Naamani Lecture Is March 11 – Hyman to Address “When Gendered Divisions Empowered Jewish Women”

Prof. Paula Hyman of Yale University has been selected to deliver the Naamani Memorial Lecture at the University of Louisville this year. The lecture will be presented in the Chao Auditorium of the Ekstrom Library on the U of L campus at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 11.

Prof. Hyman’s lecture, “When Gen-dered Divisions Empowered Jewish Wo-men: Social Activists and Public Health Nurses in Early 20th Century America and Palestine,” will examine the interactions between assumptions about gender roles, on the one hand, and social realities, on the other. “Gender assumptions in different places facilitated the engagement of women in activism for social change,” Professor Hyman explains, “and public health nurses both in America and in early 20th century Palestine played a large part in this engagement.”



Prof. Hyman is the Lucy Moses Professor of Modern Jewish History at Yale, with appointments in both the departments of History and Religious Studies. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Women’s Faculty Forum. A graduate of the Hebrew College of Boston and of Radcliffe College, she received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, where she also taught Jewish history for several years. She has been on the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, as well, and she served there as dean of the Seminary College of Jewish Studies. In the early 1970s, she was a founding member of Ezrat Nashim, one of America’s most influential Jewish feminist organizations. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals and has received numerous awards and honors.

A specialist in the modern period, Prof. Hyman has published mainly on the history of French Jewry and on Jewish women’s history. Among her many books are From Dreyfus to Vichy: The Remaking of French Jewry, 1906-1939 (1979); Gender and Assimilation in Modern Jewish History (1995); and The Jews of Modern France (1998). With Deborah Dash Moore, she co-edited the two-volume Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia (1998). One expert in the field has observed that “if you want to trace the progress of Jewish women’s history, you couldn’t do much better than to follow the career of Yale University’s … Paula Hyman.”

The Naamani Memorial Lecture, named in memory of Professor Israel Naamani, a respected and beloved member of U of L’s Political Science Department who died in 1979, is free and open to the public. Limited free parking for the lecture will be available on Third Street near Ekstrom Library, and paid parking will be available in the Speed Museum parking structure. Those interested in more information about the Naamani Lecture may contact Professor Lee Shai Weissbach in the History Department at the University of Louisville at 852-3755 or by e-mail at

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