The Encyclopedia features over 1,700 biographies, 300 thematic essays, and 1,400 photographs and illustrations on a wide range of Jewish women through the centuries -- from Gertrude Berg to Gertrude Stein; Hannah Greenebaum Solomon to Hannah Arendt; the Biblical Ruth to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
]Padani was sent by the Joint Distribution Committee to tour some sixty refugee camps in the American-occupied zone in Germany. Here her outstanding number was her signature solo, Horah, which was such a success that audiences refused to let her leave the stage. She then made a long tour of the United States, where her solo dances evoked similar enthusiasm.She devoted herself to teaching and to her family—a daughter, Gabrielle, born in 1951. She joined the famous Wacker studio before renting a studio of her own, first in the rue de Tournon and then in the rue du bac. She taught both professional dancers and amateurs, whose creative talents she loved to nurture.
Vera Paktor, who contributed to United States maritime policy as a journalist, lawyer, and administrator, could well be called the “first lady” of the seaways; certainly, at many points in her career, she was the “first woman.”
Most of the author’s stories and all of her books were signed with the name Rosa Palatnik. By her own reckoning, some two hundred of her tales appeared in various press organs. A mere selection of them can be found in the four volumes she published.
Paley has written highly acclaimed short stories, poetry, and reflections on contemporary politics and culture.
Discussion of women’s military service, both pre-State and later, focused more on the need for participation and partnership than on the issue of equality of the sexes. Women’s participation in the Haganah, the Palmah, Ezel (Irgun Zeva’i Le’ummi) and Lehi (Lohamei Herut Israel) during the struggle for statehood, as well as their role in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during the War of Independence, generated a sense of joint achievement, the result of common effort and sacrifice. They also engendered a feeling of having conquered a stronghold, a bridgehead in the fight for equality which must not be surrendered.
After fleeing Nazi Germany, Lilli Palmer pursued her acting career in Paris, London, Hollywood, and New York. In the 1950s, she returned to Germany, becoming celebrated once again in her home country. Palmer was not only a prominent actor in numerous successful plays, films and television programs, but also a painter and an author of both fiction and non-fiction.
Bertha Pappenheim founded the Jewish feminist movement in 1904 and led it for twenty years, remaining on its board of directors until her death in 1936. She introduced German-Jewish women to beliefs and issues raised by feminism. She spoke openly of Jewish unwed mothers, illegitimate children and prostitutes, and she encouraged Jewish women to demand political, economic and social rights as well as commensurate responsibilities.
Dorothy Rothschild Parker became a staff writer at Vanity Fair magazine, and quickly distinguished herself there with her cutting and well-turned humor.Parker’s stories, like her poetry, resonate with heartache and disenchantment, and reflect her obsessions: incessant alcohol consumption, spoiled romance, social injustice, and the follies of the rich.
Peggy Parnass is a Jew, a woman, a German born in Hamburg and raised in Sweden, an author, a journalist, an actress and, last but not least, a feminist.
Mollie Parnis’s wit and fashion savvy made her clothing designs a must among many first ladies during her tenure as fashion legend.
In 2003 Amy Pascal was named the most powerful woman in Hollywood on the Hollywood Reporter’s Top 100 Women in Hollywood list. At age forty-five, Pascal, after the departure of longtime chairman John Calley, became one of three co-chairs at Sony Corporations’ Sony Pictures Entertainment. Pascal worked at and ran the Sony unit, Columbia Pictures, for fourteen years. It was her blockbuster hits and billion dollar profits for two straight years that brought her to the top of the female power in Hollywood.
Lydia Pasternak was a chemist who was compelled to change her profession due to both marriage and second exile. Born and educated in Moscow, she studied in Berlin and worked in science in Munich, but after emigrating to Great Britain she became an outstanding translator of Russian poems.
Erna (Ernestine) Patak was a social worker and one of the Zionist veterans in Vienna in the early twentieth century.
Romanian Communist leader and Romania’s Foreign Minister from 1947 to 1952, the first woman in the modern world ever to hold so senior a ministerial postion.
Throughout the twentieth century, Jewish women have played a major role in American peace organizations and movements.
After twenty years of activity, the women’s peace movement in Israeli has expanded and become a major actor in the Israeli public sphere.
Jessica Blanche Peixotto defied convention and her family to become a respected authority in the field of economics. Through her education, professorship, and departmental leadership at the University of California at Berkeley, she broke down barriers for women in education.
Seventy-one years earlier, Judith Peixotto, a twenty-four-year-old public school teacher of Sephardic origin, among the earliest Jewish educators in America, earned the distinction of becoming the first Jewish principal in the city of New York.
Thirty years on, Talmud learning for women is a recognized fact and Pelech graduates have been conspicuously involved in the establishment and ongoing activities of the Batei Midrash (learning groups, particularly of Talmud) that have proliferated in the modern orthodox community. They have been prominent in the establishment of alternative minyanim (prayer groups) and in lobbying for the improved status of women in issues of halakhah (Jewish Law).
Bracha Peli was unique among the literary community of pre-state Palestine, inasmuch as she created what was probably the most successful and dynamic publishing house in the country at the time, stressing distribution and sales rather than the content and editorial aspects which are the usual focus of publishing aspirations and inspiration.
Phoebe Yates Levy Pember was a passionate Confederate and managed a hospital through the Civil War. Her memoir offers a window into daily life for acculturated Southern Jews and Jewish women in Christian high society in the South.
Peninnah represents a woman who accepts social paradigms without examining them, thus acting out the type of jealousy between co-wives known from the matriarchal texts of Genesis. Unlike the fecund second wives in Genesis, Peninnah has no voice in the text and is mentioned only in three capacities: as second wife to Elkanah, as mother of an unspecified number of daughters and sons, and as tormentor of Hannah.
In its depiction of Elkanah’s two wives, the Bible contrasts Peninnah, who had children, and Hannah, who was barren. The Rabbis state that Hannah was Elkanah’s first wife; after they had been married for ten years, and he saw that Hannah bore him no children, he also took Peninnah as a wife (Pesikta Rabbati 43). The midrash explains that Elkanah was compelled to marry Peninnah because of Hannah’s barrenness, which explains his preference for Hannah, his first wife.
As a historian, Perelis strove for moral principles, accuracy and the utmost openness, without sacrificing the personal emotional motivation behind her work. She struggled with the inevitable dilemma of every historian when dealing with the Holocaust—the dichotomy between the sense of personal-emotional commitment and the professional obligation to maximum objectivity—and learned to live within this contradictory space.
Bella (Baila, Bila) Perlhefter (d. 14 Elul, ע"ת = Sept. 9, 1709) was an accomplished and professional Hebrew letter writer, instructor of music and rhythm, and entrepreneurial seventeenth-century businesswoman.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Encyclopedia." (Viewed on February 20, 2019) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/content/P>.