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.
Janie Jacobson’s love of Jewish tradition led her to create biblical children’s plays that were performed nationwide.
Anna Jacobson fought to continue teaching German language and literature at Hunter College throughout the 1930s and 1940s, at a time when many schools suppressed all things German.
Jean Jaffe’s career was doubly remarkable: she was a field reporter at a time when women were usually relegated to the society pages and a Yiddish-language journalist at a time when most American reporters wrote in English.
Marie Jahoda was a major figure in psychology for her work on the effects of unemployment on emotional well-being as well as the social impact of McCarthy-era blacklisting.
Laura Margolis Jarblum’s deft management of wartime social services on three different continents for the Joint Distribution Committee saved the lives of thousands.
It took until she was eighty-two for Marie Grunfeld Jastrow to find a publisher for her autobiographies, but her two compelling memoirs of coming of age as a Jewish immigrant in New York touched audiences deeply.
Known for her long-time collaboration with Merchant Ivory Films, novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala is the only writer to have won both a Booker Prize and the Academy Award for her work.
Having escaped the Holocaust on the strength of her musical talents, Tziporah H. Jochsberger went on to use music to instill Jewish pride in her students.
Lydia Joel began her dance career as a performer, but it was as the editor of Dance Magazine that she had the greatest impact on the field.
Regina Jonas made history as the first woman rabbi after writing a thesis arguing for the halakhic permissibility of women’s ordination.
Rashida Jones has starred in dozens of films, but is best known for her roles on TV shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation.
Geri M. Joseph distinguished herself both as a journalist covering vital stories and as US ambassador to the Netherlands during a diplomatic crisis.
Called the “grandmother of American puppetry“ for her definitive history of puppets and marionettes, Helen Haiman Joseph was also known for her own practice of the craft as a talented designer and director.
Hannah Jukovsky made headlines when she organized a boycott of standardized testing to draw attention to class and race inequities in Massachusetts public schools.
Esther Jungreis played a significant role in drawing nonobservant young Jews to Orthodox Judaism through her dynamic public speaking and her organization, Hineni.
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.”
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.
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.
Told that women could only write movies about dating and relationships, Fay Kanin defied conventional wisdom to write award-winning dramas about subjects ranging from prostitution to deaths in Vietnam.
The first woman allowed to train with male judo students at Japan’s judo headquarters, the Kodokan, Rena “Rusty” Kanokogi pioneered women’s judo as an Olympic sport.
Anna Kaplan helped transform nursing in Israel by holding it to the best standards of medical care from around the world.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "People." (Viewed on December 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people>.