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Memoirs

Maxine Kumin, 1925 - 2014

It is thrilling to be celebrating Maxine Kumin as a Jewish women, for although Kumin was determinedly secular, she is for me a quintessential woman of valor, one who was both practical and compassionate, who in her life and her art followed the command “therefore choose life.” Among those of us who have been traveling in her wake for decades, she was and is a model of how to live, as well as how to write, courageously and sanely, with artistic craft and generosity, out of a profound love of our shared life.

Hayuta Busel

As a widowed pioneer and young mother, Hayuta Busel fought to expand options for women in Palestine.

Melissa Gilbert

After a highly successful decade as the lead on Little House on the Prairie, Melissa Gilbert defied the odds for child actors by becoming a Hollywood power-broker as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001–2005.

Hemdah Ben-Yehuda

Hemdah Ben-Yehuda collaborated with her husband, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, to revive ancient Hebrew and make it a truly functional living language.

Sara Azaryahu

In hopes of creating a place where neither her religion nor her gender would make her a second-class citizen, Sara Azaryahu dedicated herself to founding a Jewish state, but was disappointed by the sexism that remained in her society.

Myriam Anissimov

Joking that she is a Yiddish writer working in French, novelist Myriam Anissimov has been celebrated for her portrayal of the difficulties faced by children of Holocaust survivors.

Helen Yglesias

In her many novels, Helen Yglesias returned to the themes of her own life: women defying convention and finding the courage to start over.

Bessie Thomashefsky

With suffragette spirit and comedic skill, Bessie Thomashefsky adapted great American and British plays for Yiddish-speaking audiences, from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to Oscar Wilde.

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.

Kate Simon

Kate Simon’s raw, honest account of her life in her three-volume memoir was hailed by the New York Times Book Review as “a classic of autobiography.”

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Memoirs." (Viewed on May 30, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/memoirs>.

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