Gail Twersky Reimer, Ph.D., Receives American Jewish Distinguished Service Award from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gail Twersky Reimer, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Jewish Women's Archive, received the American Jewish Distinguished Service Award from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) at Graduation in New York on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York.  The Jewish Women’s Archive is a pioneering organization dedicated to uncovering, chronicling and transmitting the rich legacy of Jewish women in North America.

Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President, stated, "It is a privilege to honor Dr. Gail Twersky Reimer for her pioneering achievements in preserving and disseminating the history and accomplishments of Jewish women. The Jewish Women's Archive is an indispensable and rich repository of educational materials for scholars and learners of all ages."

A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Reimer received her Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Rutgers University. She began her professional career as a faculty member at Wellesley College where she was awarded fellowships from the American Association of University Women and the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College and received the prestigious Pinanski Prize for excellence in teaching.

From 1988 to 1995, Dr. Reimer was Associate Director of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities (MFH), the state-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In the early 1990s, Reimer conceived and co-edited two path-breaking anthologies of Jewish women’s writings—Reading Ruth: Women Reclaim a Sacred Story and Beginning Anew: A Woman’s Companion to the High Holy Days. This work led to the founding of the Jewish Women’s Archive in 1995.

The Jewish Women’s Archive has become a leading advocate for and center of education in Jewish women’s history, ensuring that we remember the women who came before us, honor the women among us, and inspire those who will follow us. Reimer’s leadership of JWA has been acknowledged with numerous awards including being named by The Forward as one of the 50 most influential Jews of the year in 2001 and by Womens e-news in 2006 as one of its “21 Leaders for the 21st Century,” and in 2011 being honored by Auburn Theological Seminary at its “Lives of Commitment” event and by Hebrew College with the Dr. Benjamin J. Shevach Memorial Award for Distinguished Achievement in Jewish Educational Leadership.

Click here to view the National Graduation and Ordination press release.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu