The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Jennifer Breger

Jennifer Breger is an independent scholar who specializes in the status and roles of Jewish women. She has written extensively on Jewish bibliography and on Jewish women’s literature and liturgy, on the Jewish book arts, and the role of Jewish women printers. Her work has been published in encyclopedias and anthologies.

Articles by this author

Trude Weiss-Rosmarin

Trude Weiss-Rosmarin made great advances for women’s involvement in Jewish life through the schools she created and her editorship of the Jewish Spectator. A dynamic speaker backed by broad-ranging Jewish scholarship and a prodigious memory, she was a popular lecturer at synagogues and Jewish centers across the United States and a foremost critic of American Jewish life and institutions.

Flora Sassoon

Born in Bombay into the legendary Sassoon dynasty, Flora (Farha) Sassoon lived a colorful life in India and then in England as a businesswoman, philanthropist, famed hostess, and Jewish scholar, taking on many public religious roles that were unusual for an Orthodox woman of her time.

Hannah de Rothschild, Countess of Rosebery

A member of the English Rothschild family who married the Earl of Rosebery, a future Prime Minister of England, Hannah was a devoted wife, mother, and philanthropist.

Printers

Until the nineteenth century, printing was a cottage industry; adjoining living and printing areas enabled the entire family to join in helping with the multiple tasks involved. Among both Jewish and non-Jewish women it was mainly after the husband died that his widow took over the printing press. Since some of the widows married soon after, their new husbands, often also printers, took over the business. Many widows, however, chose to continue operating the business themselves in order to support their family and sometimes to pass it on to their children.

Rachel Morpurgo

Italian Hebrew poet Rachel Morpurgo was part of the renaissance of Hebrew poetry and literature that began at the end of the eighteenth century. While earlier Italian Jewish women poets had written almost entirely in Italian, Morpurgo wrote all her poems in Hebrew and can be considered the first Hebrew woman poet.

Judith Montefiore

Many people fail to distinguish the achievements of Lady Judith Montefiore from those of her husband Sir Moses Montefiore (1784–1885), who was probably one of the most important Jews of the nineteenth century. Nonetheless, the life of this “First Lady of Anglo Jewry” is of significance both to Anglo-Jewish history and to the history of Jewish women. While embodying all the Victorian virtues of high moral purpose, sense of duty, charity and public–mindedness, she was a fierce loyalist to her faith and her people, devoted to Jewish causes and the welfare of Jews the world over.

Ruth Dreifuss

Ruth Dreifuss was the first Jewish member of the Federal Government of Switzerland and the first female President of the country. When she became President of the Confederation in 1999, she was the first Jew and the first woman to hold the office.

Rachel Sassoon Beer

Rachel Sassoon Beer was the first woman to edit a national newspaper when she simultaneously owned and edited both The Observer and The Sunday Times in England in the 1890s.

Nima Adlerblum

Nima Adlerblum was a writer, educator, and early Zionist activist in New York, whose life began and ended in Jerusalem. She wrote widely on philosophy, education, Jewish philosophy, and American history, and also founded Hadassah’s national cultural and educational program in addition to serving as its national and cultural chair from 1922 to 1935.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jennifer Breger." (Viewed on September 20, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/author/breger-jennifer>.

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