A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Beba Idelson

Beba Trachtenberg was born on October 14, 1895 in Yekaterinoslav (Dnepropetrovsk), Ukraine, then part of the Russian empire. Her parental home was poor and unattractive and the family lived in hardship, primarily because her father, Yitzhak, had no regular means of income. The Trachtenbergs provide a good example of the changes undergone by East European Jewry at the time. Beba’s mother, Rivka, was a pupil at the progymnasia, a kind of state junior high school. Her father, who was religiously observant, studied Lit. "teaching," "study," or "learning." A compilation of the commentary and discussions of the amora'im on the Mishnah. When not specified, "Talmud" refers to the Babylonian Talmud.Talmud but was also well-versed in the customs and practices of modern life. He sent his sons to heder and hired a private tutor for his daughters.

Iggeret Ha-Kodesh

The Iggeret ha-Kodesh (The Holy Epistle), a Kabbalistic work written in the second half of the twelfth century, has been mistakenly attributed to the Ramban (Moses ben Nahman or Nahmanides, 1194–1270 - see Update below). The question of the composition’s author has prompted various answers: Gershom Scholem (1897–1982) at first believed that the author was Rabbi Joseph ben Abraham Gikatilla (1248–1325), a kabbalist who lived a generation after the Ramban. He later recanted this view and attributed the work to the kabbalist Rabbi Joseph of Shushan (thirteenth century), who was especially known for his erotic works.

Imma Shalom

Imma Shalom (Mother of Peace) is identified in the The discussions and elaborations by the amora'im of Babylon on the Mishnah between early 3rd and late 5th c. C.E.; it is the foundation of Jewish Law and has halakhic supremacy over the Jerusalem Talmud.Babylonian Talmud as the wife of R. Eliezer, a prominent sage who flourished circa 75 c.e., and the sister of Rabban Gamliel of Yavneh, the head of the Sanhedrin. She is mentioned only a few times in rabbinic literature. After R. Eliezer defied his colleagues in the story about the oven of Aknai, his wife tried to save him from the harm she predicted would befall him. However, she failed because she erred regarding the New Moon (BT Baba Mezia 59b). Upon hearing her husband predict that a student who treated him disrespectfully would not finish out his week, she asked him if he were a prophet (BT Eruvin 63a).

Clara Immerwahr

Clara Immerwahr

The first woman to be awarded a doctorate in physical chemistry at a German university, Clara Immerwahr’s her achievements were long overlooked by male-dominated university circles. Immerwahr committed suicide in protest of her husband’s involvement in the implementation of gas attacks during World War I. Recognized only posthumously, her name has become linked with moral responsibility in science.

Infertile Wife in Rabbinic Judaism

Only men are legally obligated to procreate, but there is disagreement over whether that obligation compels a man to divorce his wife after ten childless years. The initial infertility of the matriarchs reinforces the efficacy of prayer by demonstrating that the individual matriarchs’ suffering and supplications are what provoked a divine response.

Intermarriage and Conversion in the United States

In this article “intermarriage” refers to the marriage of a Jew to a non-Jew who does not convert to Judaism. The terms “interfaith marriage” and “mixed marriage” will be used interchangeably with “intermarriage.” In sociological terms, marrying within one’s ethnic or religious group is called endogamy, while marrying outside is exogamy.

International Coalition for Agunah Rights Representatives

International Coalition for Agunah Rights (ICAR)

International Coalition for Agunah Rights (ICAR) was created to solve the problem of women whose husbands refuse to grant them Jewish divorces, through a combination of education and activism. Although some of the member organizations remain active in North America, ICAR itself has become a primarily Israel-focused coalition.

International Council of Jewish Women

The International Council of Jewish Women (ICJW) is an umbrella organization for forty-nine affiliates representing some two million women in forty-six countries. The head office rotates according to the place of residence of its current chairwoman, who is elected for a period of three years. Plans for future actions are decided on by a team of directors at international triennial conventions which take place in various countries. Each affiliate organization of the ICJW retains its own name and has its own projects. The ICJW is an entirely voluntary organization based on the good will of women motivated by their belief in the humanitarian duty rooted in in Judaism, in the vocation of the Jewish woman or mother, or simply in a sense of Jewish solidarity. Established in the early twentieth century and reconstituted immediately after World War II, ICJW never ceased its development throughout the vicissitudes of the past century.

Triangle Fire in Der Groyser Kundes

International Ladies Garment Workers Union

The International Ladies Garment Workers Union was founded in 1900. The eleven Jewish men who founded the union represented seven local unions from East Coast cities with heavy Jewish immigrant populations. This all-male convention was made up exclusively of cloak makers and one skirt maker, highly skilled Old World tailors who had been trying to organize in a well-established industry for a couple of decades. White goods workers, including skilled corset makers, were not invited to the first meeting. Nor were they or the largely young immigrant Jewish workers in the newly developing shirtwaist industry recruited for the union in the early years of its existence. But these women workers still tried to organize.

Iraqi Jewish Women

“When Rachma had a son the well-wishers congratulated the family with ‘B’siman Tov’ [good fortune] and ‘Tesewihum Sab-a’ [may there be seven], but when she had a daughter they merely said ‘Mazal Tov’ [good luck], sometimes adding what were in effect words of sympathy, ‘Al-Hamd Lilah Ala Salamitha’ [thank God the mother is well] and ‘Ala Rasa Libnin’ [may boys follow her]” (Cohen 1973, 1996; Zenner 1982). Sons were preferred to daughters and this is still the case, though it is no longer expressed so openly. When Rachel gave birth in Israel to her first child, a girl, her parents-in-law decided to cancel their planned visit from America. Rachel commented “My in-laws may consider themselves educated and modern [they were born in America], but they behave as if they were living in Iraq.”

Irgun Zeva'i Le'ummi Women, Athlit Internment Camp, 1948

Irgun Zeva'i Le'ummi (I.Z.L.)

Following World War I, the government of Britain was granted a mandate over Palestine by the League of Nations, with the aim of establishing a national home for the Jews. That “National Home,” the Jewish community in Palestine prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. "Old Yishuv" refers to the Jewish community prior to 1882; "New Yishuv" to that following 1882.Yishuv, would later become an independent Hebrew state. However, in May 1939, with World War II imminent, the British government issued a “White Paper” banning Jewish immigration to Palestine. “Illegal” immigrant ships that had managed to escape from Europe were barred from entering Palestine and some were even forced to return to Europe, to almost certain death.

Edith Somborn Isaacs ca. 1906

Edith Somborn Isaacs

She was born in New York City on June 18, 1884. After graduating from Barnard College, in 1910 she married Stanley M. Isaacs, with whom she had two children, Myron (b. 1911) and Helen (nicknamed Casey, b. 1913). When Stanley Isaacs ran for office (he served as Manhattan borough president from 1938 through 1941, and later as Republican minority leader on the City Council), Edith Isaacs ran his campaigns. She described her work as writing clever jingles for him, “corralling and instructing volunteers, drafting letters to constituents, working with experts on newspaper articles and advertising, and after the election, writing letters of thanks to all who helped.”

Ishah Hashuvah (Woman of Distinction)

The Hebrew term ishah hashuvah appears in seven Talmudic discoursesugyot (Talmudic discourses) in the The discussions and elaborations by the amora'im of Babylon on the Mishnah between early 3rd and late 5th c. C.E.; it is the foundation of Jewish Law and has halakhic supremacy over the Jerusalem Talmud.Babylonian Talmud but never appears in the The interpretations and elaborations of the Mishnah by the amora'im in the academies of Erez Israel. Editing completed c. 500 C.E.Jerusalem Talmud. The term is not defined, though in a few instances its meaning is evident from the context.

Israel Defense Forces

Israel is the only country where military service is obligatory for both men and women. Women constitute approximately a third of the conscripts and close to twenty percent of the standing professional army. In 2003, the military conscripted some seventy-seven percent of the cohort of eighteen-year-old Jewish men and fifty-nine percent of the cohort of eighteen-year-old Jewish women.

Israel Women's Network, July 1984

Israel Women's Network

To page through the newsletters and annual reports published periodically by the Israel Women’s Network between February 1986 and January 2000 is to become aware of the powerful impact that can be made by a group of well-informed, energetic, articulate and determined feminists. Combining consciousness-raising, education, litigation and lobbying, the Israel Women’s Network was responsible for a veritable transformation in the status, image and self-image of Israeli women which marked the last fifteen years of the twentieth century.

Margalit Oved

Israeli Folk Dance Pioneers in North America

An intense desire to share the joy of dance coupled with a strong identification with both Israel and their Jewish roots profoundly affected a diverse group of North American Jewish women. Each added a dimension to the flourishing of Israeli dance activities in communities, including regional festivals, workshops, performing groups and weekly folk dance sessions. All were also involved in enriching Jewish education by training teachers and developing dance resources or programs.

Zelda Schneurson Mishkovsky

Israeli Women's Writing in Hebrew: 1948-2004

The achievements of women’s writing in Hebrew rank among the unquestionable triumphs of Israeli feminism. From a (culturally speaking) atypical starting point of almost total exclusion from Hebrew language and literature, Israeli women writers have been able to ascend to a prominent position in the Hebrew literature of the last two decades. In the space of less than fifty years, Israeli literature has undergone a profound process of change, in which women played an important role. The talent of the women writers, coupled with the encouragement of women readers and academics, have helped women’s writing to progress from marginalization to its rightful status. This change, which did not come about easily, was part of the struggle for equality of the sexes in every aspect of Israeli society. Before reviewing the accomplishments and analyzing the processes that produced the change, this article will focus briefly on the obstacles that confronted women authors writing in Hebrew.

Gracia Nasi Family Tree

Italy, Early Modern

A study of the role of Jewish women in household formation, the household, and household dissolution, as well as their engagement in Jewish culture in early modern Italy, raises the question of how much of Jewish practice reflected the context of the surrounding society and how much engaged options in traditional Jewish practices, which were selected to meet their own needs. Despite the wealth of information about some well- known women and reports of the activities of many unnamed women, Jewish women, like Christian women, still functioned in the context of women and the period does not represent a Renaissance for women.

Clara Sereni

Italy, Modern

Jewish women were crucial both to changes in post-emancipation Italian Jewish life and to the overall condition of women in modern Italy. This article reflects on the changes in the role of Jewish women in modern Italy within the Jewish press and institutions, their activism in shaping a secular civil society, and their experiences through the Fascist regime, the trauma of the 1938 Racial laws, emigration, resistance, deportation, survival, and reconstruction.

Blanche Ittleson

Blanche Frank Ittleson

Blanche Frank Ittleson’s pioneering work in treating and teaching intellectually disabled and emotionally disturbed children opened new possibilities for struggling children and their families.

Izieu, Women of

On April 6, 1944, Klaus Barbie (1913–1991), Chief of the Nazi Gestapo in Lyons during the German occupation of France, raided a home for Jewish children in Izieu, a remote hilltop village overlooking the valley of the Rhône (70 km. east of Lyons). This action was to become one of the most infamous symbols of Nazi brutality and, ironically, the single count (of crimes against humanity) for which Barbie, torturer and murderer of Jewish men, women and children, but most excoriated as the executioner of Résistance hero Jean Moulin, was tried and convicted some forty-three years later.

Dafna Izraeli

Dafna Nundi Izraeli

Feminist sociologist and peace activist Dafna Nundi Izraeli spent her life dedicated to women's studies, a field of inquiry previously largely unrecognized and trivialized by Israeli academia. She was among the first researchers in Israel to point out the connection between the gender power structures in the Israel Defense Force and in Israeli civilian society. Through her academic and political leadership roles, she worked tirelessly for the advancement of feminist values and scholarship.

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