Rowan University
Ariel and Joshua Weiner Family Fellowship

Research Topic

At Home in the World: American Jewish Women Abroad, 1865–1940


Melissa R. Klapper is Professor of History and Director of Women's & Gender Studies at Rowan University. Her current research explores Jewish identity and the travel experiences of American Jewish women between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of WWII.

Klapper received her PhD in history from Rutgers University. Her scholarship has been awarded grants and fellowships from the American Jewish Archives, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women at Harvard University, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, among others.

Selected publications

  • Ballet Class: An American History (Oxford University Press, 2020)
  • Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women’s Activism, 18901940 (New York University Press, 2013)
  • Small Strangers:  The Experiences of Immigrant Children in the United States, 1880–1925 (Ivan R. Dee, 2007)
  • Jewish Girls Coming of Age in America, 18601920 (New York University Press, 2005)



Delving into some of the most pressing debates within US history and Jewish history, and examining vital questions shaping Jewish cultural studies, literary theory, and social scientific inquiry