Female Haredi Professors

Curiously, the text of the original Haaretz article has changed – to their credit. The story about Dr. Malka Schaps, a newly appointed dean at Bar-Ilan, now only claims that she is the only female haredi prof in Israel. The earlier text added that she was perhaps the only one in the world.

I quickly addressed a serious of comments expressing dismay at such a conjecture. I rattled off the names I knew of – Dr. Judith Bleich (Touro), Dr Jean Jofen z”l (NYU), her daughter-in-law Dr Elisheva Carlebach (Columbia), Charlotte Goldberg (Loyola Law School), Dr. Tamar Frankiel (Claremont). I am curious as to whom I missed. Please add additional names through the Comments feature. But let’s keep to their rules, and limit it to professors, i.e. teaching faculty, not haredi women with doctorates alone.

The information might be useful in the future.

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23 Responses

  1. EG says:

    There are actually a few female charedi prof. in Israel that I know personally- ie, charedi women with doctorates as teaching faculty in a college. Michlalah Charedit and Touro have several of them, in disciplines like math, education, and psychology, as well as science. I can post the names if needed. In addition there are many (not a large majority, but many) women getting doctorates in Israel who are charedi in multiple disciplines including those fields like biochemistry or mathematics.

  2. kurkevan says:

    Rachel Lieff, professor of mathematics at Kingsborough, who is the mother of R’ Moshe Tuvia and R’ Eliezer Lieff. (Moderator – you might want to verify this information, and perhaps ask the family if they mind publicizing it.)

  3. EG says:

    For example, in the US, TI in Chicago has a charedi woman dean- Dr. Esther Shkop. In Michlalah here in Israel, Dr. Black teaches mathematics. Dr. Weil, also in Israel, teaches education with years of experience from the education ministry.

  4. Chaim Zev Finkel says:

    I know a guy in the Mir in Yerushalayim whose wife is a professor of opthamology in Michlelet Hadassah. I forget his name though.

  5. LM7 says:

    Prof. Rella Kushelevsky of Bar-Ilan University’s Department of Hebrew Literature.

    BTW, in Israel, the title “professor” is usually reserved for faculty with the (difficult to achieve) ranks of associate or full professor, ranks which both Profs. Kushelevsky and Schaps have attained.

  6. dr. bill says:

    i know a brilliant young charedi woman, related by marriage, nephew’s SIL, who attends the same institution for graduate school as I did. my hope is that my sense of current trends reverse, particularly in Israel, and even in the US, and even for men, to allow them to pursue such careers. we have already created two generations of men, for whom such achievement is all but impossible. i am curious if we only counted chareidi from birth and under the age of forty, what we would come up with, among men and women. wonder about the past trend line. given the population growth, the implications seem a bit ominous.

  7. Chochom b'mah nishtanah says:

    My aunt has been teaching in the CUNY system for 40 years.

  8. Shades of Gray says:

    Dr. Sara Friefeld- Was dean of Touro’s Women’s Division and at SUNY.

  9. Academia says:

    Dr. Penina Orenstein – Seton Hall
    Dr. Elizabeth Lazaroff – Stern College

  10. AFM says:

    Dr. Shani Bechhofer is a PhD in Education and Administration. She taught in YU and currently teaches in Landers.

  11. Nachum says:

    And how many were raised Charedi, i.e., got their education as (or despite of) their upbringing? No knock to her, but Prof. Schaps was not. That is the point you’re trying to make, right? If so, “raised Charedi” is the important detail.

  12. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    Not everyone with a doctorate on the teaching faculty is a professor. In Israel a university can award the degree of doctor, but only the Board of Higher Education, a government body, can award the rank of professor. I don’t know for sure how it is in other countries. There are people in Israel, especially medical doctors, who have the rank of professor without being university “professors”. Perhaps they also teach on a medical faculty, I don’t know.

  13. Jacob Suslovich says:

    What is your definition of Chareidi? It can’t be the attitude towards secular education with the Chareidi attitude being that such education should be avoided unless, perhaps, it is needed to make a parnassah.

  14. Dr. E says:

    I guess one question is whether the fact that these gifted women achieved their academic credentials is something that the Chareidi community is proud of. Also, would such women be deemed potential role models by Chareidi mechanchim for younger cohorts? Of course, some female academics have not always lived Chareidi lives (not that it negates the any internal dissonance). So, any such juxtaposition of “female Chareidi”, and “Professor” does not imply the causation that they were nurtured by the community towards such achievement.

  15. Steve Brizel says:

    Ask anyone here who has a daughter attending SCW. There are more than a few women professors at SCW whose attire the average Haaretz reporter might consider as Charedi as well, solely on their Charedi appearing attire,regardless of what they teach or their own POVs therein.

  16. Dan says:

    Professor Dina Sokol brooklyn college

  17. A.S. says:

    Dr. Chaya Gurwitz a”h (daughter of Dr. Bleich whom you mentioned above), Brooklyn College.
    She was a brilliant teacher and a wonderful person.

  18. Uta Fisher says:

    The list just goes on and on. This abundant evidence should remove any lingering doubt that Haredi Orthodoxy intimidates or represses women or in any way is abusive as a system towards girls and women.

  19. lacosta says:

    i assume that the above cited examples came thru the ranks as a haredi child– ie haimishe day school, bais yaakov, and then the course to the doctorate… surely everyone would agree that examples of non-O , MO ,or convert women who wind up in the ‘haredi’ camp are not fair examples to prove the point —but i am sure that most, if no all, of the examples given here have haimishe backgrounds….

    [YA – The ones that I mentioned in my comment on the Haaretz site all do. But that should not be relevant. The yefei nefesh of Haaretz were surprised that even a woman with very non-haredi background could become a prof while defining herself as haredi – regardless of her background. ]

  20. joel rich says:

    This abundant evidence should remove any lingering doubt that Haredi Orthodoxy intimidates or represses women or in any way is abusive as a system towards girls and women.

    This evidence should be used in a study to determine whether there is any statistical support for the proposition that Haredi Orthodoxy intimidates or represses women or in any way is abusive as a system towards girls and women. If you would like to limit the study to the “academic” data, you’d need more information including general population data and overall chareidi population data. Given some of the counter arguments raised, chareidi status when earning degree would be important data as well.

  21. Ben says:

    Uta Fisher: No it doesn’t. My State has 2 highly regarded girls school and if you decide to take the college route at the end (if you can make it at all due to the relatively low standard of education) then you are shunned by your friends. I have heard this directly from the “victims” of the system.

  22. lacosta says:

    sof sof, and i think any bais yaakov menahel could confirm this , a pathway leading to these higher degrees must be a derech reserved bedieved for a few yechidot , who somehow are not satisfied with the normal derech that Yisroel Saba dictated… knowing that, it is then a mixed source of pride for the haredi community– like, kol hakavod , but don’t you young girls aspire to such…. [ akin to to Nobelist Dr Auman , who though maybe not holding haredi cred, was useful for hasbara purposes…]

  23. myron chaitovsky says:

    Dr Sorki (Sara) Reguer–Brooklyn College

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