Science: Psychology and Psychiatry
Known to her contemporaries as the “Lady Angel of the Tenement District,” Clarice Baright was a social worker and a trailblazing attorney who combined these skills as an advocate for the rights of New York City’s children and its poor. In a career spanning the first half of the twentieth century, Baright fought for reforms in the style and spirit of the Progressive Era, while earning the distinctions of serving as the second female magistrate in New York City history and of being among the first few women admitted to the American Bar Association.
Like many mothers of celebrities, Sadi Muriel Baron might be considered famous because of her child, rather than because of her own personal accomplishments. Baron was the mother of Dr. Richard Raskind, who became one of the most famous American male-to-female transgender personalities when he was transformed into Dr. Renée Richards in 1976. However, Baron was herself a success story. Baron was a pioneering neurologist and psychiatrist who maintained her own private practice well into the 1950s.
Psychologist Dorothy Walter Baruch championed the health development of children as an educator, author, psychologist, and as a community leader. Her psychodynamic approach to child development focused on the relationship between physical, emotional, and intellectual development and on rechanneling children’s feelings through play and art therapy.
Therese Benedek was among the pioneers of psychoanalysis, first in Germany and then in the United States. She developed expertise in psychosomatic medicine, sexual dysfunction, and family dynamics, but she is best known for her work on the psychosexual development of women.
Psychologist Elsie Oschrin Bregman’s pioneering research changed how psychologists measured intelligence. Her research ranged from measuring intelligence in saleswomen to army recruits.
Joyce Brothers was the second person and only woman to win the top prize on the popular television show The $64,000 Question. She became a popular psychologist and talk show host. Brothers conformed to normative understandings of 1950s womanhood but, unlike others, she gave advice about taboo topics such as sexuality and menopause.
Hilde Bruch’s seminal work on eating disorders contributed significantly to understanding and treatment of the diseases in the 1970s.
Psychoanalyst Ruth Mack Brunswick participated in the development of Freudian theory in the 1920s and 1930s as a sounding board for Sigmund Freud’s ideas. As colleague, disciple, patient, interpreter, and liaison to the American psychoanalytic group, her tact in proposing contributions to Freud’s thinking won her ideas a rare acknowledgment.
Ranging from poetry to investigations of women’s eating disorders, from fictional autobiography to the story of a voice, Kim Chernin’s works radiate the “spiritual politics” she considers the essence of her Jewishness.
Phyllis Chesler, a self-described “radical feminist” and “liberation psychologist,” is a prolific writer, seasoned activist and organizer, and committed Jew and Zionist. Also a psychotherapist and Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies, Chesler is the author of twelve books.
The existence of two autobiographies and two biographies attest to the importance of Florence Denmark’s contributions to American psychology. However, none of these published materials mention the fact that she is Jewish, probably because she has never felt that her Jewish heritage is particularly salient to her. Nevertheless, like the work of other Jewish women of her generation, Denmark’s contributions to psychology have been socially activist in nature. She is a founder of the field of the psychology of women, and has contributed much to its legitimization in terms of both scholarship and organizational leadership.
In 1923, Helene Deutsch became the first psychoanalyst to write a book about female psychology, called Psychoanalysis of the Sexual Functions of Women in English. Her interest in the subject, along with that of Karen Horney, helped to push her mentor Sigmund Freud, who did not like being left behind, into writing articles about female psychology. When Deutsch was completing her manuscript, she wrote to her husband, Felix, “It brings something new to this terra incognita in analysis—I believe, the first ray of light on the unappreciated female libido.” For her to draw attention to the female libido in that era was implicitly to amend Freud’s own outlook. At the same time, Deutsch was pioneering the importance of motherhood. Other psychoanalysts of the period, such as Otto Rank, Sandor Ferenczi, and Georg Groddeck, were also intrigued by the neglected role of mothering, but Deutsch was the one to insist on its special significance for female psychology. Although she always remained loyal to Freud’s conceptual framework, her writings were an outgrowth of her own personal experiences and insight.
If a Jewish author could be selected as representative of the process of amalgamation of cultures in the Lit. (Greek) "dispersion." The Jewish community, and its areas of residence, outside Erez Israel.Diaspora, Sara Riwka Erlich would be the appropriate Brazilian-Jewish woman writer. Born in Brazil of European parents who immigrated to that country, Erlich grew up in the city of Recife, immersed in a combination of Jewish heritage and some areas of non-Jewish life.
Claire Fagin, a distinguished nursing educator, scholar, dean, and leader, became the first woman interim president of the University of Pennsylvania (June 1993–July 1994) and the first female to achieve this position in any Ivy League university. Her achievement, as a woman and especially as a nurse, was immortalized for Fagin by a friend who slightly altered an old New Yorker magazine cartoon showing a boy and girl playing “hospital.” In the version given to Fagin, the girl turned to the boy and said: “You can play doctor and I’ll play the president of the University of Pennsylvania.”
The impressive and full life of Ruth Lewis Farkas spanned many occupations: educator, sociologist, businesswoman, philanthropist, inventor, wife, and mother. She was born on December 20, 1906, and raised in Manhattan, the fourth of Samuel Lewis and Jennie Bach’s five children. Farkas’s parents were in the real estate business, but Jennie Lewis also worked with the poor of Manhattan and occasionally allowed her young daughter to accompany her into tenements. She gave Ruth this advice: “No matter what your station in life, always try to contribute to those less fortunate.”
Selma Fraiberg was a psychoanalyst, author, and pioneer in the field of infant psychiatry.
A stubborn nonconformist from an early age, Käte Frankenthal was a physician and politician active in Germany’s Social Democratic Party. While running her own successful private practice, she was active in sex reform legislation and played a prominent role in the Federation of Women Physicians.
Else Frenkel-Brunswik was a social psychologist who is best known as a coauthor of The Authoritarian Personality.
Anna Freud's life was also a constant search for useful social applications of psychoanalysis, above all in treating, and learning from, children.
Frieda Fromm-Reichman was a German-American psychiatrist best known for her innovations in the psychotherapeutic treatment of schizophrenics and manic-depressive patients previously deemed unsuitable for psychoanalysis. Towards the end of her life, Fromm-Reichman received international recognition for her creative and insightful contributions to psychotherapy.
A successful psychologist who also devoted her life to religious education and leadership, Evelyn Garfiel offered generations of women a model for balancing academic pursuits and religious commitment.
Elizabeth Rozetta Geleerd’s work on extreme psychological conditions such as amnesia and schizophrenia led to new methods for treating seriously disturbed children and adolescents. Along with opening her own private practice, Geleerd became a training analyst and a member of the educational committee of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and helped shape its child and adolescent analysis program.
Carol Gilligan has broken new ground in psychology, challenging mainstream psychologists with her theory that accepted benchmarks of moral and personal developments were drawn to a male bias and do not apply to women. Gilligan proposed that women have different moral criteria and follow a different path in maturation. A psychologist who taught at Harvard and Cambridge, Gilligan brought a feminist perspective to challenge Freud and new life to the statement “The personal is political.”