Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Education Specialties

First Advisor

René Parmar

Second Advisor

Barbara Cozza

Third Advisor

Rosalba Corrado Del Vecchio


The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences of Orthodox Jewish women who occupy the role of school principal in Orthodox Jewish schools. What distinguishes these individuals is that they are accomplished females who, in addition to overcoming the common challenges of women in leadership positions, as Orthodox Jews, their environments, both the ones they were raised in and the ones they currently work in, create a distinct expectation of gender roles, cultural identity and leadership characteristics. Additionally, this study explores how the shaping of their gender, cultural and leadership identities continue to manifest themselves and impact the way these women interact in their professional roles within that same community. There is currently not enough research about the experiences of Orthodox Jewish women in positions of leadership, which makes this such a valuable study. The present study contributes to our understanding of women’s leadership in Orthodox society through analyzing the life histories of five Jewish women school principals. The interviews have been analyzed from the perspectives of gender, cultural, and leadership theories. By interviewing these women, this study explores the experiences of Orthodox Jewish female principals and uncovers how they have created a space in a culturally/religiously acceptable way for fulfilling their job requirements.