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.
A gifted comedian, Gilda Radner made a name for herself as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live
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.
The second female American astronaut to travel into space, Judith Resnik is remembered for her death in the tragic Challenger explosion.
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.
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.
Betty Robbins spent her life breaking gender boundaries in the Jewish community even before she made history as the first woman cantor in 1955.
Claudia Roden brought the delights of Middle Eastern cuisine to the kitchens of post-war Great Britain with her thoughtfully researched and inviting cookbooks and food writing.
Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn has helped shape the art world both directly as curator of three art galleries and indirectly as the host of salons where artists of all stripes have met and begun surprising collaborations. Greenberg Rohatyn studied art at Vassar and NYU before becoming a private curator and advisor, making connections between prospective patrons, including hip-hop legend and filmmaker Jay-Z, and up-and-coming artists. She continued to forge such connections through her salons, and nurture and advise artists whose potential she recognizes.
A prolific journalist, essayist and novelist, Anne Roiphe is known for tackling issues of feminism and Jewish identity in her writing.
An early feminist who inspired Susan B. Anthony, Ernestine Rose was particularly remarkable for her insistence that women’s rights and slave emancipation needed to be approached as one issue: the freedom of all people.
Gladys Rosen created resources for educators and the wider community that changed how people approached Jewish history and culture.
When Ethel Rosenberg was accused of treason alongside her husband and executed after one of the most controversial trials in American history, her guilt or innocence became secondary to what her treatment said about the position of Jews in America.
Anna Lederer Rosenberg was a significant political force long before becoming the first female assistant secretary of defense.
Bobbie Rosenfeld wasn’t just an Olympic medalist, she was quite possibly the most versatile athlete of all time.
Ida Cohen Rosenthal not only created the modern bra, she helped found Maidenform, Inc. and make it the most successful bra manufacturer in the world.
Through her photography, Joan Roth captured powerful and unexpected images of women—from homeless women in New York to Ethiopian Jews being airlifted to Israel.
While Lillian Roth’s career as an actress and musician was derailed by her alcoholism and mental illness, the painful story of her life made her autobiography an international bestseller.
Vivian Leburg Rothstein’s early experiences fighting for civil rights led her to a long career advocating for peace, women’s rights, and the labor movement.
As chief of Cook County Bureau of Health Services, Ruth Rothstein helped Chicago hospitals create a better safety net for the disadvantaged.
Selling face cream to Depression–era housewives and teaching makeup tricks to film vamp Theda Bara, Helena Rubinstein built a global beauty empire. Rubinstein worked as her father’s bookkeeper and studied medicine before immigrating to Australia in 1902.
Muriel Rukeyer’s poetry reflected her passionate activism and her belief in confronting the truth of her lived experience.
At a time when the Jewish community was focused on the benefits of assimilation and the possibilities of ethical culture, Esther Jane Ruskay argued passionately for a return to traditional religious practice and study.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "People." (Viewed on October 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/toc/R>.