Abigail Van Buren
In 1990 alone, advice columnist “Dear Abby” and her staff received over fifty-five thousand letters from men and women of all ages, classes, nationalities, sexual orientations, and religions. Born Pauline Friedman, Van Buren was best known for the witty, commonsense advice she gave hundreds of millions of readers.
Lia Van Leer
A pioneer in the field of art film programming and film archiving in Israel, Lia van Leer was the founder of the Haifa Cinematheque, the Jerusalem Cinematheque, the Israel Film Archive, and the Jerusalem Film Festival. As a result of her work, film in Israel is seen as an expression of culture and art and is funded by government agencies.
Rosa Zimmern Van Vort
Rahel Levin Varnhagen
Rahel Levin Varnhagen was the first intellectual Jewish woman in German history who established herself as an independent thinker. Her way of writing was dialogical; she wrote to and together with her addressees.
In the biblical Book of Esther, Vashti is wife of the king of Persia who refuses his request to appear before the royal guests at a banquet. Her episode introduces several themes that occur throughout the book, and she sets in motion the rest of story’s events when her refusal leads to her being deposed and replaced as queen by Esther.
Vashti: Midrash and Aggadah
Vaudeville in the United States
Jewish women in vaudeville helped to cultivate a unique American Jewish identity. Headliners Sophie Tucker, Belle Baker, and Fanny Brice were prominent, as were performers such as Nan Halperin and Nora Bayes. Molly Picon was a star of Yiddish theater, and Sarah Bernhardt a star of the stage. The reign of Jewish female vaudevillians ended in the 1930s, but their voices continue to be heard.
Holocaust survivor Simone Veil was a pioneer in the French government and the European Union. As Minister of Health, she presented and successfully argued the law decriminalizing abortion in France. She was the first woman to preside over the European Parliament and the fifth woman to be interred in the Panthéon.
In 1987, Lillian Vernon took her mail-order company public, making it the first company founded by a woman and traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Victoria Marks (b. 1956) is an American dancer, choreographer, professor, and activist. Marks began dancing as a child and later expanded her career as the founder of Victoria Marks Performance Company and a professor at various conservatories around the world. She is also an advocate for mental health and accessibility, collaborating on films that investigate the effects of mental illness and founding the Dancing Disability Lab at UCLA in 2014.
Salka Viertel was an influential actress, writer, and organizer of Jewish European immigrants in Hollywood. Viertel co-wrote screenplays for several Greta Garbo films. Her Hollywood salon welcomed émigrés such as Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Fred Zimmerman, Arnold Schoenberg, and Reinhardt.
Violence Against Women in the Hebrew Bible
The Bible contains many instances of physical, sexual, and religious violence against women in biblical narratives, legal materials and prophetic rhetoric. These texts both reflect ideologies of the biblical period and are used to excuse violence against women in the present.
Rose Viteles was an American-born social worker and volunteer who, after moving to Palestine in 1925, became involved in the operations of several Zionist organizations including Hadassah and the Haganah. Her help was essential before and during Israel’s War of Independence.
Vocational Training Schools in the United States
Diane Von Furstenberg
Roosje Vos was an organizer of the Dutch socialist movement and an editor of De Naaistersbode, the journal of the seamstresses’ trade union. She represented the interests of feminists and women in the movement, at times at odds with her fellow leaders.