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Columbia University

Kathryn Wasserman Davis, 1907 - 2013

Having skied into her 80s, played tennis into her 90s, and kayaked, swum, painted, traveled and taken on all comers at croquet until this year, Kathryn Wasserman Davis remained a wonder and inspiration to those around her. Recently asked by one of her great-grandchildren to name her favorite day, she instantly replied, “Tomorrow.”

Paula Hyman, 1946 - 2011

 Despite talking on occasion about death, and Paula telling me that rarely did a day go by that she did not think about her own mortality, like most people I preferred to imagine that we all would live forever, or at least long enough.

Paula crammed so much life and accomplishments into her 65 years. She tasted many pleasures, including some—like grandchildren—she had not assumed that she would experience.

Anya Cherneff

A longtime opponent of human trafficking, Anya Cherneff found a new way to literally empower women in Nepal by founding Empower Generation to teach women and girls to become clean energy entrepreneurs.

Danielle Butin

Danielle Butin created the Afya Foundation to bring much-needed medical supplies to crisis-stricken communities, providing aid after the 2010 Haitian earthquake, the 2011 Japanese tsunami, 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, and the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.

Sivan Borowich-Ya'ari

Using Israeli innovations in solar technology, Sivan Borowich-Ya’ari created Innovation: Africa to bring more reliable electricity to developing communities throughout Africa.

Sarah Bavly

As one of the chief nutritionists and dieticians of Palestine and the emerging State of Israel, Sarah Bavly had to improvise workable plans for everything from offering school lunches to feeding boatloads of refugees.

Ziva Amishai-Maisels

As an art historian and curator for Yad Vashem, Ziva Amishai-Maisels became known for her insights into the impact of the Holocaust on modern art.

Deborah Waxman

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.

Nechama Tec

Nechama Tec’s experiences as a child in the Holocaust led to her career highlighting nontraditional stories of the Holocaust, and inspired the movie Defiance.

Yelena Akhtiorskaya

Yelena Akhtiorskaya transmuted her own family’s immigrant experience into her ambitious debut novel, Panic in a Suitcase.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Columbia University." (Viewed on November 28, 2015) <>.


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