“M.A.” and “The Mighty Atom,” as Mildred Albert was called, charmed the fashion world as an international fashion consultant, lecturer, columnist, and radio and television personality.
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.
“I do not discuss my age, height, weight, or other vital statistics. Other than that, shoot. I tolerate any kind of nonsense up until six o’clock. After that, I just want to be admired.” In typical Selma Diamond fashion, the witty, wisecracking (with a voice she once described as sounding like Brillo), longtime comedy writer/actor held her own when warding off nosy interviewers. Best known as the crotchety, chainsaw-voiced bailiff Selma Hacker on television’s Night Court from 1984 to 1985, Diamond embodied in her writing and her comedy routines the quintessential cynical, jaded character. Penning skits and jokes for some of the early greats of radio and television, she became one of the most famous and accomplished female comedy writers of her time.
Esther Dischereit's poetry, essays, operas, and radio plays incorporate her experiences as "other," growing up Jewish in post-war Germany. From 1994 to 2006, she served in the German Trade Union Federation, organizing special projects focused on human rights and intercultural dialogue.
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.”
Therese Giehse, who was far from possessing contemporary ideals of beauty, pursued her desire to be an actress with diligence and dedication.
Dorothy Lerner Gordon—musician, broadcaster, author—dedicated her talents to the entertainment and education of children and young people.
Ofra Haza was born on November 19, 1957 in the Hatikvah quarter of Tel Aviv to parents who had immigrated from Yemen with their eight sons and daughters. Her mother, already a singer in Yemen, would often perform at family celebrations. Haza herself sang from an early age and was a soloist in her local school choir.
Nechama Hendel was born on August 22, 1936 in Jerusalem, where her family lived in the upper-middle-class district of Rehavia. Both parents immigrated to Palestine from Poland. Her father, Michael Hendel (1899–1965), was born in Bolochow (Bolokhuv) and her mother, Chana Foyerstein (1900–1986), was born in Warsaw. Her father served for many years as chief inspector of history at the Israel Ministry of Education. Her older sister, Tamar Gadot, was born in 1934.
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.
For Rokhl Holzer, a riveting recital artiste and unforgettable star of the Yiddish stage, acting the part was never enough. She lived and breathed each role, mesmerizing audiences in Poland, Lithuania, Australia, Israel, USA, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden with her ability to transform herself into any character she portrayed. Holzer was also an adept and adored director of the Yiddish theater, a true team worker who brought out the best in all with whom she shared the stage.
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.