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Religion

Miriam Kressyn

Miriam Kressyn was that rare talent known as much for her performances as for her work offstage as a historian of the Yiddish theater.

Isa Kremer

A former star of the Russian Imperial Opera, Isa Kremer insisted on singing Yiddish songs to instill pride in Jewish audiences despite rampant anti-Semitism.

Lyalya Kaufman

The daughter of the acclaimed writer Sholom Aleichem and the mother of celebrated novelist Bel Kaufman, Lyalya Kaufman was revered in her own right for her thousands of vignettes and short stories in Yiddish.

Miriam Karpilove

Miriam Karpilove’s wildly popular Yiddish stories explored the tensions and frustrations Jewish women faced at the turn of the century—the desire for secular education, the hunger to participate in a wider culture, and the hardships of immigration.

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.

Regina Kaplan

Regina “Kappy” Kaplan helped break down gender barriers in medicine by creating the first nursing school in the South that admitted male students.

Mordecai Kaplan

The founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, Mordecai Kaplan struck a fundamental blow for women’s participation in Jewish ritual with the bat mitzvah of his eldest daughter, Judith.

Jean Jaffe

Jean Jaffe’s career was doubly remarkable: she was a field reporter at a time when women were usually relegated to the society pages and a Yiddish-language journalist at a time when most American reporters wrote in English.

Janie Jacobson

Janie Jacobson’s love of Jewish tradition led her to create biblical children’s plays that were performed nationwide.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Religion." (Viewed on October 2, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/religion>.

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