The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute develops fresh ways of thinking about Jews and gender worldwide by producing and promoting scholarly research, artistic projects and public engagement.

The world's only academic center of its kind, the HBI provides research resources and programs for scholars, students and the public. The Institute publishes books and a journal, convenes international conferences and local programming, and offers competitive grant and internship programs.

The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, originally known as the International Research Institute on Jewish Women, opened at Brandeis University in January 1997. The Institute, established with a generous grant from Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America Inc., represented a bold venture for both Brandeis University and Hadassah.

The idea for a research institute on Jewish women and gender issues originated in Voices for Change: Future Directions for American Jewish Women (1995), a report of the Hadassah-sponsored National Commission on American Jewish Women. The report highlighted the fact that research is just beginning on Jewish women’s history, lives and culture. Hadassah took up the challenge to help make this new field flourish by committing substantial resources to the creation of the institute.

The institute has several defining characteristics. It is international and interdisciplinary, and incorporates Jewish women’s issues and gender issues in diverse contexts. Our activities include initiating and supporting research projects, holding conferences and seminars, creating a monograph series and working in many other ways to enhance information about and understanding of Jewish women and Jewish gender issues. Many of our activities are carried out in partnership with other universities and organizations. Some of our work is undertaken by research associates who work at locations other than Brandeis University. We have extensive relations with scholars in Israel and in other countries.

A free-standing research enterprise that represents the highest academic and cultural standards, the institute is guided by a board of directors and by advisory committees composed of scholars, students and prominent individuals.