The Encyclopedia features over 1,700 biographies, 300 thematic essays, and 1,400 photographs and illustrations on a wide range of Jewish women through the centuries -- from Gertrude Berg to Gertrude Stein; Hannah Greenebaum Solomon to Hannah Arendt; the Biblical Ruth to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In the course of the second half of the twentieth century momentous changes in the status of women in the more developed societies also deeply impacted on Jewish women worldwide.This review deals with the presence and role of women in critical processes affecting world Jewish population between the 1950s and 2000 in the context of broader trends.
Sociological theory suggests that Jews are likely to be good sociologists, because people positioned on the margins of society (i.e., social outsiders) tend to be astute social observers (Park 1950). Since Jews historically have been the quintessential outsiders, many great sociologists have, in fact, been Jews—particularly Jewish men (e.g., Lewis Coser, Emile Durkheim, Erving Goffman, Irving Louis Horowitz, Herbert Marcuse, Karl Marx, Karl Mannheim, Robert K. Merton, and Georg Simmel), although some did not acknowledge their Jewishness.
Anna Sokolow is a dancer and choreographer whose hundreds of dance works, plays, operas and festivals have reflected the social, political and human conflicts of her time.
Prize-winning poet, author, translator, historian, and communal leader Emily Solis-Cohen was born on March 20, 1886, into one of Philadelphia’s most distinguished Jewish families, whose presence in America dated from the colonial era.
Barbara Miller Solomon, educator and pioneer in women’s history, suggests the transformative role that education could play in individual women’s lives, a theme that also shaped much of her writing.
Bertha Solomon was one of the first women’s rights activists in South Africa. At first as a practicing advocate of the Supreme Court and then during her long career in parliament, she was indefatigable in her fight for women to be treated as equals in the eyes of the law.
Hannah Greenebaum Solomon founded and served as the first president of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW). Solomon brought both leadership and ideological vision to the NCJW, helping it become the premier Jewish women’s organization of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Professor of social economy at Simmons College School of Social Work, Maida Solomon was recognized as a pioneer in the field, along with a very small group of social work professionals who “invented” the field of psychiatric social work and oversaw its definition, its development of standards, and its integration with the other institutions of modern American medicine and education—in short, its professionalism.
Rebecca Solomon’s success as a professional artist was remarkable in the mid-nineteenth century, a time when women artists were the exception rather than the rule.
Hannah Marks Solomons was an influential San Francisco educator and civic worker, as well as the wife of a leading member of the Jewish community.
Rabbi Joseph Dov Soloveitchik (1903–1993) was the undisputed rabbinic leader and leading ideologue of American Modern Orthodoxy for much of the twentieth century.
Sommers made her career in retail dancewear as a designer, business executive, and owner of various ventures. Since taking ballet and tap classes as a child, dance had been her passion, professionally and socially.
By founding and editing the American Jewess, Rosa Sonneschein not only provided support and space for the emerging national network of Jewish clubwomen and created a forum in which to publicize her then unconventional views on Zionism, but also pioneered a professional role in journalism for American Jewish women.
In her essays, or "case-studies," examining art and the "modern sensibility," Susan Sontag covered topics from photography to illness to fascism. One of the most widely read cultural critics of her generation, she was a lightning rod for both praise and vilification.
The first known cultural entrepreneur in southern Brazil, German-born Eva Sopher has fostered music, dance, and especially theater in Porto Alegre and its environs for over forty years.
Sotah (beginning in Talmudic literature) is the term for a woman suspected of adultery, who must undergo an ordeal that will establish her guilt or innocence.
The Mishnaic Tractate Sotah, which appears in the Order of Women (Nashim), between Tractates Nazir and Gittin, deals mainly with the trial by ordeal undergone in the Temple by a sotah, a woman whose husband suspected her of adultery.
Alice Hyneman Sotheran, author, lecturer, and reviewer for a variety of magazines in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, wrote about women’s work and women’s issues.
The South African Jewish community is a highly organized, relatively affluent community, estimated at between eighty thousand and ninety thousand Jews in 2001—less than two percent of the total white population and 0.5 percent of the total population. Despite these small numbers and continuing emigration, the South African community remains one of the twelve largest Jewish communities in the world.
Written histories of the Jews in Spain have rarely included women. When dealing with Jewish women in Spain, the available sources range from poems, letters, and rabbinic literature to Latinate wills, court records and Inquisition documents.
While many of her critics marginalize Spark as a “Catholic writer,” it is clear that the wit, intelligence and subversiveness of her fiction are driven not by an unchanging morality but by a radical singularity.
Bertha Kaplan Spector was a bacteriologist whose authoritative research helped to control an epidemic of amebic dysentery during the Chicago Century of Progress World’s Fair. Her work contributed to a better understanding of the disease, as well as to new standards of hygiene.
The only one of her immediate family to survive the Nazi holocaust, Johanna Spector decided in the aftermath of World War II to devote herself to the study of Jewish music. Since then, her ethnomusicological studies have documented the culture of some of the most exotic of Jewish communities.
Gladys Noon Spellman, whose participation in American politics culminated in her service as a Democratic congresswoman for over seven years, coincided with a period of American politics in which Jews were becoming increasingly visible, both as voters and as elected officials. As a minority figure wielding power on the political scene, Gladys Noon Spellman was a model for both Jews and women in America.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Encyclopedia." (Viewed on September 2, 2014) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/toc>.