Women in History

Civil Rights Legend Dorothy Height Passes

WASHINGTON (April 20) – Dorothy Irene Height, long-time civil rights activist, chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and "godmother of the women's movement," died of natural causes 3:41 a.m. Tuesday, April 20, at Howard University Hospital, 27 days after her 98th birthday.

Webinar--When love goes wrong: Understanding the devastating impact of interpersonal violence

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Time: 12:00pm Eastern Standard Time

Presented by Amy Banks, M.D.; learn more.

Historic Meeting of Survivor-Activists on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

On March 11-12, 2010, the Ms. Foundation for Women had the honor of convening an inspiring meeting on survivor-led activism on child sexual abuse prevention. In what was one of the first times survivors have been brought together to discuss child sexual abuse prevention in a social justice context, twelve activists discussed successes, challenges, and historic moments in their field. They established exciting shared visions and first steps for realizing them in this growing social justice movement.

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Sex, Sports and Ethics Roundtable

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Panelists include: Ara Wilson (Associate Professor in Women's Studies and Director of the program in the study of sexualities), Robyn Wiegman (Professor, Women's Studies and Literature), and Doriane Coleman (Duke Law School).

Location: Breedlove Room
Sponsored by the Kenan Institute and the Program in the Study of Sexualities.
*Refreshments will be served.

Know Your History: Jeannette Rankin

By Kyla Bender-Baird

As most of you know, March is Women’s History Month--a month dedicated to remembering all those amazing female figures too often left out of history textbooks. Do you know who your foremothers are? One of NCRW’s member centers, the Women’s Media Center, has been featuring exclusives on notable women all month. This week’s feature on Jeannette Rankin brought me back to high school and my early days of feminist awakenings.

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"Christine Jorgensen: Transsexuality and a Transnational Media Spectacle in the 1950s and 1960s": a lecture by Susan Stryker

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Susan Stryker is Associate Professor of Gender Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. She earned her Ph.D. in United States History at UC Berkeley in 1992, and subsequently held a postdoctoral fellowship in Sexuality Studies at Stanford University, as well as distinguished visiting positions at Harvard University, UC Santa Cruz, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and Macquarie University in Sydney. She is the Emmy Award-winning director of Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria, a public television documentary about a 1966 riot against police oppression by transgender prostitutes in San Francisco.

Angela Davis Honors Beverly Guy-Sheftall During NWSA Keynote Address

Angela Y. Davis is known internationally for her ongoing work to combat all forms of oppression in the U.S. and abroad. She has been active as a student, teacher, writer, scholar, and activist/organizer. Davis served as the keynote speaker for the 2009 National Women's Studies Association's annual conference where she honored Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Ph.D., NWSA President & Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Womens Studies at Spelman College.

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Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute develops fresh ways of thinking about Jews and gender worldwide by producing and promoting scholarly research and artistic projects.

The world's only academic center of its kind, the HBI provides research resources and programs for scholars, students and the public. The Institute publishes books and a journal, convenes international conferences and local programming, and offers competitive grant and internship programs.


515 South Street
Waltham, MA 02454
Ph. (781) 736-2064
Fx. (781) 736-2078


Principal Staff

Shulamit Reinharz, Co-Director
E-mail: reinharz@brandeis.edu

Sylvia Barack Fishman, Co-Director
E-mail: fishman@brandeis.edu

Debby Olins, Program Manager
E-mail: dolins@brandeis.edu

Nancy Leonard, Office Coordinator
E-mail: nleonard@brandeis.edu

Amy Sessler Powell, Director of Communications
E-mail: aspowell@brandeis.edu

Featured Events

Employment Opportunities

Projects & Campaigns

The Project on Gender, Culture, Religion, and the Law (GCRL) was launched in February 2007 as part of the celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. The project is generously funded by a gift from the Dan Fischel and Sylvia Neil Philanthropic Fund.
The mission of the Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law is to support research and activism, which explores conflicts between women's claims to gender equality and legal norms justified in terms of religious and cultural traditions. Its location in the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, a leading research center on Jewish women's studies, shapes its unique approach to exploring these issues. The project supports research on the rights of women in Jewish law, both in Israel and the Diaspora. It also supports comparative work that examines the issues of women's rights under religious laws in inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural perspective.

Launched in February 2009, the mission of the HBI Project on Families, Children and the Holocaust is to introduce a new dimension to Holocaust studies – interdisciplinary research on the histories and representations of East European Jewish families and children from 1933 to the present. In particular, the project aims to explore the experience of childhood, motherhood and fatherhood in specific geographical locations and in a transnational context. The project also encourages methodological research and artistic expressions pertaining to adult and child survivors' accounts of their prewar, wartime and postwar lives.


Reports & Resources

614: The HBI EZINE

The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI) publishes and promotes a diverse range of works, from academic books and scholarly papers to popular prose and fiction and multimedia projects featuring some of today’s most prominent authors in the field of Jewish and gender studies. Topics covered in the HBI’s publications span the spectrum of Jewish women’s history and culture – from an in-depth exploration of women’s life in the Yishuv to contemporary trends of intermarriage in Jewish-American familial life, delving into the history of Jewish women in sports, to readings on Jewish women’s lives in Muslim societies, circulating the globe to examine pertinent issues and survey the oft-unexplored in Jewish women’s life.

The Reuben/Rifkin Jewish Women Writers Series

HBI Series on Jewish Women

Brandeis Series on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law


Center News

Opportunities, Grants & Fellowships

Undergraduate Internship Program

-Participate in a 35 hour per week, Monday-Friday, internship program

-Produce, under staff supervision, an original piece of scholarly research or a creative and/or artistic project that focuses on Jewish gender issues

-Assist HBI-affiliated scholars and Brandeis offices with research and administrative tasks

-Learn about the daily operations of an academic research institute by occasionally assisting with administrative tasks

-Visit local institutions and organizations of Jewish interest

-Meet local community activists

-Live on the Brandeis campus in subsidized housing

-Receive a weekly stipend

Graduate Internship Program

Similar in structure to the undergraduate program, the graduate student interns also facilitate the research of HBI affiliated scholars while carrying out their own research projects. Graduate student interns interact closely with their supervisors, who act as their academic advisers. While not a requirement, the ideal candidates are working towards a degree in an area of study related to the supervisors’ expertise. All field trips and extracurricular activities are optional for the graduate student interns.

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