Rabbi Naamah Kelman was the first woman to be ordained as a rabbi in Israel and the first woman to serve as Dean of the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. She has had a distinguished career of more than four decades as an activist in feminist and social justice causes in the State of Israel.
Naamah is one of only three women included in the genealogies of the early chapters of Genesis. No vocational role is ascribed to Naamah; however, her name may signify that she is the archetypal founder of vocal music.
The Rabbis have differing views on Noah’s wife Naamah, portraying her as both very beautiful and also as a malevolent seductress. The negative interpretation of Naamah is seen in the later midrash and the Zohar, which describe her as a seducer of men and even of demons.
Carol C. Nadelson is a ground-breaking female psychiatrist whose work has changed how medical practice addresses women’s medical care and encouraged women to break the glass-ceiling. She as the first woman president of the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society and the American Psychiatric Association. Under Nadelson’s editorial leadership, the American Psychiatric Press became a leader in the field of psychiatry.
Nahida Ruth Lazarus was a German-Jewish cultural and literary critic, author, journalist, and essayist who was born in Berlin to a German-Christian family and converted to Judaism in 1895. She is best known for her published source book, The Jewish Woman (1891), a product of her fundamental interest in both feminism and Judaism that remains an important text for women’s and gender studies.
Naomi is featured prominently in the Hebrew Bible and is portrayed as a woman who both challenges and conforms to patriarchal expectations. Analyses of Naomi from a modern feminist lens include varied interpretations of her actions, but she nevertheless dominates the stories in the Book of Ruth and effectively controls the situations of which she is a part.
Midrash portrays Naomi favorably, referring to her as righteous and significant. The Rabbis emphasize her dedication to her faith and her commitment to supporting her gentile daughter-in-law, Ruth. She guides Ruth through her conversion, encourages Ruth to maintain her devotion, and raises the child to whom Ruth gives birth.
Shulamith Nardi helped shape relations between Jews and gentiles in the fledgling State of Israel through her writing and editing for several Zionist publications, her analysis of Jewish literature, and her work as advisor on Diaspora affairs to four Israeli presidents.
Doña Gracia Nasi was the embodiment of passionate solidarity among exiles. As a young woman she inherited her husband’s fortune, and fled from Lisbon to Venice to Ferrara, where her family lived openly as Jews for the first time. In Constantinople, she assumed a role of leadership in the Sephardi world of the Ottoman Empire.
As a young girl, Rachel Natelson corresponded with an uncle who had been studying with Henrietta Szold. From him, she learned about Palestine and the Zionist movement. These exchanges were to lay the foundation for her extraordinary life as a leader on behalf of the Zionist cause—including being one of the founding members of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.
Adele Gutman Nathan was a prolific writer, theater director, and creator of historical pageants and commemorative events. She wrote fourteen children’s books, in addition to newspaper and magazines articles. Nathan directed theater in Baltimore and New York and staged events from the 1933 and 1939 World’s Fairs to the hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Award-winning journalist and cookbook author Joan Nathan is a transformative figure in documenting and exploring the evolving Jewish experience both in America and around the globe through the powerful lens of food. A long-standing contributing writer to The New York Times and Tablet Magazine, Nathan is the author of eleven books, as well as hundreds of articles, podcasts, interviews, and public presentations about Jewish, global, and American foodways.
Shuly Nathan’s clear and melodious voice represents some of the best qualities of true folk singing. After a meteoric rise to fame following her performance of Naomi Shemer’s “Jerusalem of Gold,” Nathan has toured worldwide, performed on Israeli television and radio, recorded albums, and partnered with Nechama Hendel. Her beloved varied repertoire consists of carefully selected outstanding songs, both old and new.
Founded in 1913 as the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods and officially renamed Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) in 1993, the WRJ has for more than a century galvanized hundreds of thousands of Jewish women to support and advance Reform Judaism, the Jewish people, and Jewish values in their home communities, around the country, and around the world.
By founding the Walden School and creating her own system of education based on principles of psychoanalysis, Margaret Naumburg laid the groundwork for the new discipline of art therapy. Naumburg also authored many works on psychology and art therapy.