The American Jewess

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The American Jewess
Cover of the first issue of The American Jewess (April 1895)
Editor Rosa Sonneschein
Categories Women's magazine
Circulation 29,000[1]
Founder Rosa Sonneschein
First issue April 1895 (1895-April)
Final issue August 1899 (1899-August)
Based in Chicago
OCLC number 5782568

The American Jewess (1895–1899) described itself as "the only magazine in the world devoted to the interests of Jewish women." It was the first English-language periodical targeted to American Jewish women, covering an evocative range of topics that ranged from women's place in the synagogue to whether women should ride bicycles.[2] The magazine also served as the publicity arm for the newly founded National Council of Jewish Women.[3]


Rosa Sonneschein (1847–1932), an enterprising woman from St. Louis, founded and edited the periodical.[3] The American Jewess offered the first sustained critique, by Jewish women, of gender inequities in Jewish worship and communal life.

Sonneschein gained support for the magazine during the Jewish Women's Congress at the World's Colombian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The first issue was launched in April 1895. Because the magazine started to struggle financially in 1898, Sonneschein sold the magazine, but retained editorship. This move did not save the magazine and the last issue was printed August 1899.[4]


The periodical was assembled and digitized for online access by OCLC from copies held by the Jewish Women's Archive, Hebrew Union College's Jewish Institute of Religion Klau Library, Brandeis University Libraries, and the Library of Congress. The online version is hosted by the University of Michigan.[5]


  1. ^ Rothstein, Jane H. (March 2009). "American Jewess, The". Jewish Women's Archive. 
  2. ^ Simon, Carleton (June 1896). "Why Women Should Ride the Wheel". The American Jewess. 2 (9): 455–456. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Berrol, Selma (1985). "Class or Ethnicity: The Americanized German Jewish Woman and Her Middle Class Sisters in 1895". Jewish Social Studies: 21–32. 
  4. ^ Jewish Women in America: an Historical Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge. 1998. ISBN 0415919355. .
  5. ^ "About The American Jewess Project". MLibrary Digital Collections. University of Michigan Libraries. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 

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