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Television

Linda Lavin

Linda Lavin was born on October 15, 1937, in Portland, Maine, to David J. Lavin, owner of a flourishing furniture business, and Lucille (Potter) Lavin, a singer and local radio show host. The Lavins were active participants in the local Jewish community. In 1959, Lavin received her B.A. in theater arts from the College of William and Mary. After struggling to “make it” in Broadway musicals, she became frustrated with the vapid female roles. She switched to drama and was acclaimed for her work in Little Murders, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, and Broadway Bound, which won a Tony Award.

Mariana Kroutoiarskaia

As a composer, music producer and supervisor, Mariana Kroutoiarskaia dedicated her entire life to music, film and television. Perhaps because she usually worked behind the scenes and was of small, delicate stature, she appears initially not to have been acknowledged by many people. But whoever came to know her better was usually overwhelmed by her energy, her love of life and her creative capacity.

Gerda Weissmann Klein

Miraculously, Gerda Weissmann Klein survived the ghetto, deportation, slave-labor camps, and the infamous three-month death march from the Polish-German border to southern Czechoslovakia. As the sole survivor of her family, she has provided the world a glimpse of her ordeal through her written and oral testimonies.

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.

Tziporah H. Jochsberger

In March 1939, Tziporah Jochsberger’s musical talents won her acceptance to the Palestine Academy of Music in Jerusalem, good fortune that ultimately saved her life. Since then, Jochsberger has used her music to stir the Jewish soul.

Jewish Women and Jewish Music in America

American Jewish music has expanded vastly in variety, range, and quality of activities. Jews brought to America their secular-folk and sacred-liturgical musical heritage. There has been a renascence of age-old traditions that have become means of self-expression for Jewish women.

Isabelle Huppert

One of the most famous and most popular French actresses of her generation, Isabelle Anne Huppert was born on March 16, 1953, to a well-to-do family. Her father Raymond was an industrialist, and her mother Annick an English teacher. Huppert is the youngest of their five children, four daughters and one son, all of whom took up professional or artistic careers: Jacqueline (b. September 30,1944) is an academic scholar; Elisabeth (b. June 20,1948), a former director, actress and writer; Caroline (b. October 28,1950), a script-writer and director. Rémi is an author. With her gifted siblings, Huppert spent a protected childhood in a residential neighborhood near Paris. After high school at the St-Cloud Gymnasium, Huppert studied Russian at university and earned a B.A. Encouraged by her parents, she went on to study theater at the Versailles Conservatoire and received a first prize there. She spent one year at the famed Rue Blanche theater school and then entered the prestigious Conservatoire National d’Art Dramatique. Thus began a theatrical career that Huppert has never given up, despite her demanding work for the cinema.

Rokhl Holzer

For Rokhl Holzer, a riveting recital artiste and unforgettable star of the Yiddish stage, acting the part was never enough. She lived and breathed each role, mesmerizing audiences in Poland, Lithuania, Australia, Israel, USA, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden with her ability to transform herself into any character she portrayed. Holzer was also an adept and adored director of the Yiddish theater, a true team worker who brought out the best in all with whom she shared the stage.

Frieda Barkin Hennock

Frieda Barkin Hennock was the first woman to serve on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), where she became the champion of noncommercial educational television. As a Jewish female of foreign birth, she endured a lifetime of undeserved—largely sexist—attacks for everything from excessive aggressiveness to innuendoes of immoral personal conduct. At the same time, she did not hesitate to take advantage of her sparkling feminine charm, sense of high fashion, and occasional flood of tears to manipulate a male-dominated society. As a committed Jew, Hennock also used her contacts with the Jewish community for professional advancement. She said daily prayers and was fluent in Yiddish. She was a devoted and supportive member of her extended family.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Television." (Viewed on March 1, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/television>.

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