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Montreal synagogue sisterhoods (1900-1949) : a female community, culture, and religious world

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Montreal synagogue sisterhoods (1900-1949) : a female community, culture, and religious world

Goodman, Donna (2004) Montreal synagogue sisterhoods (1900-1949) : a female community, culture, and religious world. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Synagogue sisterhoods were formed and evolved in the twentieth century along with other women's volunteer organizations. These sisterhood organizations had their own characteristic structure and purpose. While research into the role of Jewish women in voluntary organizations has only recently commenced in Canada there is a lack of investigation of the sisterhoods. Their history merits documentation as a notable organization unto itself. This study traces the formation and early development of the sisterhoods in Canada, focusing on the three oldest and prominent synagogues in Montreal. Each represents a different denomination; Orthodox, Conservative and Reform. It considers women's expected roles within the separate "female sphere" and the extension of those boundaries that the sisterhood organization afforded. Questions, such as why and how they were initiated and formed, are explored. This thesis describes the kinds and purposes of activities that were performed, the reasons women joined sisterhoods, and the ways the sisterhoods differed from other Jewish women volunteer organizations. It especially examines the scholarly debate whether the early sisterhood organizations changed women's power and position in the social structure of the synagogue and that of the larger Jewish community. A vital component of this investigation is the uncovering of the experience and voice of the sisterhood women to permit a view of their world from their perspective and vantage point. The story of the Montreal synagogue sisterhoods narrates the creation of a distinct female culture, community, and religious world and provides a better understanding of Jewish Canadian women's sphere. It also extends the story of the Canadian Jewish experience.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Religion
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Goodman, Donna
Pagination:v, 155 leaves : ports. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Religion
Date:2004
Thesis Supervisor(s):Joseph, Norma Baumel
ID Code:8025
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:13
Last Modified:19 Aug 2011 03:56
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