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Jordan Katz

Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies

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(413) 545-5871

Herter 733

Jordan Katz is a historian of early modern Jewry, with a focus on Jewish cultural history, history of medicine, and women and gender in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Her current book project examines the role of Jewish midwives within communal, intellectual, and medical frameworks in the early modern Ashkenazic world. Through an exploration of Jewish midwives’ medical influences, their engagement with administrative knowledge systems, and their intellectual status in the eyes of prominent male leaders, Katz’s study offers a new understanding of the structures of knowledge and authority that undergirded early modern European society. More broadly, she is interested in the ways in which expertise and special skills created pathways for interaction between Christians and Jews, and between Jews of different socioeconomic classes, that have not yet been studied.

Professor Katz has received fellowships from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture; the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine; the Center for Jewish History; and the Leo Baeck Fellowship Programme. Her work has been published in Jewish Quarterly Review and Jewish Social Studies.


“Jewish Midwives, Wise Women, and the Construction of Medical-Halakhic Expertise in the Eighteenth Century.” Jewish Social Studies Vol. 26, No. 2 (Winter 2021): 1-36.

“Midwife | Judaism” and “Midwife | Medical Treatises and Other Scholarly Reception.” Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (EBR) Online. Berlin: De Gruyter (2020).

“‘To judge and to be judged’: Jewish Communal Autonomy in Metz and the Struggle for Sovereignty in Eighteenth-Century France.” Jewish Quarterly Review 104.3 (Summer 2014): 438-470. 

Courses Recently Taught


Judaic 101: The Jewish Experience I, Ancient to Medieval

Judaic 318: Family and Sexuality in Jewish History and Culture