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 Copeland was the epitome of a strong woman with a remarkable career, first as a record-setting Olympic medalist and later as an officer in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
Starting her career at a time when American fashion slavishly copied Paris designs, Jo Copeland created glamorous outfits that were uniquely American.
Lucille Corcos was celebrated as one of the foremost “modern primitivist” painters in America, creating scenes where the outside walls of buildings fell away to reveal the lives of those within.
Gerty Cori’s work on carbohydrate metabolism, which changed our understanding of diabetes and other diseases, earned her the Nobel Prize for Medicine, making her the first American woman and third woman ever given the honor.
Sociologist Rose Laub Coser redefined major concepts in role theory—the idea that our actions are largely dictated by our roles in society—and applied them to expectations of women’s roles in the family and the workplace.
As one of the founders of the Jewish healing movement, Rachel Cowan blended modern holistic medicine and counseling with traditional Jewish rituals and prayers to help change how people responded to illness.
Selma Kantor Cronan flew as a pilot both running transport missions during WWII and later as a civilian, winning competitive aerial races.
Ophthalmologist Ray Karchmer Daily fought to eliminate the subtle barriers that kept others from succeeding, arguing for dormitories for female medical students and free school lunches for needy children.
Helen Miller Dalsheimer took on leadership roles both locally through her synagogue, the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, and on a national level.
Shoshana Damari’s lush voice and her fusion of Eastern and Western musical aesthetics made her the voice of a generation in Israeli music.
Lili Darvas earned praise for acting both classic and modern roles with great dramatic range and, as critic Harold Clurman put it, “the dignity of sound human instincts.”
Annette Daum combined interfaith dialogue and feminism in the hopes of both defusing anti-Semitism in the feminist movement and finding solutions to the common problems facing women in different faiths.
Rita Charmatz Davidson’s career in the Maryland court system was a series of firsts, leading to her 1979 appointment as the first woman on the Maryland Court of Appeals, the highest judicial body in the state.
Carrie Dreyfuss Davidson became an important voice for women in the Conservative Movement as a founder of United Synagogue’s Women’s League and founding editor of their journal Outlook.
Through her investigation of court records, pamphlets, and other nontraditional sources, historian Natalie Zemon Davis created vivid pictures of the lives of ordinary people in medieval and renaissance France, particularly in her wildly popular 1983 book, The Return of Martin Guerre.
Congresswoman Susan Davis, the first Democrat in more than fifty years to serve more than one term for California’s 53rd district, has repeatedly fought for women’s health issues on both a state and local level.
Lucy S. Dawidowicz believed that her passion for the shtetls she had known and her experiences working with Holocaust survivors in postwar Germany made her a better historian.
Doctor Frances Allen de Ford pioneered hygiene initiatives in the malaria-ridden, working-class Kensington district of Philadelphia.
A scholar of international relations, Vera Dean helped shape American foreign policy through her writing.
A founder of the neoconservative movement, Midge Decter delighted in challenging liberal views and acting as a thorn in the side of the feminist movement. Decter entered publishing in 1948 as a secretary to the editor of Commentary before becoming an editor at Midstream, Commentary, Harper’s, and Basic Books, where she remained until 1980.
Katya Delakova was a pioneer of Jewish dance, blending folk traditions, Hasidic worship, modern dance, and improvisation.
Through her art and work, Sonia Delaunay blurred the lines between poetry, fashion, and fine art.
Florence Levin Denmark helped found the field of women’s psychology and built crucial support for it in academic circles.
Maya Deren became one of the most important avant-garde filmmakers of her time for her use of experimental editing techniques and her fascination with ecstatic religious dances.
In her poetry, novels, and translations, Babette Deutsch interwove elements of vastly different cultures and times, from the Bible and Shakespeare to Russian and Japanese literature.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "People." (Viewed on February 1, 2015) <http://jwa.org/people>.