State University and American University; research fellowships from the American Jewish Archives and the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture; and received the Anti-Defamation League Community Leadership Award (1995) and American University's Faculty Award for Outstanding Contributions to Academic Development (1997) for her work in pioneering the teaching of African-American/Jewish Relations at American University and Howard University.

Prof. Nadell chaired the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society, was book review editor of the journal American Jewish History for a decade, and is a member of many academic advisory boards. She was deeply involved in the array of activities celebrating the 350th anniversary of Jewish life in America, and presented more than forty public lectures marking that event. Her consulting work for museums includes the new National Museum of American Jewish History, the Library of Congress, Beit HaTefutsot: The Museum of the Jewish People, and for film, Emmy award-winning And the Gates Opened.

She teaches a wide variety of courses in Jewish history, including Ancient and Medieval Jewish Civilization, Modern Jewish Civilization, American Jewish History, American Jewish Women's History, Holocaust, and History of Israel; and works with graduate students in modern Jewish history.

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Dr. Pamela Nadell
Pamela S. Nadell

American University
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