American University

Pamela S. Nadell

Pamela S. Nadell holds the Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History and is Chair of the Department of History and Director of the Jewish Studies Program. In 2007, she received American University’s highest faculty award, the Scholar/Teacher of the year, and in 2010 she received the Lee Max Friedman Award from the American Jewish Historical Society for distinguished service to the profession. She holds a doctorate in history from Ohio State University, a B.A. from Douglass College, Rutgers University, and studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The author or editor of seven books, they include Women Who Would Be Rabbis: A History of Women’s Ordination, 1889-1985 (Beacon Press, 1998), which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and a main selection of the Jewish Book Club, and the edited American Jewish Women’s History: A Reader (2003).  Her most recent co-edited book is Making Women’s Histories: Beyond National Perspectives (2013).

Prof. Nadell is president of the Association of Jewish Studies and is past chair of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society.  Deeply involved in the array of activities celebrating the 350th anniversary of Jewish life in America, she presented more than forty public lectures marking that event. She was a member of the historians’ team of the National Museum of American Jewish History and consultant to the Emmy award-winning And the Gates Opened.


  • The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: Out of Tragedy Comes Social Justice
  • Antisemitism in America: Now and Then
  • Tevye’s Daughters in America
  • Telling the American Jewish Story on Independence Mall: The National Museum of American Jewish History
  • “Giving Our All the Poor Soldiers”: Jewish Women and the Civil War
  • Women Who Would Be Rabbis: The Battle for Women’s Ordination
  • Yentl: From Yeshiva Boy to Syndrom
  • ‘The Synagog shall Hear the Call of the Sister’: The History of Synagogue Sisterhoods