The Encyclopedia features over 1,700 biographies, 300 thematic essays, and 1,400 photographs and illustrations on a wide range of Jewish women through the centuries -- from Gertrude Berg to Gertrude Stein; Hannah Greenebaum Solomon to Hannah Arendt; the Biblical Ruth to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Adler devoted much of her energy to specifically Jewish causes. She served for many years as the president of the Hebrew Sunday School Society of Philadelphia and on the local Jewish Welfare Board. Perhaps her most significant contribution was as one of the founding leaders of the Women’s League of the Conservative Movement [Women’s League For Conservative Judaism], which was established in 1918 by Mathilde Schechter, wife of the scholar Solomon Schechter.
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.
At Stella Adler’s death in 1992, Robert Brustein wrote in The New Republic, “Stella Adler’s death … represents a major loss in the pantheon of theater greats. Through the strength of her convictions, the integrity of her character, and the brilliance of her mind, Adler embodied the art of the dramatic profession and remained an influential figure throughout a career that spanned most of the century.”
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, contributing to encyclopedias and scholarly journals.
In the twentieth century, Jewish women played a disproportionate role in the development of American consumer culture because of a combination of factors. For one, American industry became increasingly consumer-oriented, and consumer industries were comparatively open to small entrepreneurs. For another, Jewish immigrants and their children tended to display strong entrepreneurial tendencies.
Agudat Israel, the world movement of orthodox Jewry, was founded in May 1912 at a conference held in Kattowitz, Upper Silesia (now Katowice, Poland). The movement’s founders, mostly from the separatist orthodox community of Frankfurt am Main, wanted to enlist the large masses of orthodox Jews in Eastern Europe and their spiritual leaders in the struggle against Zionism and other secular ideologies.
When she died in 1847 at the age of thirty-one, Grace Aguilar enjoyed a reputation as a poet, historical romance writer, domestic novelist, Jewish emancipator, religious reformer, educator, social historian, theologian, and liturgist.
Ahinoam, said to come from Jezreel, is King David’s wife and the mother of his eldest son, Amnon. All references to her occur with, or in close literary proximity to, Abigail (another wife of David, king of Israel, c. 1005–965 b.c.e.).
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, including such classics as Alexandre Astruc’s Le Rideau Cramoisi (The Crimson Curtain, 1952), Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960) and 8 1/2 (1963), Jacques Demy’s Lola (1963), André Delvaux’s Un Soir, un Train (One Evening, One Train, 1968), George Cukor’s Justine (1969), Bernardo Bertolucci’s Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man (1981), Robert Altman’s Prêt à Porter (Ready to Wear, 1994) and, most unforgettably, Claude Lelouch’s Un Homme et une femme (A Man and a Woman, 1966)
Fay Ajzenberg-Selove, a nuclear physicist who fought discrimination against women, ultimately became the second female professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
Rabbi Akiva was not merely a transmitter, formulator and redactor of halakhah; he also innovated and changed a great deal in our conception of Jewish law.
Chava Alberstein is a singer-songwriter (both lyricist and composer) who by the end of 2004 had recorded over fifty albums, not including singles and song collections.
“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.
At the time of her death, Albert was marking her thirtieth anniversary as a member of the staff of B’nai B’rith Women. Her affiliation with B’nai B’rith began as a volunteer when she joined the B’nai B’rith Youth movement in Chicago in 1940. She rose through the ranks to become the first national president of B’nai B’rith Young Women, at that time a B’nai B’rith youth group, in 1946.
One of the greats of women’s golf, Amy Alcott has had a long and illustrious career as a member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).
Ray Alexander has devoted her life to the struggle for human rights and equality in South Africa. Embedded in a Marxist tradition rooted in her Latvian origins, she sought justice for workers and liberty for the oppressed.
Beatrice Alexander established her doll business in her home in 1923, and since then the Madame Alexander Doll Company has created more than 5,000 different dolls. Employing more than 650 people at its factory in Harlem, New York, the Alexander Doll Company is one of the largest doll manufacturing companies in the United States.
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 (SCBWI).
A Brazilian-born daughter of immigrants, Frida Alexandr (born Frida Schweidson) is the only woman writer to describe those Jewish cowboys from the viewpoint of one who lived among them. Her only published book was the novel Filipson, its title being the name of the farm where she was born on December 29, 1906.
She was the only woman among the early members of the Mosad, which smuggled Jews out of Europe and into Palestine in an attempt to circumvent the aliyah restrictions of the British Mandatory authorities. Late in World War II Aliav-Klüger was among the first representatives of the Yishuv to meet with Holocaust survivors on European soil and come to the aid of the she’erit ha-pletah (surviving remnant). In early 1949 Aliav-Klüger returned to Israel and, like many of her Mosad comrades, joined the Zim national shipping company. In 1974 she was selected as Woman of the Year by the National Council Of Jewish Women in the United States in honor of the release of her book, The Last Escape, describing her activities with the Mosad le-Aliyah Bet between 1938 and 1941 (published originally in English and translated into Hebrew).
Allen was one of a group of Philadelphia Jewish women who established and ran the first independent Jewish charitable societies in the United States. She was treasurer of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society (founded 1819) for forty years and, for a time, its director as well. In 1838, along with Rebecca Gratz, she founded the first Hebrew Sunday school in America, and in 1855, she started the Philadelphia Jewish Foster Home and Orphan Asylum, serving as its president until 1867.
In 1860, six French Jewish intellectuals, inspired by the ideals of the Enlightenment and motivated by a genuine sentiment of solidarity, set out to “regenerate” the Jews of the world—vocationally, linguistically, morally and spiritually. By the eve of World War I, the international organization they founded, the Alliance Israélite Universelle, had attracted more than thirty thousand members.
She has appeared in approximately forty Israeli feature films, dozens of stage plays and television dramas. Her starring roles in films include Siege, 1969; Highway Queen, 1971; House on Chelouche Street, 1973; My Mother the General, 1979; Summer of Aviya, 1988; Life According to Agfa, 1992; Sh’chur, 1994; and Passover Fever, 1995.
During her term of office, Almog stressed the importance of appropriate training for new recruits and established the base at Julis for absorbing them. The number of annual officer courses was increased, a training course for women officers in the Operational Branch was established, new occupations, such as airborne doctors, were opened for women officers and institutional posts increased.
Already in her first book of stories, Marguerita’s Nightly Charities (Hebrew, 1969), Almog was remarkable for her awareness of the condition of “non-belonging,” which she had apparently experienced first hand in her birthplace, Petah Tikvah, one of the earliest Jewish settlements in Palestine.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Encyclopedia." (Viewed on March 24, 2019) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia>.