Paula Padani, in black and white, dancing with her arms in the air.

Dancer Paula Padani

Paula Padani

Padani was sent by the Joint Distribution Committee to tour some sixty refugee camps in the American-occupied zone in Germany. Here her outstanding number was her signature solo, Horah, which was such a success that audiences refused to let her leave the stage. She then made a long tour of the United States, where her solo dances evoked similar enthusiasm.She devoted herself to teaching and to her family—a daughter, Gabrielle, born in 1951. She joined the famous Wacker studio before renting a studio of her own, first in the rue de Tournon and then in the rue du bac. She taught both professional dancers and amateurs, whose creative talents she loved to nurture.

Vera Paktor

Vera Paktor, who contributed to United States maritime policy as a journalist, lawyer, and administrator, could well be called the “first lady” of the seaways; certainly, at many points in her career, she was the “first woman.”

Rosa Palatnik

Rosa Palatnik, born in a shtetl near Lublin, was a prolific Yiddish author. She told stories of Jewish immigrants struggling to integrate into new lives in Poland, France, and Brazil, the three countries in which she lived. Her stories were witty and rich, with a complex relationship to the Jewish past and tradition, especially after the Holocaust.

Grace Paley and Reporters, by Diana Mara Henry

Grace Paley

Paley has written highly acclaimed short stories, poetry, and reflections on contemporary politics and culture.

Thirteen young women stand, smiling and laughing, and pose with hands on each others' shoulders for a photo


Discussion of women’s military service, both pre-State and later, focused more on the need for participation and partnership than on the issue of equality of the sexes. Women’s participation in the Haganah, the Palmah, Ezel (Irgun Zeva’i Le’ummi) and Lehi (Lohamei Herut Israel) during the struggle for statehood, as well as their role in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during the War of Independence, generated a sense of joint achievement, the result of common effort and sacrifice. They also engendered a feeling of having conquered a stronghold, a bridgehead in the fight for equality which must not be surrendered.

Lilli Palmer and Helmut Schmidt, April 1, 1982

Lilli Palmer

After fleeing Nazi Germany, Lilli Palmer pursued her acting career in Paris, London, Hollywood, and New York. In the 1950s, she returned to Germany, becoming celebrated once again in her home country. Palmer was not only a prominent actor in numerous successful plays, films and television programs, but also a painter and an author of both fiction and non-fiction.

Bertha Pappenheim

Bertha Pappenheim

Bertha Pappenheim was the founder of the Jewish feminist movement in Germany. In 1904, she founded the League of Jewish Women. Pappenheim believed that male-led Jewish social service societies underestimated the value of women’s work and insisted on a woman’s movement that was equal to and entirely independent of men’s organizations.

Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Rothschild Parker

Dorothy Rothschild Parker became a staff writer at Vanity Fair magazine, and quickly distinguished herself there with her cutting and well-turned humor.Parker’s stories, like her poetry, resonate with heartache and disenchantment, and reflect her obsessions: incessant alcohol consumption, spoiled romance, social injustice, and the follies of the rich.

Ruth Peggy Sophie Parnass

Ruth Peggy Sophie Parnass

Peggy Parnass is a Jew, a woman, a German born in Hamburg and raised in Sweden, an author, a journalist, an actress and, last but not least, a feminist.

Mollie Parnis

Mollie Parnis’s wit and fashion-savvy made her clothing designs a must during her tenure as a fashion legend. Parnis was equally famed for her New York salons that welcomed literary and political giants and for her fashion designs that adorned first ladies.

Amy Pascal

In 2003 Amy Pascal was named the most powerful woman in Hollywood on the Hollywood Reporter’s Top 100 Women in Hollywood list. At age forty-five, Pascal, after the departure of longtime chairman John Calley, became one of three co-chairs at Sony Corporations’ Sony Pictures Entertainment. Pascal worked at and ran the Sony unit, Columbia Pictures, for fourteen years. It was her blockbuster hits and billion dollar profits for two straight years that brought her to the top of the female power in Hollywood.

Lydia Pasternak

Born in Moscow into a family of highly successful artists, Lydia Pasternak made a name for herself in both scientific and literary realms. She worked as an assistant to American neurochemist Irvine H. Page in Munich and later became the preeminent translator of her brother Boris’s poetry while living in Great Britain.

Erna Patak

Erna Patak

Erna (Ernestine) Patak was a social worker and one of the Zionist veterans in Vienna in the early twentieth century, serving as the first president of WIZO Austria in the early 1920s. After surviving Theresienstadt, she returned to Vienna and later moved to London and finally to Tel Aviv.

Ana Pauker applauding with a group of four other Romanian communist leaders at a session of the Grand National Assembly of Romania.

Ana Pauker

Born to an impoverished Orthodox family in Bucharest, Ana Pauker joined the Romanian communist movement in 1915. She rose through the ranks, becoming one of the most powerful Communist leaders in Romania after World War II and, according to Time magazine, “the most powerful woman alive.”

Peace Movement in the United States

Throughout the twentieth century, Jewish women have played a major role in American peace organizations and movements.

Peace Movements in Israel

After twenty years of activity, the women’s peace movement in Israeli has expanded and become a major actor in the Israeli public sphere.

Jessica Blanche Peixotto

Jessica Blanche Peixotto defied convention and her family to become a respected authority in the field of economics. Through her education, professorship, and departmental leadership at the University of California at Berkeley, she broke down barriers for women in education.

Judith Peixotto

Seventy-one years earlier, Judith Peixotto, a twenty-four-year-old public school teacher of Sephardic origin, among the earliest Jewish educators in America, earned the distinction of becoming the first Jewish principal in the city of New York.

Pelech Religious Experimental High School for Girls, Jerusalem

Thirty years on, Talmud learning for women is a recognized fact and Pelech graduates have been conspicuously involved in the establishment and ongoing activities of the Batei Midrash (learning groups, particularly of Talmud) that have proliferated in the modern orthodox community. They have been prominent in the establishment of alternative minyanim (prayer groups) and in lobbying for the improved status of women in issues of halakhah (Jewish Law).

Bracha Peli, 1983

Bracha Peli

Bracha Peli was unique among the literary community of pre-state Palestine, inasmuch as she created what was probably the most successful and dynamic publishing house in the country at the time, stressing distribution and sales rather than the content and editorial aspects which are the usual focus of publishing aspirations and inspiration.

Phoebe Yates Pember

Phoebe Yates Levy Pember

Phoebe Yates Levy Pember was a passionate Confederate and managed a hospital through the Civil War. Her memoir offers a window into daily life for acculturated Southern Jews and Jewish women in Christian high society in the South.
Illustration of Elkanah and his two wives, Hannah and Peninnah, returning to Ramah.

Peninnah: Bible

The second wife to Elkanah in the Hannah narrative, Peninnah is unloved—hence hated—but fertile. She represents a woman who accepts social paradigms without examining them, thus acting out the type of jealousy between co-wives known from the matriarchal texts of Genesis.

Illustration of Elkanah and his two wives, Hannah and Peninnah, returning to Ramah.

Peninnah: Midrash and Aggadah

In its depiction of Elkanah’s two wives, the Bible contrasts Peninnah, who had children, and Hannah, who was barren. The Rabbis state that Hannah was Elkanah’s first wife; after they had been married for ten years, and he saw that Hannah bore him no children, he also took Peninnah as a wife (Pesikta Rabbati 43). The midrash explains that Elkanah was compelled to marry Peninnah because of Hannah’s barrenness, which explains his preference for Hannah, his first wife.

Rivkah Perelis

As a historian, Perelis strove for moral principles, accuracy and the utmost openness, without sacrificing the personal emotional motivation behind her work. She struggled with the inevitable dilemma of every historian when dealing with the Holocaust—the dichotomy between the sense of personal-emotional commitment and the professional obligation to maximum objectivity—and learned to live within this contradictory space.

Bella Perlhefter

Bella (Baila, Bila) Perlhefter (d. 14 Elul, ע"ת = Sept. 9, 1709) was an accomplished and professional Hebrew letter writer, instructor of music and rhythm, and entrepreneurial seventeenth-century businesswoman.


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