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Letters

Lucy S. Dawidowicz

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.

Bilah Abigail Levy Franks

Bilah “Abigail” Levy Franks’ letters created a portrait of life for Jews in colonial America.

Mrs. Zelickson

We know little about the Canadian pioneer woman known as Mrs. Zelickson. She came to Canada in 1891 and settled in Southern Saskatchewan in the Jewish pioneer colony of Hirsch. In the year 1925, she responded to an on-going discussion in the magazine Nor'-West Farmer on the topic of what a woman was worth. Her response combined a healthy dose of humor and self-assuredness.

"Dear Blu Greenberg": JWA blogger Talia Weisberg's award-winning letter

We are proud to announce that JWA blogger Talia Weisberg, a junior at the Manhattan High School for Girls, New York, won runner-up in the 2012 Letters About Literature contest in New York state. The program has student readers write to an author, living or dead, describing how that author’s work somehow changed the reader’s view of the world or himself/herself. The competition had 14,000 entries this year. State winners comepte at the national level, sponsored by the Library of Congress’ National Center for the Book.

Letters to Jackie

If you’ve watched CNN, CBS “Sunday Morning,” or the PBS “NewsHour” in the past month, you have probably seen grainy, black-and-white clips of President Kennedy’s funeral. The historic footage has accompanied reports on Ellen Fitzpatrick’s powerful new book, Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation. A collection of about 250 letters from the archives at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, Letters to Jackie gives people like the man who wrote “I myself am just a nobody from nowhere” their rightful place in American history. 

Rahel Levin Varnhagen

Varnhagen is remembered in Jewish history as one of a handful of Jewish women who ran intellectual salons in Central Europe, especially Berlin, beginning in the relatively liberal period before the defeat of Napoleon.

Sarra Copia Sullam

The most accomplished, and thus the least typical, Jewish woman writer of early-modern Italy was Sarra Copia Sullam (c. 1592–1641). The details of her life reveal the great opportunities and potential dangers in the life of at least one woman of wealth and talent.

Herz, Henriette

Henriette Herz was already in her fifties when the opportunity arose to fulfill her life’s dream: She traveled to Italy, where she spent almost two years together with her two close friends Dorothea Schlegel and Caroline von Humboldt (1766–1829; wife of Wilhelm). There, far away from Germany, where she had converted from Judaism to Protestantism prior to her departure, she began to write an autobiography. In the early nineteenth century no other German Jewish woman tried to preserve her life in this way.

Sophie Von Grotthuss

In her extensive unpublished correspondence with Wolfgang von Goethe, Sophie von Grotthuss (born Sara Meyer in Berlin) describes her difficult farewell to Judaism. Her mother, a woman possessed by an unnatural hatred of religion, “married [her] off at the age of fifteen to a wretched creature who for ten years made [her] life a hell.” As she frequently wrote, the marriage in 1778 to the merchant Lippman Wulf completely destroyed her. After Wulf’s death in 1788, she revived, traveled a great deal, particularly to the spas of Bohemia, where in 1795 she became acquainted with Goethe, with whom she corresponded until 1824. In 1799 she married the Livonian Baron Ferdinand Dietrich von Grotthuss, who was soon impoverished and became postmaster in Oranienburg. In her later years she was a prolific author. In an unpublished letter to Goethe, dated August 14, 1824, she refers to a novel, a play and several stories, which she was sending him for approval. Apart from the story, “Sophie ou la difference de l’Education,” two unpublished manuscripts, “Opinions of a German Woman, written in Dresden in the summer of 1814,” and a play, The German Governess, her works appear to have been lost.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Letters." (Viewed on September 23, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/letters>.

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