Yale Professor Wins Dartmouth Medal

The American Library Association ALA has announced that it will award the Dartmouth Medal, the highest prize it gives a reference book, to “Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia” Routledge 1998 , edited by Paula E. Hyman, Yale University’s Lucy Moses Professor of Modern Jewish History and chair of the Program in Judaic Studies, and Deborah Dash Moore, professor of history at Vassar College.

The medal, donated by Dartmouth College, is given annually to a current reference work “of outstanding quality and significance,” according to the ALA. It will be presented by the Reference and User Services Association of the ALA at the organization’s annual conference in June. The book “provides gratifying, thorough encyclopedic coverage of the many and varied roles that Jewish women have occupied in America from the earliest days until the present,” said Richard Bleiler, chair of the Dartmouth Medal Award Committee. “All articles are signed, authoritative, and written with attention to detail by noted scholars… This timely source will have significant and lasting value in all libraries.”

The encyclopedia is the first major reference work on the lives, history and activities of Jewish women in the United States. Covering a period which extends from the arrival of the first Jewish women in North America in 1654 to the present, the two-volume set contains biographical entries on more than 800 individuals, from a baseball player to a Supreme Court justice. The book includes 110 topical articles on organizations such as Hadassah and the International Ladies Garment Workers Union as well as essays on Jewish women’s participation in civil rights and other major social and political movements, and lighter topics ranging from cookbooks to vaudeville. Special attention is devoted to the work of American Jewish women in the arts, academics, law, the labor movement, education, science, medicine, journalism and publishing, and to the lives of ordinary people during all time periods and in all regions of the country.

Hyman joined the Yale faculty in 1987, after teaching at Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where she was the first female dean of the Seminary College of Jewish Studies. Her other books include “From Dreyfus to Vichy: The Remaking of French Jewry, 1909-1939,” “The Emancipation of the Jews of Alsace: Acculturation and Tradition in the Nineteenth Century,” “Gender and Assimilation: The Roles and Representation of Women” and “The Jewish Woman in America.” She is a resident of New Haven, Conn.

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Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325