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.
Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Miriam Waddington was educated in an intellectually and culturally progressive Yiddish environment, an upbringing which may have inspired her to write poetry whose powerful voice challenged the patriarchal assumptions still endemic among her fellow modernist poets.
Salome Gluecksohn Waelsch combined these two sciences to form a new discipline, developmental genetics, a science that investigates the genetic mechanisms of development. For over sixty years, Waelsch has made fundamental discoveries in mammalian development and cancer research. In 1993, she received the National Medal of Science from President Bill Clinton.
Lillian Wald began her work in 1893, when she discovered the need for health care among New York’s largely Jewish immigrant population. Her solution to this problem, in the form of public health nursing—a term she coined—served only as the beginning of her life’s work, which was dedicated to providing health care, education and social services to the poor and immigrant members of her Henry Street Settlement, and beyond.
After graduating in library science Käte Wallach also passed the bar examination of Wisconsin in 1942 and was admitted at court. For four years she worked as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., first for the Office of Price Administration and later for the National Labor Relations Board.
Regarded by many of her friends and colleagues as the most important among the young Israeli poets of the 1960s, she has had a profound effect on Israel’s cultural life ever since her works began to appear in periodicals in the early 1960s.
Apart from the large, well-known concentration camps, hundreds of small labor camps existed during the Second World War, among them the Walldorf Camp at the Frankfurt airport in Germany.
Anna Strunsky Walling, author, lecturer, and socialist activist, was born in Russia on March 21, 1879.
Although trained in classical ballet, Margarethe Wallmann chose to study and teach Middle-European Expressionist dance. She continued to create award-winning works that explored Austrian culture until Nazi occupation ousted her from her position and she was forced to Buenos Aires and later Milan, where she continued to create acclaimed ballet and opera productions.
Barbara Walters has probably interviewed more statesmen and stars than any other journalist in history. Her numerous and timely TV interviews, both on the weekly newsmagazine 20/20 and on The Barbara Walters Specials, read like a "Who's Who" of newsmakers.
Zoe Wanamaker, the recipient of numerous awards for both her stage and television work, is known to millions of cinemagoers worldwide for her role as Madam Hooch in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001).
From childhood, Cilli Wang was known as the “Pavlova of Parody” for her experimentation with movement based on spoken word. Even when the Anschluss forced her to flee her home country of Austria, she continued developing dance and speech performances in the Netherlands.
Warburg began her philanthropic work after her marriage as a director of the Brightside Day Nursery. In 1911, she became a director of the Young Women’s Hebrew Association (YWHA) and later its president (1929–1942).
Charlotte Wardi, professor of French and comparative literature at the University of Haifa—and for a time general inspector of French-language instruction in Israel—was born in Cologne on September 21, 1928 and brought to France at the age of five months.
Warner pursued that health problem, as well as infertility, in research and in practice, as assistant medical director at Margaret Sanger’s Clinical Research Bureau from 1927 to 1936, and medical director of the Family Planning Clinic in Harlem (beginning in 1933), run in conjunction with the New York Urban League. The bulk of Warner’s professional commitments focused on the birth control movement.
Dora Wasserman’s love of Yiddish theater accompanied her from the Soviet Union where she was born in 1919, to Montreal, Canada where she lived from 1950 until her death on December 15, 2003.
Herself a recipient of a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard in 1949 and a J.D. from Yale in 1976, chemist Elga Wasserman is best known for overseeing the entrance of the first coeducational class at Yale College in 1969.
In 1989, with her play The Heidi Chronicles, she won a Pulitzer Prize and became the first woman to receive the Tony Award for Best Play.
Known in particular for her maternal roles in such Bertolt Brecht plays as The Mother and Mother Courage, Helene Weigel was also a respected matriarch off the stage as director of the Berliner Ensemble theater in East Germany.
Gertrude Weil’s life is a rare example of southern Jewish social activism during the first half of the twentieth century. She was the first Jewish woman to lead a statewide secular women's movement in North Carolina, beginning her activist career in 1915 fighting for woman suffrage and continuing through to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
These words, written by Helen Weil, illuminate her sensitivity and commitment to older people that she developed during a long and active career in gerontology and social services.
K’tonton, the lovable little boy who constantly courts danger, whether on the blade of a chopping knife or in a sticky bowl of honey, was the creation of children’s author Sadie Rose Weilerstein. Her books have continued to spike the imaginations of generations of Jewish children since her protagonist’s first harrowing appearance in Outlook Magazine in 1930.
Gladys Davidson Weinberg’s pioneering archaeological work on ancient and medieval glass and its manufacture in the Mediterranean world sheds light on the trade and technology of preindustrial societies.
A brilliant French journalist and a lifelong champion of European union and women’s rights, Louise Weiss was an influential voice in French and international affairs from the 1920s until her death in 1983.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Encyclopedia." (Viewed on February 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/content/W>.