This growing online collection contains reminiscences of a variety of recently deceased American Jewish women who made a difference in their community and beyond.
I think Yiddish should be a living language, and we should certainly try to perpetuate something that has been so beautiful and has been around for a thousand years.
Judy Wilkenfeld brought people together, made everyone with whom she came into contact better, and became a close and trusted friend, confidante, mentor, and role model to so many people with whom she worked.
I have decided it doesn’t do anybody concerned any harm for a woman to take on a worthwhile project.
To the credit of the nuns, my Jewish search was encouraged, my questions were never cut short, and a patient effort was made consistently to answer me.
She didn’t want to be known as the girl with cancer. She wanted to be known as a social justice activist, as someone working to repair the world.
Ann Lane was a bold advocate not simply for women but, even more important, for feminist scholarship.
She is remembered as a dynamic, inspiring leader, full of energy, writing and speaking internationally … making friends wherever she went.
Her teacher and piano were important in her life, but her Jewish identity and heritage were even more so. She was involved in many Jewish causes and organizations and was a proud supporter of Israel, especially in her life-long devotion to Hadassah.
She worked hard and organized. She would call parents cold when she learned they had a problem. “We don’t want to intrude,” she’d say, “but we can help.”
In 1998, at the age of 91, she took up kayaking, making regular excursions on the Hudson River and along the coast and on the lakes of Maine. As a result of these experiences, she became a significant supporter of environmental organizations.
The legacy of Nancy Popkin Popkin, who danced on my coffee table at her 80th birthday party, is her unrelenting determination to celebrate life, family, and friends, with an abundantly generous spirit and a refusal to let even significant losses stand in her way.
Lerner's life experience equipped her to resist conformity—in particular, questioning the societal norms insisting that women had no history.
In the 1970s, I was a vigorous believer that women needed better representation in business and society, and I worked hard to make that happen. I doubt my demeanor resembled the TV-film stereotype of the obedient, dutiful babe in the background.
I most value the example Dorrit set with her integrity, modesty, and precision in teaching, advising, and scholarship. She was respectful and generous with her time, and she never overstepped.
She believed deeply in the enduring importance of feminism, a political force which transformed the world but one Lynn believed had much more to accomplish. She was a deep believer in social justice and also in the centrality and needs of the State of Israel."
In addition to being a great friend to many and a loving mother, daughter, and sister, she was a Tzaddik.
For decades and well into her 90s she turned age on its head, subverting its preconceptions, making it an adventure.
From 1963-2009, she developed a contemporary theater for children. The shows intimately reflected a child’s world.
She taught in such a simple, loving way and made everyone feel safe. “You're allowed to mess up here,” she would say. “It's OK to fall.”
This beautiful, wise and not-so-organized woman [was] not only a superb organizer but also an inspiring teacher and a colleague who exemplified what it means to meet one’s obligations to the human family.
For all her acerbic humor, she was always warm to me. For all her Jewish disconnection, she felt utterly Jewish to me.
Rich’s commitment to social justice that characterized her sustained engagement in the world emerged from the provocation and the aspiration that was her Jewishness.
I will remember Myra as a giving, passionate, courageous fighter for social justice for all and a lover of Israel and the Jewish people.
We are finally in Paris and you can see that the Americans took over the situation. Can you imagine—ME—with the “handle” that I’ve got using Hitler’s stationery?
Not afraid to make enemies and blessed with many loyal friends, [she] was unrelenting and consistent in upholding the highest standards for rigor and clarity in philosophy and in academia more generally.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "We Remember." (Viewed on July 30, 2014) <http://jwa.org/weremember>.