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History

Excerpts from the writings of Regina Jonas

I believe that the question of whether a woman may make halachic decisions as a Rabbinerin may very clearly be seen as permitted, and it is not necessary to continue to linger over this matter . . . Just as both female doctors and teachers in time have become a necessity from a psychological standpoint, so has the female rabbi. There are even some things that women can say to youth, which cannot be said by the man in the pulpit. Her experiences, her psychological observations a profoundly different from those of a man, therefore she has a different style . . .

Rose Kaplan

Despite her own failing health, Rose Kaplan insisted on nursing Jewish settlers in Palestine and refugees in Egypt and inspired others to follow her example.

Commemorating Rabbi Regina Jonas

This October marks the 70th anniversary of the death of Regina Jonas, the first woman ever ordained as a rabbi. Born in Berlin in 1902, Jonas began talking to friends about her desire to become a rabbi when she was still a teen, and later studied under Eduard Banath, who oversaw ordination for the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums, a liberal, nondenominational seminary in Berlin. But when Banath died in 1930, Jonas struggled to find another rabbi willing to ordain her. She argued brilliantly for the possibility of women becoming rabbis and eventually won over Rabbi Max Dienemann, executive director of the Conference of Liberal Rabbis, in 1935.

Anna Kaplan

Anna Kaplan helped transform nursing in Israel by holding it to the best standards of medical care from around the world.

Whose Labor Day Is It Anyway?

Ron Ashkenas’ recent post for Forbes about Labor Day has me feeling unsettled, and I finally know why. In his article, Ashkenas explains that the “real purpose [of Labor Day] was to serve as a tribute to the working class — the men and women whose physical, and largely manual, labor had built the country.” He goes on to bemoan (as we have in the past) how the meaning of Labor Day has been lost in end-of-summer soirees and all-American barbeques. So far, I’m totally onboard with his argument. We should find more meaningful ways to commemorate the people who built this country, brick by brick.

Helen Joseph

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.

Tziporah H. Jochsberger

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.

Laura Margolis Jarblum

Laura Margolis Jarblum’s deft management of wartime social services on three different continents for the Joint Distribution Committee saved the lives of thousands.

Marie Jahoda

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.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "History." (Viewed on September 30, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/history>.

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