The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

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

Kathryn Hellerstein

Kathryn Hellerstein is Professor of Yiddish and Director of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Her monograph, A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish, 1586-1987, won the 2014 National Jewish Book Award in Women’s Studies and the 2015 Modern Language Association Fenia and Yaacov Leviant Memorial Prize in Yiddish Studies. Her books include Moyshe-Leyb Halpern's poems, In New York: A Selection; Paper Bridges: Selected Poems of Kadya Molodowsky; and Jewish American Literature:  A Norton Anthology, of which she is co-editor. Women Yiddish Poets: Anthology, which she translated and edited, is forthcoming.

Articles by this author

Kadya Molodowsky

Kadya Molodowsky was a major figure in the Yiddish literary scene in Warsaw (from the 1920s through 1935) and in New York (from 1935 until her death in 1975). She published extensively in many genres, including poetry, fiction, drama, and essays, and founded and edited two journals. Recurrent themes in her work include the lives of Jewish women and girls Jewish tradition in the face of modernity, Israel, and the Holocaust.

Malka Heifetz Tussman

Malka Heifetz Tussman introduced into Yiddish poetry one of the most rigid verse forms, the triolet, and mastered another, the sonnet corona. A teacher of Yiddish language and literature in the Midwest and the West, Tussman was awarded the Itzik Manger Prize for Yiddish poetry in Tel Aviv in 1981.

Celia Dropkin

Celia Dropkin’s sexually explicit poetry expanded possibilities for the depiction of relationships between men and women in modern Yiddish poetry. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, her poems appeared in avant-garde Yiddish literary publications. Infused with erotic energy, the themes of Dropkin’s poetry – sex, love, and death – shocked her contemporaries.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Kathryn Hellerstein." (Viewed on October 4, 2023) <>.


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