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.
Lillian D. Wald’s dedication to serving poor and working-class communities as a nurse and organizer transformed health care in America.
As a counselor for students at Louisiana State University’s Medical School, Mollie Wallick became an advocate for gay and lesbian students both at the university and in the larger community.
When told she was too young to be a socialist, Anna Strunsky Walling claimed that she’d been born with her passion for socialism as much as she’d been born with her talent for writing.
Barbara Walters became a household name in television journalism for her adept, exclusive interviews with some of the most noted people on the world stage, from Katherine Hepburn and Princess Grace of Monaco to Fidel Castro and Vladimir Putin.
As the first woman elected to the New Orleans Criminal District Court, Miriam Waltzer fought for the civil rights of minorities, children, and women.
Frieda Schiff Warburg’s determination to carry on her father’s philanthropic traditions led her to support and shape major Jewish institutions in America and Israel.
Having experienced the sexism rampant in higher education herself, Elga Ruth Wasserman guided Yale through the difficult process of becoming a co-ed university.
Dora Wasserman created a place for Yiddish theater in Canada by founding a theater and adapting great works of Yiddish literature for the stage.
In 1989, Wendy Wasserstein not only won the Pulitzer Prize for The Heidi Chronicles, she became the first woman playwright to win a Tony Award.
In 2014, Rabbi Deborah Waxman became the first woman (and first lesbian) to simultaneously lead both a seminary and a congregational organization as head of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities.
Gertrude Webb’s compassion for struggling students led her to found programs for teaching both children and adults with learning disabilities.
A dedicated activist for women’s rights and racial equality, Gertrude Weil showed that local, small-scale political action could have far-reaching effects.
Called the Harriet Tubman of the Jewish domestic violence movement, Hanna Ruderman Weinberg both helped individuals escape their abusers and consulted on national domestic violence organizations.
A career serving the Jewish Federation brought Jill Weinberg to her life’s work as the first director of the Midwest Regional Office of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
As founding director of EZRA, Anita Weinstein created local and far-reaching programs to relieve hunger and homelessness.
Ruth Weisberg’s art helped bring the Reform Movement’s Open Door Haggadah to life with inclusive, feminist imagery.
Trude Weiss-Rosmarin made great advances for women’s involvement in Jewish life through the schools she created and her editorship of the Jewish Spectator.
Naomi Weisstein’s career ran the gamut from feminist rock musician to groundbreaking psychologist to stand-up comedian.
Ruth Westheimer balanced unabashed practical advice about sexual health and safety with a playful sense of humor to educate the public and break down social taboos against discussing sex.
Hannah Wilke used her art to transform perceptions of the vagina, the nude female form, and her own cancer-ridden body.
Pearl Willen’s term as president of the National Council of Jewish Women from 1963–1967 capped a long career of community organizing from the local to the international level.
An actress who cared deeply about the world, Shelley Winters donated the Oscar she won for her role as Mrs. Van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank to Otto Frank.
Louise Waterman Wise spent her career caring for Jewish refugees and lost souls of all kinds, from American orphans to Holocaust survivors.
Frustrated with Jewish organizations that geared their offerings for women’s involvement around the interests and schedules of stay-at-home mothers, Carol Wise forged a more welcoming place for professional women in the Jewish community.
Ruth R. Wisse made major contributions to Yiddish literature as both a scholar and an editor.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Profiles." (Viewed on July 29, 2015) <http://jwa.org/people/toc/W>.