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Prof. Renée Levine Melammed

Women's Studies, Sephardic Jewry


Renee Levine Melammed
Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies

PhD, Brandeis University
1983 "Women in Spanish Crypto-Judaism, 1492-1520"
Medieval and Early Modern History of the Jews and Conversos of Spain; Women in Jewish History
Academic Editor, Nashim, Journal of Jewish Women's and Gender Studies
Member: AJS, SSPHS, World Union of Jewish Studies

Heretics or Daughters of Israel: The Crypto-Jewish Women of Castile. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

A Question of Identity: Iberian Conversos in Historical Perspective. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Editor, Lift Up Your Voice with Strength: Women's Voices and Feminist Interpretation in Jewish Studies [Hebrew]. Yediot Ahronot, 2001.


"Sixteenth Century Justice in Action: The Case of Isabel L?pez," Revue des ?tudes Juives 145:1-2 (1986): 51-73.

"The Ultimate Challenge: Safeguarding the Crypto-Judaic Heritage," Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 53 (1986): 91-109.

"The Conversos of Cogolludo." In Proceedings of the Ninth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Division B, Vol. 1 (1986), 135-142.

"Noticias Sobre Los Ritos de Los Nacimientos y de la Pureza de las Judeo-Conversas Castellanas del Siglo XVI," El Olivo, 13: 29-30 (1989): 235-243.

"Some Death and Mourning Customs of Castilian Conversas." In Exile and Diaspora, ed. A. Mirsky, A. Grossman, and Y. Kaplan, 157-167. Jerusalem: Ben Zvi Institute, 1991.

"Sephardi Women in the Medieval and Early Modern Period." In Jewish Women in Historical Perspective, ed. Judith Baskin, 115-134. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991.

"Transmission of Jewish Tradition by Spanish Conversas in the Sixteenth Century," [Hebrew]. In Society and Community Proceedings of the Second International Congress on the Sephardi-Oriental Jewish Heritage , ed. A. Haim, 161-172. Jerusalem: Misgav Yerushalayim, 1992.

"Women in (Post-1492) Spanish Crypto-Jewish Society," Judaism 41:2 (Spring, 1992): 156-168.

"A Sixteenth Century Midwife and Her Encounter with the Inquisition." In The Expulsion of the Jews: 1492 and After, eds. Raymond B. Waddington and Arthur H. Williamson, 53-72. New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1994.

"Nashim bi-Hevrat Ha-Anusim bi-Sefarad bi-Shalhei ha-Meah Ha-16." In A View into the Lives of Women in Jewish Societies [Hebrew], ed. Yael Azmon, 209-222. Jerusalem: Zalman Shazar Center, 1995.

"Hommes et Femmes: Leur Role Respectif Dans la perpetuation de l'identite juive au sein de Conversa." In M?moires juives d'Espagne et du Portugal, ed. Esther Benbassa, 39-50. Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 1996.

"Judaizing Women in Castile: A Look at their Lives Before and After 1492." In Religion in the Age of Exploration, eds. M. Mor and B. Le Beau, 15-37. Omaha: Creighton University, 1996.

"Les Femmes crypto-juives face a l'Inquisition espagnole: leur role dans la transmission du marranisme." In Transmission et passages en monde juif, ed. Esther Benbassa, 229-245. Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1997.

"He Said, She Said: A Woman Teacher in Twelfth Century Cairo," AJS Review 22:1 (1997): 19-35.

"Castilian Conversas at Work." In Women at Work in Spain from the Middle Ages to Early Modern Times, eds. Marilyn Stone and Carmen Benito-Vessels, 81-100. N.Y.: Peter Lang Publishing, 1998.

"Rabbinic Contemporaries of R. Joseph Karo: The Sixteenth Century de Botons." In Studies in a Rabbinic Family: the de Botons, eds. M. Ben-Sasson, W. Z. Harvey. Y. Ben-Naeh and Z. Zohar, 115-127. Jerusalem: Misgav Yerushalayim, 1998.

"R. Abraham de Boton and Lehem Rav: an Historical Analysis." In ibid, 129-139.

"Judaizers and Prayer in Sixteenth Century Alc?zar." In Iberia and Beyond: Hispanic Jews Between Cultures, ed. Bernard Cooperman, 273-295. Univ. of Delaware Press, 1998.

"Maria Lopez: Mother and Daughter of the Inquisition." In Women in the Inquisition: Spain and the New World, ed. Mary Giles, 53-72. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

"A Methodological Study: The Descendants of the Conversos in New Mexico and Manifestations of their Heritage," [Hebrew] Paamim 76 (1999): 103-114. with Uri Melammed, "R. Asnat, Rosh Yeshiva from Kurdistan," [Hebrew] Paamim 82 (2000), 163-178.

"Castilian Conversas at Work." Proceedings of the Twelfth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Division B, Jerusalem (2000), 101-107.

"Crypto-Jewish Women Facing the Spanish Inquisition: Transmitting Religious Practices, Beliefs, and Attitudes." In Christians, Muslims and Jews in Medieval and Early Modern Spain: Interaction and Social Change, eds. Mark D. Meyerson and Edward D. English. University of Notre Dame, 2000.

"Life Cycle Rituals of Spanish Crypto-Jewish Women," and "Visionary Experiences Among Spanish Crypto-Jewish Women," (Translations with Commentary) in Judaism in Practice: From the Middle Ages through the Early Modern Period, ed. Lawrence Fine, 143-154; 348-352. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

"The Memoirs of a Partisan from Salonika," Nashim 7 (2004).

"The Influence of Moslem Society on the Jewish Woman in Light of Documentation from the Cairo Geniza" [Hebrew], Masekhet (2004): 33-43.

"Ladino Speaking Women of the 20th Century," Studies in Honor of Denah Lida, ed. Mary Berg. Potomac, Md., 2005.

"The World of Witnesses and the Holy Tribunal: 15th Century Trials of Castilian Judaizers," in Voices from the Bench: the Narratives of Lesser Folk in Medieval Trials, ed. Michael Goodich. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Book Reviews

Timothy Oelman, ed. and trans. Marrano Poets of the Seventeenth Century: An Anthology of the Poetry of J?ao Pinto Delgado, Antonio Enr?quez G?mez, and Miguel de Barrios (Associated University Presses, 1982). AJS Review 9:2 (Fall, 1984).

Benjamin Gampel, The Last Jews on Iberian Soil (University of California Press, 1989). JQR 83:1-2 (1992).

Jose Faur, In the Shadow of History: Jews and Conversos at the Dawn of Modernity (State University of New York Press, 1992). AJS Review 19:2 (1994).

Miscelenea de Estudios Arabes y Hebraicos 37-38 and 40 (Granada: Universidad de Granada, 1991). Hebrew Studies 35 (1994).

Jane Gerber, The Jews of Spain A History of the Sephardic Experience (N.Y.: The Free Press, 1992). AJS Review 20:1 (1995).

David M. Gitlitz, Secrecy and Deceit: The Religion of the Crypto-Jews (Phil.: JPS, 1996). AJS Review 22:2 (1998): 270-273.

Miriam Bodian, Hebrews of the Portuguese Nation: Conversos and Community in Early Modern Amsterdam. Bloomington, Ind.: University of Indiana Press, 1997, Paamim 81 (1999): 161-162.

Ruth Lamdan, A Separate People: Jewish Women in Palestine, Syria and Egypt in the Sixteenth Century. Leiden: Brill, 2000. Zion 66:4 (2001): 543-546.

Janet Leibman Jacobs, The Legacy of the Crypto-Jews. Berkeley: University of Californua Press, 2002. Journal of Ecclesiastical History 55:1 (January 2004): 169-170.

In Press

"Some Minhagim Practiced by Crypto-Jewish Women in Spain," Jewish Legal Writings by Women, eds. Micah D. Halpern and Chana Safrai, Urim Publications, forthcoming.

"Bouena Sarfatty: Her Life and Works in Ladino" [Hebrew], Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress of Misgav Yerushalayim: Languages and Literatures of Oriental and Sephardi Jews, eds. Yaakov Ben-Tullila, Efraim Hazan and David Bunis. Jerusalem, forthcoming.

"Asenath Barazani," "Bouena Sarfatty Garkinkle," "Conversas," "Women in Spain,"

Entries in Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, ed. Moshe Shalvi (Jerusalem, 2004).

"Marranos," Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed. Macmillan Reference, 2004.

"Yemen and Israel," in Coming of Age Around the World, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.

Asenath Barazani Mizrahi, Avraham de Boton, Conversas, Wuhsha, Woman (Medieval- Muslim World and Spain), Encyclopedia Judaica, revised edition.



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Box 3566, P.O.Box 8500, Philadelphia, PA, 19178-3566, Tel: 1-866-830-3321,

Jerusalem Campus: Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies:

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Tel Aviv Campus: Neve Schechter – Legacy Heritage Center for Jewish Culture:

42 Chelouche St., Neve Zedek, Tel: 03-5170358,,

The Schechter Institutes, Inc.:

Box 3566, P.O.Box 8500, Philadelphia, PA, 19178-3566, Tel: 1-866-830-3321,

Jerusalem Campus: Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies:

4 Avraham Granot St., Jerusalem, Israel, 91160, Tel: 972-747-800-600,,

Tel Aviv Campus: Neve Schechter – Legacy Heritage Center for Jewish Culture:

42 Chelouche St., Neve Zedek, Tel: 03-5170358,,