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.
In 1990 alone, advice columnist “Dear Abby” and her staff received over fifty-five thousand letters from men and women of all ages, classes, nationalities, sexual orientations, and religions.
Pioneer in the field of art film programming and film archiving in Israel, Lia van Leer was the founder of the Haifa Cinematheque, the Jerusalem Cinematheque, the Israel Film Archive and the Jerusalem Film Festival.
A member of Virginia’s first generation of trained nurses, Rosa Zimmern Van Vort devoted her career to the training and education of nurses.
Varnhagen is remembered in Jewish history as one of a handful of Jewish women who ran intellectual salons in Central Europe, especially Berlin, beginning in the relatively liberal period before the defeat of Napoleon.
The first wife of Ahasuerus (Xerxes I, reigned 485–465 B.C.E.), the king of Persia, Vashti is the featured character in the first episode (thought by some scholars to come from a “Vashti” source) of the Book of Esther, a work of historical fiction of the late Persian-early Hellenistic period (fourth century b.c.e.).
The Rabbis state that Vashti was one of the four women who were enthroned, two of whom ruled over Israel (Jezebel and Athaliah) and two over other peoples (the heathen Semiramis and Vashti) (Esther Rabbah 3:2).
It would only begin to tell the larger story of how and why Jewish women and vaudeville came to intersect as they did in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Simone Veil is arguably the one person most responsible for advancing women’s legal rights in France during the twentieth century. As her country's first female Minister of Health, Veil fought against great opposition to have a woman's right to an abortion enshrined in French law. She went on to become the first woman—and the first Holocaust survivor—to be appointed president of the European Parliament.
Rose Viteles, an immigrant from the United States, was a member of the Haganah committee in Jerusalem during the 1930s. She founded the first Magen David Adom in the city, raised funds for the purchase of arms and, during the Arab uprising of 1936, supplied daily meals to thousands of Haganah volunteers. From 1934 to 1940, she served as de facto treasurer of the Haganah in Jerusalem, increasing its income twentyfold.
For nearly fifty years, vocational training schools enabled immigrant women and their single daughters to aspire to, and in many instances actually attain, a higher standard of living.
Today Roosje Vos is known as a socialist organizer and it is generally assumed that her socialism represented a break from her Judaism. One could well argue, however, that her life followed a pattern similar to that of many radical Jewish women in many parts of the world. From this perspective, her socialist radicalism forms part of a secular Jewish tradition.
Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Miriam Waddington was educated in an intellectually and culturally progressive Yiddish environment, an upbringing which may have inspired her to write poetry whose powerful voice challenged the patriarchal assumptions still endemic among her fellow modernist poets.
Salome Gluecksohn Waelsch combined these two sciences to form a new discipline, developmental genetics, a science that investigates the genetic mechanisms of development. For over sixty years, Waelsch has made fundamental discoveries in mammalian development and cancer research. In 1993, she received the National Medal of Science from President Bill Clinton.
Lillian Wald began her work in 1893, when she discovered the need for health care among New York’s largely Jewish immigrant population. Her solution to this problem, in the form of public health nursing—a term she coined—served only as the beginning of her life’s work, which was dedicated to providing health care, education and social services to the poor and immigrant members of her Henry Street Settlement, and beyond.
After graduating in library science Käte Wallach also passed the bar examination of Wisconsin in 1942 and was admitted at court. For four years she worked as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., first for the Office of Price Administration and later for the National Labor Relations Board.
Regarded by many of her friends and colleagues as the most important among the young Israeli poets of the 1960s, she has had a profound effect on Israel’s cultural life ever since her works began to appear in periodicals in the early 1960s.
Apart from the large, well-known concentration camps, hundreds of small labor camps existed during the Second World War, among them the Walldorf Camp at the Frankfurt airport in Germany.
Anna Strunsky Walling, author, lecturer, and socialist activist, was born in Russia on March 21, 1879.
Although trained in classical ballet, Margarethe Wallmann chose to study and teach Middle-European Expressionist dance. She continued to create award-winning works that explored Austrian culture until Nazi occupation ousted her from her position and she was forced to Buenos Aires and later Milan, where she continued to create acclaimed ballet and opera productions.
Barbara Walters has probably interviewed more statesmen and stars than any other journalist in history. Her numerous and timely TV interviews, both on the weekly newsmagazine 20/20 and on The Barbara Walters Specials, read like a "Who's Who" of newsmakers.
Zoe Wanamaker, the recipient of numerous awards for both her stage and television work, is known to millions of cinemagoers worldwide for her role as Madam Hooch in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001).
From childhood, Cilli Wang was known as the “Pavlova of Parody” for her experimentation with movement based on spoken word. Even when the Anschluss forced her to flee her home country of Austria, she continued developing dance and speech performances in the Netherlands.
Warburg began her philanthropic work after her marriage as a director of the Brightside Day Nursery. In 1911, she became a director of the Young Women’s Hebrew Association (YWHA) and later its president (1929–1942).
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Encyclopedia." (Viewed on March 24, 2019) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia>.