Her story is over: Paula Hyman (1946-2011)

26.12.2011                      30.Kislev. 5772                       Channuka 6                      Rosch Chodesch 1

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Her story is over: Paula Hyman (1946-2011)

On December 15, one of the most eminent historians of modern Jewish history, Paula E. Hyman, died.

On December 15, one of the most eminent historians of modern Jewish history, Paula E. Hyman, died. Within a few short hours, numerous eulogies appeared on Judaic studies and women’s studies forums. Although it would be impossible to list and describe the numerous impressive accomplishments of this amazing woman in this short column, an attempt to highlight her life will be made.
Paula was an outstanding scholar, beginning her studies (simultaneously) at Radcliffe and Hebrew College and continuing her graduate studies at Columbia University, where she specialized in modern French Jewish history. Even before she completed and published completing and publishing her dissertation, “From Dreyfus to Vichy,” she and her colleagues produced “Jewish Women in America” (1976). Her feminist sensitivity often stunned male colleagues in the early years (Paula was justifiably outraged when she read Solomon Schechter’s assessment of Glikl of Hameln as a “simple housewife”), but in retrospect it is clear that she was shocking them with ideas that are taken for granted today….