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.
In 1990 alone, advice columnist “Dear Abby” and her staff received over fifty-five thousand letters from men and women of all ages, classes, nationalities, sexual orientations, and religions.
Pioneer in the field of art film programming and film archiving in Israel, Lia van Leer was the founder of the Haifa Cinematheque, the Jerusalem Cinematheque, the Israel Film Archive and the Jerusalem Film Festival.
A member of Virginia’s first generation of trained nurses, Rosa Zimmern Van Vort devoted her career to the training and education of nurses.
Varnhagen is remembered in Jewish history as one of a handful of Jewish women who ran intellectual salons in Central Europe, especially Berlin, beginning in the relatively liberal period before the defeat of Napoleon.
The first wife of Ahasuerus (Xerxes I, reigned 485–465 B.C.E.), the king of Persia, Vashti is the featured character in the first episode (thought by some scholars to come from a “Vashti” source) of the Book of Esther, a work of historical fiction of the late Persian-early Hellenistic period (fourth century b.c.e.).
The Rabbis state that Vashti was one of the four women who were enthroned, two of whom ruled over Israel (Jezebel and Athaliah) and two over other peoples (the heathen Semiramis and Vashti) (Esther Rabbah 3:2).
It would only begin to tell the larger story of how and why Jewish women and vaudeville came to intersect as they did in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Simone Veil is arguably the one person most responsible for advancing women’s legal rights in France during the twentieth century. As her country's first female Minister of Health, Veil fought against great opposition to have a woman's right to an abortion enshrined in French law. She went on to become the first woman—and the first Holocaust survivor—to be appointed president of the European Parliament.
Rose Viteles, an immigrant from the United States, was a member of the Haganah committee in Jerusalem during the 1930s. She founded the first Magen David Adom in the city, raised funds for the purchase of arms and, during the Arab uprising of 1936, supplied daily meals to thousands of Haganah volunteers. From 1934 to 1940, she served as de facto treasurer of the Haganah in Jerusalem, increasing its income twentyfold.
For nearly fifty years, vocational training schools enabled immigrant women and their single daughters to aspire to, and in many instances actually attain, a higher standard of living.
Today Roosje Vos is known as a socialist organizer and it is generally assumed that her socialism represented a break from her Judaism. One could well argue, however, that her life followed a pattern similar to that of many radical Jewish women in many parts of the world. From this perspective, her socialist radicalism forms part of a secular Jewish tradition.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Encyclopedia." (Viewed on January 19, 2018) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/content/V>.