Impulsive, adventurous, and outspoken, Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp ran away from home when she was seventeen years old. Two years later, she joined destinies with western lawman, gambler, and entrepreneur Wyatt Earp. For forty-seven years, they roamed the West, mingling with well-known westerners on both sides of the law.
Forty-four percent of the approximately two million Jewish immigrants who arrived in the United States between 1886 and 1914 were women. Although these women were more politically active and autonomous than other immigrant women, dire economic circumstances constricted their lives. The hopes these immigrant women harbored for themselves were often transferred to the younger generation.
Lily Edelman, a dynamic and much-sought-after lecturer, committed her life to learning, to teaching, and to understanding multicultural society. She published books for adults and children and was able to unite her interests in adult education and writing with her work at B’nai B’rith.
Tilly Edinger made her mark as one of the leading vertebrate paleontologists of the twentieth century. Her pioneering work in paleoneurology, the study of fossil brains, established her international reputation as the outstanding woman in her field. She performed research in Germany before World War II and continued researching and teaching in the United States until her untimely death in 1967.
In the Book of Tobit, Edna is Raguel’s wife, Sarah’s mother, and the mother-in-law of Tobias, Tobit’s son. Edna has no biblical namesake; unlike the other women named in Tobit, her name does not evoke images from the Hebrew Bible. Perhaps the author of Tobit means to recall Eden’s idyllic existence, or, more likely, to convey by the name something about the type of woman, wife, and mother Edna is.
American Jewish girls have had access to a broad range of educational opportunities. Pioneering innovations such as the Hebrew Sunday school opened doors to religious education, while in public schools, training schools, and the hallways of higher education, American Jewish girls pursued secular studies as well. Today, the landscape for American Jewish education has expanded beyond the classroom to include a range of experiential educational opportunities.
Rabbi Amy Eilberg, ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1985, is notable as the first woman ordained as a rabbi by the Conservative movement. Her multifaceted career as a chaplain, spiritual director, kindness coach, and peace and justice educator has focused on serving as a resource to help others achieve personal, interpersonal and spiritual growth.
The first American girl to publicly celebrate a bat mitzvah, Judith Kaplan Eisenstein went on to become a Jewish educator, composer, and musicologist. Her accomplishments included studying at the school that would later become Julliard, teaching at the Jewish Theological Seminary Teacher’s Institute, and writing a songbook for children.
The documents found on the Egyptian island of Elephantine in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which date from the fifth century BCE, extensively feature women. The women enjoyed extensive financial and property rights and their narratives show a society in which women had significant rights, rare for the time.