Yaffah Berlovitz

Yaffah Berlovitz is Professor Emerita of Hebrew Literature at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel. Her research interests include early women writers in Eretz Israel (1882–1914); the historiography of women writers in the period of the British Mandate (1918–1948); the development of literary writing by women in the kibbutz movement, in the period of the Yishuv and in the early years of the state; the exclusion of women prose writers in the pre-state period (1898–1948) from the Israeli bookshelf, and their contemporary restoration to the order of the day; women writers of the War of Independence generation; and studies of the works of Neḥamah Pukhachewsky, Ḥemdah Ben-Yehuda, Yehudit Hendel, Shulamit Hareven, Shoshana Sherira, and Sarah Levi-Tanai. Her books include Women’s Stories from the First Aliya (Sipurei nashim benot ha‘aliyah harishonah, 1984, 2001), Inventing a Land, Inventing a People: Literary and Cultural Foundations in the Creativity of the First Aliyah (Lehamtzi eretz, lehamtzi ‘am: Tashtiyot sifrut vetarbut biytzirah shel ha‘aliyah harishonah, 1996), Tender Rib: Stories of Women Writers in Pre-State Israel (She’ani Adamah ve’adam: Sipurei nashim ‘ad kom hamedinah, 2003), and A Wounded Bird: Dora Bader Diary (1933–1937) (Tzipor petzu‘ah: Dorah Bader yoman [1933–1937], 2010). Berlovitz heads the Israel Association of Feminist and Gender Studies (IAFGS) and edits its biweekly newsletter, and she is a feminist activist in several women’s organizations.


Articles by this author

Hannah Thon

Hannah (Helena) Thon was a social worker, journalist and editor, a student of Israel’s ethnic communities, and one of the leading figures in the women’s voluntary social-welfare organizations during the Yishuv (pre-State) period in Israel.

Prose Writing in the Yishuv: 1882-1948

Female Yishuv writers have often been ignored in discussions of Jewish literature from the period. As the sometimes-melancholy tone and escapist themes of their writing show, these women struggled to escape the margins in pre-state Palestine. Nonetheless, the works of these female writers offer important insights into the lives of Yishuv women and paved the way for contemporary women writers.

Judith Hendel

For over fifty years, Israeli author Yehudit Hendel succeeded brilliantly in making a presence of her bold, independent, “other” voice, bringing us face to face, in her own way, with the fragilities of an Israeliness in search of itself.

Bracha Habas

Bracha Habas was an educator and one of the first professional women journalists in Erez Israel. She was a member of Davar’s editorial board and the co-founder of its children’s newspaper, Davar le-Yeladim. Enumerating on Habas’s 48 publications, Rahel Adir described her as “the recorder of Yishuv history.”

Elisheva Bichovsky

After making Aliyah in 1925, Elisheva Bichovsky (born in Russia as Elizaveta Zhirkova), helped shape the Yishuv’s literary scene as one of Palestine’s first Hebrew poets. Her 1926 Kos Ketannah and 1929 Simta’ot were, respectively, the first poetry collection and first novel written by a woman to be published in Palestine.

Hemdah Ben-Yehuda

Hemdah Ben-Yehuda collaborated with her husband to revive ancient Hebrew and make it a truly functional living language. She helped coin new Hebrew words, created salons for Jewish thinkers, and wrote articles for the newspaper she and her husband ran. Beyond her own writings, she helped edit and compile the seventeen-volume Complete Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew.

Hannah Barnett-Trager

Hannah Barnett-Trager’s involvement in the literary world began when she helped found and then worked as a librarian at the Jewish Free Reading Room in London. She published her first article in 1919 and went on to write books for both children and adults. Trager’s writing discussed Jewish culture and politics, often drawing from her own experiences.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox

Read the latest from JWA from your inbox.

sign up now

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Yaffah Berlovitz." (Viewed on April 14, 2024) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/author/berlovitz-yaffah>.