After graduating from the University of Leningrad with honors, Janna Kaplan worked in the Soviet space program. She studied the echo sonar capabilities of bats to determine their effect on human beings and possible limitations on spaceflight. Kaplan soon discovered that as a Jew and a woman, she was unlikely to advance in her career. She was repeatedly stymied by antisemitism and sexual harassment in her workplace. Yet when she applied for permission to emigrate, she, like so many others, was denied. Despite the many obstacles she encountered, Kaplan persisted and was finally able to leave the country in the late 1970s. She originally settled in Texas and later moved to the Boston area for a research position at Brandeis University. She is currently Senior Research Associate and Lecturer in Psychology at Brandeis’ Graybiel Lab specializing in Neuropsychology and Space Research. She is also the Program Lead and Senior Scientist at SIRIUS.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Janna Kaplan." (Viewed on May 10, 2021) <https://jwa.org/communitystories/sovietjewry/narrators/kaplan-janna>.