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Naomi Weisstein, 1939 - 2015

“Papa don’t lay that shit on me, I ain’t your groovy chick.
Papa don’t lay that shit on me, it’s just about to make me sick.”

—Naomi Weisstein in the Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band

Naomi Weisstein was a fierce warrior for justice. She was a passionate disrupter of the existing order. She was a brilliant scientist. She was a fighter for women’s liberation. She was hysterically funny. She had biting insights. She was my beloved friend.

Lisa Edelstein

An actress with a long history of activism, House star Lisa Edelstein organized her first protest at age sixteen as a cheerleader for Donald Trump’s New Jersey Generals, outraged that the cheerleaders were forced to flirt in bars.

Yara Bernette

World-renowned pianist Yara Bernette reached the pinnacle of her career in 1972 when she was chosen from 130 candidates to head the piano program at the Hamburg Music and Performing Arts School.

Odetta Holmes, Singing for the Voiceless

Through her blues music, Holmes inspired people all over America to take a stand for black equality. She performed at numerous rallies, advocating for civil rights for all; in fact, her music is often called the “soundtrack of the Civil Rights movement.” 

Beate Sirota Gordon

Through diplomacy and ingenuity, twenty-two-year-old Beate Sirota Gordon wrote unprecedented rights for women into Japan’s post-war constitution.

Astrith Baltsan

Astrith Baltsan has used her strengths as a musician, director, and scholar to find unconventional and engaging ways to introduce classical music to new audiences.

Chaya Arbel

Raised as a kibbutznik and taught that music was frivolous, Chaya Arbel only began pursuing a musical career in her forties, but went on to become one of Israel’s great modern composers.

Chava Alberstein

In her fifty-years as one of Israel’s most celebrated singer/songwriters, Chava Alberstein has run the gamut from recording pop hits to reviving Yiddish classics.

Hanne Blank

Both as a historian and as a fiction writer, Hanne Blank has questioned how we relate to our bodies and our sexuality, from gender norms to fat-shaming.

Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler

Praised for “Playing like a man,” Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler exploded notions about women pianists with the precision, power, and expressiveness of her performances.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Music." (Viewed on November 26, 2015) <>.


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