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.
Sophie Rabinoff used the skills she honed as a doctor in Palestine to improve health care in some of the worst slums in New York.
A gifted comedian, Gilda Radner made a name for herself as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live
Luise Rainer made history as both the first person to win multiple Academy Awards and the first to win them consecutively.
Alexandra “Aly” Raisman not only won gold and bronze medals for her individual performances at the 2012 Olympics but captained the women’s gymnastic team that won the gold medal that year.
Ayn Rand sparked a new ethical philosophy called Objectivism with the principles laid out in her novels including the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
Lydia Rapoport’s contributions to crisis theory transformed how social workers and therapists handle crisis intervention.
One of the top opera sopranos of her time, Judith Raskin shone on stage and taught her students to stop thinking about “the Voice” as separate from themselves.
A Labor Bund activist who joined the Russian Revolution, Miriam Raskin went on to write stories of ordinary people challenged by extraordinary circumstances.
A social reformer ahead of her time, Bertha Floersheim Rauh initiated dozens of vital services and completely overhauled Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Welfare.
Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush followed in the footsteps of her famous father, Louis Brandeis, by becoming a leader in labor legislation and helping lay the groundwork for the New Deal.
Cecilia Razovsky found countless ways to help Jewish refugees, from writing plays and pamphlets that changed public opinion to running numerous committees and organizations for immigrant aid.
Sarah Reisen was both a gifted Yiddish writer in her own right and a respected translator of great literature into Yiddish for children and adults.
A gifted pianist, Nadia Reisenberg used her talents to connect with others, from her acclaimed performances with her sister to her years of training musicians in New York and Jerusalem.
The second female American astronaut to travel into space, Judith Resnik is remembered for her death in the tragic Challenger explosion.
Undaunted by changes to her voice, opera singer Regina Resnik reinvented herself multiple times in her career, taking on unexpected new roles.
Freda Resnikoff helped found the group that would become Mizrachi Women (later called AMIT) and set an example of leadership for generations of women in her family.
Adrienne Cecile Rich used her poetry as a means to reclaim the voices of the silenced, drawing from her own experience as a woman and lesbian.
A polarizing and important social reformer, Julia Richman sought to better manage the massive influx of immigrants in New York by Americanizing the new arrivals as quickly as possible.
Laura Riding was as known in literary circles for her tumultuous personal life as for her exceptional poetry, regularly changing her name to mark transformative moments in her life.
Esther Leah Medalie Ritz defended human rights throughout the myriad conflicts of the twentieth century, from fighting fascism in the 1930s to participating in Israeli-Palestinian dialogue in the 1980s.
Joan Rivers carved a place for herself among the Hollywood elite as a comedian and fashion commentator for whom no subject was ever taboo.
Nacha Rivkin transformed education for Orthodox girls by utilizing new models of education at the girls’ yeshiva she helped found.
Accustomed as a shlucha (Chabad emissary) to helping those in her community, Bluma Rivkin went into action after Hurricane Katrina, first with the pressing concerns of finding housing and aid for evacuees, then with the larger task of rebuilding the community.
Lilly Rivlin has used her skills as a historian and documentary filmmaker to capture Jewish history in the making.
Betty Robbins spent her life breaking gender boundaries in the Jewish community even before she made history as the first woman cantor in 1955.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Profiles." (Viewed on August 1, 2015) <http://jwa.org/people/toc/R>.