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World War II

Henrietta Szold on Saying Kaddish

Jewish tradition is filled with rituals that help us mark moments of joy and pain, and through which we can honor family members and the values they have passed on to us. Among these are powerful practices around death—such as saying Kaddish (the Jewish prayer for mourners) and sitting shiva. Traditionally, women did not recite the Kaddish or participate in the minyan (prayer quorum) at shiva. In 1916, in an early example of what would be many challenges by women to the restrictions on their participation in Jewish ritual, Henrietta Szold (the founder of Hadassah) defied Jewish tradition and asserted her right to say Kaddish. In the letter featured in this edition of "Go & Learn," Szold politely declines the offer of a male family friend to say Kaddish for her mother and sets out her reasons for reciting it herself.

War, Motherhood, & A Little Cheesecake

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to work with your mother and learn about her life and in doing so discover a completely different person?

Mollie Weinstein Schaffer, 1916 - 2012

My mother, Mollie Weinstein Schaffer, served her country as a WAC (Women’s Army Corps) during World War II. In her later years that service became the focal point of her life. She was very proud of her husband, children, and grandchildren, but she was also proud to be an American Jewish War Veteran.

Naomi Harris Rosenblatt

Naomi Harris Rosenblatt has had a distinguished career in Washington, D.C. as a psychotherapist and Bible teacher. Born in Haifa, she lived in Palestine during the time of the British Mandate and witnessed first hand the birth of the State of Israel. After her marriage to Peter Rosenblatt, a Washington attorney, she moved to the United States, which has been her home ever since.

Lucy Kramer Cohen, 1907 - 2007

“She never put herself in the limelight to lead and yet she was a leader.” This is how Navajo educational leader Joy Hanley, a longtime colleague and friend, described Lucy Kramer Cohen. During the 1930s Lucy campaigned for the rights of Native Americans; she continued to support American Indian causes for the next 50 years. Although she preferred to work behind the scenes, Lucy was exceptionally warm and outgoing — talking with people wherever she went, making friends, learning about their lives.

What can we learn from Jewish women partisans? Jewish Partisan Education Foundation announces 2012 Youth Writing Contest

Thanks to the success of feature film Defiance (2008), Americans now associate the history of Jewish partisans with the hunky Bielski brothers, played by Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jaime Bell. In the film's depiction of their society hidden deep in the forest women contributed by cooking and gathering food but not so much as leaders or fighters. The real story of female Jewish partisans--in the Bielski encampment and elsewhere--is, of course, much richer.

Veteran's Day: Discover stories of Jewish women in the military

Today we honor our all the veterans who served their country, past, present, and future.

Dr. Sabina Zimering's memoirs come to the stage

March 27, 2004

Hiding in the Open, a play based on the memoirs of Holocaust survivor Dr. Sabina Zimering, premiered on March 27, 2004 at the Great American History Theatre in Saint Paul, MN.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "World War II." (Viewed on October 1, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/world-war-ii>.

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