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Beatrice Kaufman

Regarded as one of the wittiest women in New York during the 1930s and 1940s, Beatrice Kaufman edited important works of modernist poetry and fiction, published short stories of her own in the New Yorker, and saw several of her plays produced on Broadway.

Fay Kanin

Over a sixty-year career as a writer, actor, coproducer, and activist, Fay Kanin was awarded several Emmys and Peabodys, the ACLU Bill of Rights Award, the Crystal Award from Women in Film, the Burning Bush Award from the University of Judaism, and nominations for Oscar and Tony awards. She served as President of the Motion Picture Academy for an unprecedented four terms (1983-1988).

Miriam Kainy

“Men have been running this world for thousands of years. Obviously in a lousy fashion. Now it’s our turn.” These words are typical of Miriam Kainy, winner of the Israel Prime Minister’s Literary Prize in 1997, who regards herself as the “big mamma” of Israeli women playwrights—a claim which is difficult to contest.

Helen Joseph

An internationally renowned puppeteer and author on marionettes, Helen Haiman Joseph made a career entertaining and educating audiences of all ages with the performance of puppetry.

Anna Maria Jokl

“Man vergisst nichts, nichts” (One forgets nothing, nothing, Essenzen, 106), says Anna Maria Jokl in her book Essenzen (1993), when, in her seventies, she looks back at her life—a life that struggles against forgetting, a life shaped by persecution, exile and repeated new beginnings in different places.

Janie Jacobson

Combining her Jewish background with her skill and penchant for writing, Janie Jacobson succeeded as a biblical playwright. The children’s plays she authored were performed nationally.

Edith Somborn Isaacs

She was born in New York City on June 18, 1884. After graduating from Barnard College, in 1910 she married Stanley M. Isaacs, with whom she had two children, Myron (b. 1911) and Helen (nicknamed Casey, b. 1913). When Stanley Isaacs ran for office (he served as Manhattan borough president from 1938 through 1941, and later as Republican minority leader on the City Council), Edith Isaacs ran his campaigns. She described her work as writing clever jingles for him, “corralling and instructing volunteers, drafting letters to constituents, working with experts on newspaper articles and advertising, and after the election, writing letters of thanks to all who helped.”

Holocaust Literature

Studies of women and the Holocaust, or gender and the Holocaust, are part of a dynamic, evolving field. As part of literary studies, their approaches draw upon the many other fields and methodological approaches, such as history of the Holocaust, gender history, psychology, trauma theory, literary theory, life writing, women’s studies, religious studies and gender theory.

Judith Herzberg

Judith Herzberg has created an extensive body of work during the more than thirty years that she has been active. She has written poems, essays, plays, film scripts and television dramas, and has many translations and adaptations to her name. Judith Herzberg made her debut as a poet at the beginning of the sixties. During the seventies she began to write for the stage, stimulated by the Institute for Theater Research of Nederland.

Hebrew Theater: Yishuv to the Present

From its beginnings early in the twentieth century, Hebrew theater was the province of men. With the exception of a few trailblazers such as Miriam Bernstein-Cohen, who translated and produced plays, it was not until the 1980s that women writers and directors began to work in the Israeli theater. Of all the theatrical professions, only actresses had truly been partners in the enterprise of reviving Hebrew culture. It is therefore appropriate to begin with several of the most important of these and to go on from there to playwrights and directors.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Plays." (Viewed on November 29, 2015) <>.


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