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Jewesses with Attitude

Moments in History: Jewish Entertainers in Film

One of my favorite jobs here at the Jewish Women’s Archive is putting together our This Week In History email. I get a (admittedly nerdy) thrill at seeing what happened at other points in history. I like the idea of imagining myself on May 2nd 100 years ago—or 50 years ago—or 25 years ago, and wondering if I would be as brave, accomplished or celebrated as each of the women that we profile.

For Jewish American Heritage Month, we’ve scoured the archive for a special selection of posts we are calling Moments in History. This selection includes moments ranging from 1890 to 2011, each profiling a noteworthy moment in the history of female Jewish filmstars. I encourage you to read each selection and share your thoughts in the comments—and, of course, bookmark JWA’s Jewish American Heritage Month page and return throughout May to learn more about Jewish women on the stage, from TV, and in other forms of entertainment!  

  • Silent film star Theda Bara was born. more >>
  • Actress Sylvia Sidney, who starred in 1930s-era films opposite Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant, was born. more >>
  • Silent film star Theda Bara was profiled in the New York Times, following her appearance in A Fool There Was in 1915. more >>
  • Actress and comedian Judy Holliday received an Academy Award for her performance in Born Yesterday. more >>
  • Actress Shelley Winters won her first Academy Award for her performance as Mrs. Van Daan in the film version of The Diary of Anne Frank. more >>
  • Actress and producer Goldie Hawn had one of her biggest successes with the opening of the movie Private Benjamin. more >>
  • Natalie Portman was awarded the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Black Swan. more >>
Theda Bara, 1915
Full image
Theda Bara in Carmen, 1915.

How to cite this page

Rozensky, Jordyn. "Moments in History: Jewish Entertainers in Film." 2 May 2013. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 30, 2016) <>.


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