Helen Goldmark Adler is remembered for her philanthropic achievements and her marriage to Felix Adler, philosopher and founder of the Ethical Culture Movement. In turn-of-the-century New York, Adler penned articles, established a free kindergarten for children with working-class parents, and founded an organization focused on the science of child-rearing.
Notorious for her connections with gangsters at the height of Prohibition, Polly Adler fought to become “the best goddam madam in all America.” Though frequently arrested, Adler was undeterred from opening fancy brothels and rubbing elbows with the rich and famous in and around New York City.
Rachel Adler is unquestionably among the leading constructive Jewish theologians, translators, and liturgists of the modern era. One of the first theologians and ethicists to integrate feminist perspectives and concerns into the interpretation of Jewish texts and the renewal of Jewish law and ethics, Adler is the award-winning author of Engendering Judaism.
Racie Friedenwald Adler helped shape a number of Jewish institutions, most significantly the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. As the Women’s League vice president, she helped establish Jewish student houses on campuses, the forerunners of modern Hillel houses.
In her powerful performances of plays ranging from Shakespeare’s tragedies to Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Sara Adler helped elevate the possibilities of Yiddish theater. Although her reputation as an artist must have benefited from the association with her husband, Jacob P. Adler, Sara Adler was an admired actor and a strong presence on the Yiddish stage.
As an actress, director, and teacher, Stella Adler transformed a generation of American actors. After achieving stardom in films and on stage, Adler traveled to Paris to rethink the possibilities of Method acting with Stanislavsky. She transmitted the new acting techniques to her students and energized a generation of younger actors who shared her passion for the theater.
Nima Adlerblum was a writer, educator, and early Zionist activist in New York, whose life began and ended in Jerusalem. She wrote widely on philosophy, education, Jewish philosophy, and American history, and also founded Hadassah’s national cultural and educational program in addition to serving as its national and cultural chair from 1922 to 1935.
Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community (AWP) was founded by Shifra Bronznick in 2001 as an intervention “to advance Jewish women into leadership, stimulate new models of shared leadership, and promote policies for healthy, effective workplaces.” Over fifteen years, AWP conducted groundbreaking research and adapted strategies from other sectors that engaged women and men in decisive, systems-based change.
Marjorie Agosín is an award-winning Chilean Jewish poet, memoirist, novelist, literary critic, editor, educator, and human rights activist. Her work, which she writes in Spanish, is widely translated into English and other languages. She is a professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at Wellesley College.
Agudat Israel, the world movement of Orthodox Jewry, introduced substantial reforms that changed the status of women in Orthodox society. In particular, the Bais Ya’akov model pioneered by Sarah Schenirer focused on women’s education as a way of creating a more robust Orthodox community against the pressures of modernity.
Agunot are women who are unable to obtain a rabbinic divorce because their husbands or husbands’ male next of kin are unable to give one, leaving them chained in marital captivity. Although many efforts have been made to address these problems, for those most part agunot in halakhically observant communities continue to face deep-seated challenges.
Ahinoam is a Hebrew Bible character appearing in the Book of Samuel as King David’s wife and mother of his eldest son, Amnom. Since Ahinoam’s name usually precedes the name of David’s other wife Abigail, it is suggested that the name order signifies Ahinoam’s elevated status as the mother of David’s firstborn son.
French actress Anouk Aimée is perhaps best known for her remarkable presence as an icon of cool, sophisticated beauty in more than seventy films across seven decades. She brilliantly dramatized her identity as a Jewish woman affected by the burden of history in her 2002 role as a Holocaust survivor returning to Auschwitz in La Petite prairie aux bouleaux (The Little Meadow of Birch-Trees).
Rabbi Akiva was an important interpreter and teacher of Jewish laws of the Tannaitic period (ca. first-third century C.E.). He was particularly groundbreaking in his teachings regarding women’s standing and sexual and marital relations, recognizing women as deserving of human dignity.
Chava Alberstein is a singer-songwriter who by the end of 2020 had recorded over 60 albums (including eight albums in Yiddish but not including singles and song collections), more than any other Israeli singer. Alberstein has toured globally and is considered one of the most important female performers of Hebrew music, Yiddish folk songs, and children’s songs.
Mildred Albert charmed the fashion world as an international fashion consultant, lecturer, columnist, and radio and television personality. She carved a niche for herself in the fashion world as the head of a modeling agency and an inventor of new kinds of fashion shows.
Miriam Albert became the first national president of B’nai B’rith Young Women in 1946. In the thirty years she served the organization, she helped increase its membership to 150,000, and she was praised for both her warmth and her leadership.
One of the most fascinating figures in professional golf, Amy Alcott had a long and illustrious career as a member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association. She won five major championships and is now a successful golf course consultant, writer, sports broadcaster, and promoter of women’s golf.
At an early age, Sue Alexander learned to attract other children’s interest and approval by telling stories. Her passion for storytelling and her understanding of the emotional ups and downs of childhood led her to write twenty-six books for children, notable for their appeal and variety. Alexander is also important for her pivotal role in the growth of an extraordinary international organization, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.