Back to top

Pamela Nadell Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women's and Gender History Department of History

Additional Positions at AU
Director, Jewish Studies Program
Chair, Critical Race, Gender & Culture Studies
Degrees
PhD, History, The Ohio State University MA, History, The Ohio State University BA, Hebraic Studies, Douglass College, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Languages Spoken
Hebrew
Bio
Pamela S. Nadell holds the Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women's and Gender History, chairs AU's Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies Collaborative, and is Director of the Jewish Studies Program. A specialist in American Jewish history and women’s history, she teaches a variety of courses in Jewish civilization. Her awards include AU’s highest faculty award, Scholar/Teacher of the Year (2007) and the American Jewish Historical Society’s Lee Max Friedman Award for distinguished service to the profession. Her books include Women Who Would Be Rabbis: A History of Women's Ordination, 1889-1985 (Beacon Press, 1998), which was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award. Her new book America's Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today (W.W. Norton) will be published during Women's History Month in March 2019. Past president of the international learned society the Association for Jewish Studies, she lectures widely in the U.S., Europe, and Israel. Her consulting work for museums includes the Library of Congress and the National Museum of American Jewish History on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall.
See Also
History Department
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

An internationally acclaimed scholar, Pamela Nadell's research span the breadth of the 350 years of the American Jewish experience with a special focus on women, gender, and religion.

Professional Presentations

  • Association for Jewish Studies Distinguished Lecturer  
  • Public and Academic Lectures and Conference Presentations  
    • At U.S. Colleges and Universities: Appalachian State University, Baltimore Hebrew University, Boston University, Brandeis University, Dickinson College, Florida Atlantic University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University, Jewish Theological Seminary, Princeton University, Michigan State University, Muhlenberg College, Ohio State University, Skidmore College, St. Leo University (Florida), Temple University, Tulane University, University of Chicago, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylavnia, University of Southern California, Wayne State University
    • In Israel: Talkhouse (Tel Aviv), University of Haifa, World Congress of Jewish Studies (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)  
    • In Europe: Central European University (Budapest), European Association of Jewish Studies,  Karl-Franzens-Universitat (Graz, Austria), Oxford University, Tarbut: Conference of German-Speaking Jews (Schloss Elmau), University of Munich  
    • Presentations and Conference Papers: American Academy of Religion, American Historical Association, American Jewish Arcdhives, American Jewish Historical Society Biennial Scholars Conference, American Library Association, Association for Jewish Studies, Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Center for Jewish History, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Council of American Jewish Museums, National Museum of American Jewish History, Rabbinical Assembly, Southern Jewish Historical Society, Women of Reform Judaism, Women's League for Conservative Judaism  
  • Presented more than forty public lectures during the 350th anniversary celebrations of Jewish life in America (2004-2005)  
  • Popular lecturer in synagogues, Jewish community centers, and for Jewish communal organizations

Films/Documentaries

  • Historical consultant to the documentary And the Gates Opened: Women in the Rabbinate, produced by Diva Communications for the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, premiered on ABC-TV in January 2005; the film received an Emmy for religious programming
  • Consultant to the film, The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1998).

Selected Publications

  • America's Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today.  W.W. Norton, March 2019 (forthcoming).  
  • Feminism, American Style: Jewish Women and the Making of a Revolution.  University of Haifa Ruderman Program in American Jewish Studies.  English and Hebrew.  http://ajs.haifa.ac.il/images/Nadell_Research_Paper_final.pdf   
  • Making Women's Histories: Beyond National Perspectives, co-edited with Kate Haulman.  New York: New York University Press, 2013    
  • Three Hundred and Fifty Years: An Album of Jewish Memory, co-authored with Michael Feldman, Karla Goldman, Scott Martin Kosofsky, Jonathan D. Sarna, and Gary P. Zola.  New York and Cincinnati: American Jewish Historical Society and Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, 2005.     
  • American Jewish Women's History: A Reader, editor. New York: New York University Press, 2003.     
  • Women and American Judaism: Historical Perspectives, co-edited with Jonathan D. Sarna. Hanover, NH: Brandeis University Press/University Press of New England, 2001.     
  • Women Who Would Be Rabbis: A History of Women's Ordination, 1889-1985. Boston: Beacon Press, 1998.      
  • Conservative Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1988.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • Lee Max Friedman Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession, American Jewish Historical Society  
  • American University Scholar/Teacher of the Year   
  • Finalist, National Jewish Book Award in Women’s Studies for Women Who Would be Rabbis,
  • Anti-Defamation League Community Leadership Award (Washington, DC Regional Office, 1995).
  •  

Professional Services

  • President, Association for Jewish Studies (2015-2017)           
  • Founding historians' team, National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia, PA.   
  • Chair, Academic Council, American Jewish Historical Society (2000-2003)
  • Congressional testimony: House Judiciary Committee hearings on antisemitism on the college campus (November 2017)

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

Jewish history; women's history, especially the history of Jewish women; Holocaust, American Jewry, American Jewish history, Judaism

Additional Information

Pamela Nadell is the author or editor of six books, including 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; Conservative Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook (Greenwood Press, 1988); Women and American Judaism: Historical Perspectives (Brandeis University Press/University Press of New England, July 2001); American Jewish Women's History: A Reader(New York University Press, 2003); Three Hundred and Fifty Years: An Album of American Jewish Memory (2005); New Essays in American Jewish History (2010). She is also historian to the permanent exhibition of the new National Museum of American Jewish History. As of December 2016, she serves as the President of the Association for Jewish Studies.

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Related Links

AU News & Achievements

Susan Carmel Lehrman Chair in Russian History and Culture

Liberal Arts ·

Making Russia Real

Susan Carmel Lehrman endows Chair in Russian History and Culture.
Full Story