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.
During the Depression, Dorothy C. Kahn helped pioneer social work as a service provided by the government to all who needed it, instead of the responsibility of just private or religious charities.
Florence Prag Kahn made history as the first Jewish woman to serve in Congress, first filling her husband’s seat and then in her own right, with Alice Roosevelt Longworth commenting that she was “the equal of any man in Congress, and the superior of most.”
Madeline Kahn acted in dramas and musicals on stage, film, and television, but she was best known for her comedic roles as Mel Brooks’s favorite female lead.
Called “publishing’s grande dame of detective stories” by the LA Times in 1988, Joan Kahn had such a gift for choosing and editing bestselling mystery novels that her publisher put her name on their book covers to entice readers.
Through her celebrated satirical poetry, Mascha Kaléko voiced her experience of the growing threat of Nazism in Germany and the pain of being a refugee.
A distinguished performer, Bertha Kalich performed 125 roles in seven languages and became the first actress to make the transition from Yiddish theater to mainstream American drama in film, radio, and on stage.
With her typical ingenuity, Lizzie Black Kander turned the recipe book she made for a cooking class for new immigrants into a two-million-copy bestseller.
Ilona Karmel wrote two powerful novels based on her experiences in the Holocaust and its aftermath.
Bel Kaufman used her experiences as a public school teacher as fodder for her bestselling novel, Up the Down Staircase.
As the first woman to serve as chief judge of the state of New York, Judith S. Kaye transformed the state’s entire court system to better handle its overwhelming caseload.
Both in her activism and in her writing, Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz offered Jews new ways to think about and fight racism.
Evelyn Fox Keller’s work in gender, biology, and the history of science led her to question the gendered metaphors and assumptions of biologists and sociologists, which often blinded them to basic scientific facts.
A pioneer of the Jewish multicultural movement, Loolwa Khazoom helped promote Sephardic and Mizrahi culture and priorities within the larger Jewish community.
Clare Kinberg’s editing of the Jewish feminist journal Bridges put authors from across the spectrum of the Jewish, feminist, and activist communities in conversation with each other.
Carole King not only wrote many of the best-loved songs of the 1960s and ‘70s, she was a performer in her own right, winning several Grammys for her music.
From Free to Be … You and Me to Women of the Wall, Francine Klagsbrun pushed to change what possibilities were open for women.
As executive director of Keshet, a non-profit dedicated to creating a welcoming and supportive Jewish community for GLBTQ Jews, Idit Klein built the organization into a national leader in making the Jewish community more inclusive.
Sharon Kleinbaum’s longtime leadership of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah and her outspoken activism have made her a powerful voice for GLBTQ rights and human rights in America and around the world.
Blanche W. Knopf made the publishing firm she shared with her husband one of the most respected in the world, bringing some of the greatest American and European thinkers of the twentieth century to an American audience.
Wanting to somehow contribute to the defeat of the Nazis persecuting her fellow Jews, Bebe Koch enlisted at age nineteen and rose through the ranks to become a platoon commander.
Rebekah Bettelheim Kohut spent her life caring for others, from managing domestic responsibilities for her sick husband and eight stepchildren to great causes like rebuilding Jewish communities after World War I.
One of the first women rabbis ordained, Bonnie Koppell became the first woman rabbi to serve as a US military chaplain.
Mathilde Krim made tremendous contributions to fighting AIDS both directly as a scientist and through fundraising as the creator of AmFAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research.
Maxine Kumin explored her position as a Jewish woman in the larger Christian culture through her highly acclaimed poetry, and fought to ensure equal representation for minorities in the Academy of American Poets.
Madeline Kunin broke ground as the first woman governor of Vermont and the only woman to serve three terms as governor before making history again as ambassador to Switzerland, facilitating compensation from Swiss banks to Holocaust survivors.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "People." (Viewed on August 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/toc/K>.