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Holocaust

Adele Rosenwald Levy

Philanthropist Adele Rosenwald Levy demonstrated her leadership skills and her passion for the Jewish community when she helped inspire American Jews to donate even more to aid Holocaust survivors than they had given to support the war effort.

Nora Levin

While her books sparked controversy among historians, Nora Levin helped shape popular understanding of modern Jewish history.

Blume Lempel

Told repeatedly from an early age that girls were not worth educating and that uneducated people couldn’t be writers, Blume Lempel defied expectations to write beautiful, unusually modernist Yiddish literature.

Malka Lee

Malka Lee’s lyrical Yiddish poems won over both critics and general American Jewish audiences, but it was her work dedicated to the family she lost in the Holocaust that had the most lasting impact.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Ruth Westheimer balanced unabashed practical advice about sexual health and safety with a playful sense of humor to educate the public and break down social taboos against discussing sex.

Ruth Klüger

Through her scholarship and her memoir about her experiences in the Holocaust, Ruth Klüger challenged popular assumptions about history, memory, and the role of women in society.

Gerda Weissmann Klein

Gerda Weissmann Klein used her experiences in the Holocaust to write children’s books that helped children grapple with difficult subjects.

Excerpts from the writings of Regina Jonas

The words of Regina Jonas continue to resonate with today’s rabbis. This past summer, at the dedication of a memorial plaque to Regina Jonas at Terezin by the United States Commision for the Preservation of American Heritage Abroad, the first four American women rabbis honored their foremother Regina Jonas by reading the passages from her writings excerpted below.    

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.

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.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Holocaust." (Viewed on November 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/holocaust>.

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