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Icons for the New Year: Ray Frank

While seeking stories of transformation this holiday season, most of the tales that have caught my attention involved women who exchanged quiet domestic lives for active involvement in the public sphere. Ray Frank did the opposite: she swapped her life as a trailblazing Jewish leader for one away from the spotlight.

Rachel Ertel

Shaped by Yiddish culture from an early age, Rachel Ertel sparked a love of Jewish studies in others through her work as the most respected scholar of Yiddish in France.

Elisheva Bichovsky

As one of Palestine’s first Hebrew poets, Elisheva Bichovsky helped shape the emerging country’s new literary scene.

My Grandmother, My Mother and I: Finding Our First Tallitot

My grandmother, my mother, and I walked into a store. Sounds like the beginning of a joke, right? Actually, the three of us were on a mission to find a tallit for me. My bat mitzvah was approaching, and, since neither my mom nor my grandmother had a tallit of her own, they both wanted to accompany me.

Remembering Anne Meara: Jewish Mother By Choice

Anne Meara was a Jewess with an attitude. She was born in Brooklyn on September 20, 1929, raised as a Catholic, and died as a Jew in Manhattan on May 23, 2015. Meara studied drama and although she never intended to be a comedian, that’s how she will be remembered by most audiences. What made Meara truly unique was that she exuded her Irish ethnicity while simultaneously taking on the mantle of Jewish wife and mother.

Trude Dothan

One of the foremost biblical archaeologists of her generation, Trude Krakauer Dothan made her mark in 1971 when she helped lead the first Israeli archaeological excavation conducted abroad, which was in Greece.

Helene Cixous

In her rich and prolific writing, feminist thinker Hélène Cixous elided the term “juifemme” (Jewoman) to articulate her complex experiences as “other” in society.

Harriet Perl, 1920 - 2013

Like everyone who took Harriet Perl for English or American literature at Hamilton High School in West Los Angeles, I never forgot her. She was a gifted teacher who gave the job great stature. What came back most vividly when I thought of her was her smile—radiant and affirming—and my joy in getting an A on a book report.

Lonnie Zarum Schaffer

When leadership squabbles threatened to shut down her synagogue after Katrina, Lonnie Zarum Schaffer stepped up and turned the disaster into an opportunity for change and growth.

Ruth Kullman

As president of Touro Synagogue, Ruth Kullman focused on keeping her community together after Katrina.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Religion." (Viewed on October 6, 2015) <>.


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