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.
Passionate, principled, provocative, and above all path breaking, Shulamit Aloni has left a greater imprint on Israeli political life and public discourse than any woman to come of age after Israel’s independence.
Alschuler was a prolific writer, lecturer, and educator, and in the later part of her life, she contributed to the development and growth of the State of Israel.
Belle Baker has been described as a famed torch singer and vaudeville star, as well as a Yiddish, Broadway, and motion picture actor.
For a generation of Americans, Gertrude Berg embodied Jewish motherhood in a series of radio, television, stage, and film performances. She is best remembered as the creative force behind the Goldbergs, a fictitious Jewish family who lived in an apartment at 1038 East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx. In addition to her matriarchal public persona, Berg was also a one of the first American women to work as a writer and producer of radio and television situation comedy.
Miriam Bernstein-Cohen, actor, director, poet and translator, was born in Kishinev in 1895.
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.
Zaharirah Charifai is a stage and screen actress and director.
Long before her final role as the grouchy bailiff on Night Court, Selma Diamond earned a reputation behind the scenes as a brilliant, salty comedy writer for some of the best shows on radio and television. Diamond wrote radio routines many famous comedians was a regular on the Jack Paar show and acted on stage and in many television shows and movies.
Esther Dischereit, a German-Jewish writer living in Berlin, speaks for the second and third generation of children of Holocaust survivors. Her prolific production covers all genres, including prose, poetry, sound installations, and concept art. She uses her many talents to fight anti-semitism and racism and to give a voice to the persecuted and forgotten.
When Helen Forrest joined the Harry James band in 1941, she broke new ground for American vocalists. She asked that specific arrangements be written just for her and that the band accompany her lead vocal. Harry James agreed, and Forrest went on to record five gold records: “But Not for Me,” “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You,” “I Cried For You,” “I’ve Heard That Song Before,” and “I Had the Craziest Dream.”
Community leader, artist, newspaper drama critic, and host of a popular radio program in Philadelphia, Lee Weiss Frank was born in Newton Falls, Ohio, on May 16, 1899, the elder of two daughters born to Adolph and Eugenia (Guttman) Weiss.
For some two decades, journalist Barbara Frum was one of the best known people in Canada.
Gamlielit became famous within the theater and beyond for her performances of songs that called for acting and singing with the Yemenite-style pronunciation of the Hebrew letters het and ayin, among them: “Tango Temani,” “Elimelekh,” “Gedalyah Reva Ish,” “Be-Karmei Teman,” “Ha-Yeled Nissim” and “Ha-Tender Nosea.”
Focusing on difficult roles written for older women, Therese Giehse earned a reputation as a talented actress who brought Bertolt Brecht’s works to life. She co-founded an anti-Nazi literary cabaret called The Peppermill in 1933 and was known for touring successful anti-fascist theaterical works. She had a long collaboration with Brecht and developed a reputation as an “intellectual popular actress.”
Dorothy Lerner Gordon—musician, broadcaster, author—dedicated her talents to the entertainment and education of children and young people.
Born in Tel Aviv, Ofra Haza was an international singing sensation who performed across Europe, America, and Israel. Known for combining traditional Yemenite music with electronic pop sounds, Haza performed in the film Shlagger and in 1983 she placed second in the Eurovision competition. In 1998 Haza collaborated with many world-renowned artists and performed Naomi Shemer’s “Jerusalem of Gold” at the official ceremony marking Israel’s fiftieth anniversary.
Nechama Hendel is considered one of the foremost singers Israel has ever produced, known for her performances of Jewish folk music, her adaptations of well-known Israeli songs, and her album dedicated entirely to lyrics by the national poet Hayyim Nahman Bialik set to folk tunes and composed melodies. Hendel had an international following and toured the world performing, but she consistently returned to live in Israel and was devoted to Jewish music.
One of the most potent symbols representing the spirit of war-torn Britain during World War II must be the series of concerts at London’s National Gallery which continued throughout the war. Within a month of hostilities being declared, the National Gallery was closed and its paintings safely stored outside the capital. Cinemas, theaters and concert halls were all dark; Myra Hess, by then an established concert pianist, was concerned about the effect of this cultural blackout on the lives of Londoners. Towards the end of September 1939, she approached the Director of the Gallery, Kenneth Clark, with the idea of mounting lunchtime classical concerts. Clark shared her concerns and swiftly obtained government approval for the scheme. On Tuesday, October 10, the first lunchtime concert was staged; a resounding success, it was the first of an uninterrupted succession that continued for six and a half years until April 10, 1946, 1,698 concerts later.
“I always have to break a song over my back. … I just can’t sing a song; it has to be part of my marrow and bones and everything,” Libby Holman explained in a 1966 interview. Daring, dark, and impetuous, Holman led a rich public life that touched a dizzying array of people, from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Montgomery Clift, from Alice B. Toklas to Jane Bowles. A musical and sexual revolutionary from the 1920s to the 1960s, Holman succeeded at two different musical careers. Known as the “Statue of Libby,” she carried one of the smokiest torches of American music hall society in the 1920s and 1930s, and was the inventor of the strapless evening dress. From a deep sense of personal commitment, she later made significant contributions to the civil rights movement as both an artist and a wealthy benefactor. However, murder, millionaires, death, and suicide were morbid recurring themes in Libby Holman’s life, reaching tabloid proportions.
Rokhl Holzer earned a reputation as an actress with a talent for transforming herself to suit any role, but her most remarkable transformation may have been her shift from Poland to Australia’s Yiddish theater in the 1930s. Holzer, a riveting recital artiste and unforgettable star of the Yiddish stage, mesmerized global audiences and was also an adored director of the Yiddish theater.
As a member of the faculty in the German department at Hunter College, Anna Jacobson fought to preserve the study of German language and literature during the 1930s and 1940s, when many felt that it was inappropriate for American students to study the language of the Nazis. During her tenure as chair of the German department from 1947 to her retirement in 1956, she worked to present the richness of German thought and writing to Hunter students and to the American public.
Paula Jacques is the pen name of Paula Abadi (b. Cairo, May 8, 1949). Since 1975 a talk show hostess on the French radio networks France Culture and France Inter, she is also a novelist, many of whose books achieve second editions as paperbacks. Paula Jacques’s work reconstructs the life of the mostly French-speaking Egyptian Jewish community prior to their expulsion at the time of the Suez crisis.