Browse this section for short profiles of some of the thousands of Jewish women found throughout jwa.org. We will be adding new profiles to this section regularly and welcome your suggestions for women to add.
Barbara Jacobs Haber focused her civil rights activism on sit-ins and desegregating restaurants and bars.
A musical prodigy who began playing at age three and performing at age four, Ida Haendel continued her passionate violin performances into her late eighties.
Nan Halpern became famous on the vaudeville stage not just for her comic performances but for the rapid costume changes that earned her the nickname “The Wonder Girl.”
Edith Gregor Halpert helped influence American artistic tastes through her galleries championing both modern and folk art.
Anna Halprin was one of the founders of postmodern dance, but her focus has been on dance as a healing art, creating companies for dancers living with HIV and AIDS.
Rose Luria Halprin helped lead Zionist organizations through the tumultuous period of Israeli independence and helped shape international opinions of Zionism. Born to a Zionist family, Halprin served as national president of Hadassah from 1932–1934 before moving to Jerusalem, where she helped build the Hadassah Medical Organization’s new hospital. She aided Jewish settlers fleeing from Arab riots while still calling for Jewish-Arab cooperation.
Julia Horn Hamburger dedicated her career to the health and education of women and children through both Jewish and secular organizations. Hamburger earned a BA in 1903 and taught public school for two years before becoming a teacher of “mental defectives” from 1905 until her marriage in 1910. A long-time volunteer, Hamburger served as vice president of the Maternity Aid Society from 1906–1910 and secretary of the Hebrew National Orphan Home from 1916–1920. In 1921 she helped create the first free kindergarten on the Lower East Side.
Sarah Hamer-Jacklyn’s popular Yiddish tales not only painted a vivid portrait of the lost shtetl of her youth, but also added a dimension male authors of the time had missed: a nuanced and complex picture of the lives of Jewish women.
Ruth Mosko Handler is best known as the inventor of the Barbie doll, but her most important work may be her prosthetics for survivors of breast cancer.
A member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Leah ““Lee” Cohen Harby’s patriotism and her pride in her Southern roots found an outlet in her essays, short stories, and poetry.
Using the slogan, “This woman will clean House,” Jane Harman won the first of her nine terms as a congresswoman before becoming the first woman president and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Janet Simons Harris shepherded the National Council of Jewish Women through one of the most divisive times in its history and led both national and international efforts for women’s rights.
Renee Harris survived tragedy aboard the Titanic to become New York’s first female theater producer.
Reina Goldstein Hartmann focused her career on improving the lives of Jewish women in her native Chicago.
Sylvia Hassenfeld led the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) through the humanitarian crisis of the Soviet Union’s collapse and the massive airlift of Ethiopian Jews.
Rita E. Hauser’s dual background in politics and international law led to her key role in persuading Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization to recognize Israel and renounce terrorism. Hauser graduated from Hunter in 1954, attended both the University of Strasbourg and Harvard Law School, and earned law degrees from the University of Paris in 1958 and NYU in 1959. She served as a speechwriter and campaign strategist for Richard Nixon’s first presidential campaign in 1960.
An Orthodox Jewish feminist, Rivka Haut advocated on behalf of agunot (chained wives) and wrote feminist prayers for Orthodox Jews.
Nancy Miriam Hawley helped found the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, Inc., the organization responsible for writing the best seller Our Bodies, Ourselves, which empowered women to take control of their own health care.
As an actress, Goldie Hawn became known for playing dumb blondes, but behind the camera, she was determined to fulfill her vision as an executive producer and director.
Melissa Hayden showed unparalleled versatility and range in her ballet dancing, prompting choreographers to create roles specifically for her during a career that spanned decades at the top of her profession.
Lina Frank Hecht reorganized a major charitable organization of her day and found creative ways to help poor immigrants help themselves, from technical schools to her unusual Hebrew Ladies Sewing Circle.
Carolyn G. Heilbrun lived two rich and full lives, one as an esteemed scholar of modern British literature, the other as the popular mystery writer Amanda Cross.
Adele Blumenthal Heiman spent her life in Arkansas, helping create and lead the state’s close-knit Jewish community.
Called the “'Top Man' on Broadway” by the New York Woman, Theresa Helburn created a venue for great American playwrights as director of the Theatre Guild and played a key role in the history of the modern American musical.
A scandalous figure who regularly changed details of her life to suit her image, actress Anna Held was best known for her relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "People." (Viewed on September 3, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/toc/H>.