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.
Charlotte Wardi, professor of French and comparative literature at the University of Haifa—and for a time general inspector of French-language instruction in Israel—was born in Cologne on September 21, 1928 and brought to France at the age of five months.
Warner pursued that health problem, as well as infertility, in research and in practice, as assistant medical director at Margaret Sanger’s Clinical Research Bureau from 1927 to 1936, and medical director of the Family Planning Clinic in Harlem (beginning in 1933), run in conjunction with the New York Urban League. The bulk of Warner’s professional commitments focused on the birth control movement.
Dora Wasserman’s love of Yiddish theater accompanied her from the Soviet Union where she was born in 1919, to Montreal, Canada where she lived from 1950 until her death on December 15, 2003.
Herself a recipient of a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard in 1949 and a J.D. from Yale in 1976, chemist Elga Wasserman is best known for overseeing the entrance of the first coeducational class at Yale College in 1969.
In 1989, with her play The Heidi Chronicles, she won a Pulitzer Prize and became the first woman to receive the Tony Award for Best Play.
Known in particular for her maternal roles in such Bertolt Brecht plays as The Mother and Mother Courage, Helene Weigel was also a respected matriarch off the stage as director of the Berliner Ensemble theater in East Germany.
Gertrude Weil’s life is a rare example of southern Jewish social activism during the first half of the twentieth century. She was the first Jewish woman to lead a statewide secular women's movement in North Carolina, beginning her activist career in 1915 fighting for woman suffrage and continuing through to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
These words, written by Helen Weil, illuminate her sensitivity and commitment to older people that she developed during a long and active career in gerontology and social services.
K’tonton, the lovable little boy who constantly courts danger, whether on the blade of a chopping knife or in a sticky bowl of honey, was the creation of children’s author Sadie Rose Weilerstein. Her books have continued to spike the imaginations of generations of Jewish children since her protagonist’s first harrowing appearance in Outlook Magazine in 1930.
Gladys Davidson Weinberg’s pioneering archaeological work on ancient and medieval glass and its manufacture in the Mediterranean world sheds light on the trade and technology of preindustrial societies.
A brilliant French journalist and a lifelong champion of European union and women’s rights, Louise Weiss was an influential voice in French and international affairs from the 1920s until her death in 1983.
One of the most important of the pioneers in the revival of early music and period musical instruments in the early years of the twentieth and, sadly, one of those pioneers who is least remembered by posterity, the harpsichordist Edith Weiss-Mann was born in Hamburg, Germany, on May 11, 1885.
Trude Weiss-Rosmarin was one of the foremost Jewish intellectuals of the twentieth century. She was the editor of the Jewish Spectator, author of many books, and a woman of intense passions and commitment to Jewish life, with very strong and often provocative opinions. A dynamic speaker backed by broad-ranging Jewish scholarship and a prodigious memory, she was a popular lecturer at synagogues and Jewish centers across the United States and a foremost critic of American Jewish life and institutions.
In 1878, she received her medical degree and was one of the first women in Europe to practice medicine. Rosa Welt, together with one of her sisters, immigrated to the United States, where she worked for many years as an eye surgeon in New York in the eye hospital and also in the eye clinic at the Women’s Hospital. In addition to her professional work, Welt-Straus was active in the struggle for women’s suffrage in New York and a partner in forming the International Woman Suffrage Alliance founded by Carrie Chapman-Catt.
Trustee and philanthropist Esther Ziskind Weltman was instrumental in giving shape and focus to Jewish philanthropy in the United States in the post–World War II years.
Pauline Wengeroff is the author of an extraordinary two-volume work in German, Memoirs of a Grandmother: Scenes from the Cultural History of the Jews of Russia in the Nineteenth Century (1910).
Operating under at least five different names in the course of her career, Ruth Werner (a pen name) was a singularly accomplished spy, whose espionage activities spanned some fifteen years, from 1931 to 1946.
Shoshana Warner was appointed as the second commanding officer of the Women’s Corps (see “CHEN:” Women’s Corps of the Israel Defense Forces) in 1949. In 1942, after some years of membership in the Haganah, she was among the first sixty-six women who volunteered for the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) of the British Army.
In 1942, following some years of service in the Haganah, she joined the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service). In 1952 she was appointed as officer in charge of the Women’s Corps’s training base and from 1959 to 1964 served as commanding officer of the Women’s Corps with the rank of colonel.
Barbara Mayer Wertheimer’s guiding passion in life was to empower workers, especially union women. She recognized the barriers that union women face from management and from male-dominated union structures. As a result, she built a remarkable environment of support, encouragement, learning, and skill training at Cornell University’s New York State School of Industrial-Labor Relations by establishing the Institute for Women and Work and trade union women’s studies programs.
A brilliant scholar of international relations and member of the research staff of the Foreign Policy Institute, Mildred Wertheimer made significant contributions to political science at a pivotal time in world history.
Bessie Bloom Wessel was unique in her contributions to life in New England, both as an active citizen and as a scholar. A charter member of Temple Beth-el of New London, Connecticut, Wessel served on many important committees and published numerous studies of ethnic issues in the region.
Westheimer forever changed America's ideas of sexual education and literacy by highlighting positive attitudes towards sex through the lens of Orthodox Judaism. After working in a number of positions involving sex education, family planning, and sex therapy, Westheimer found her niche when she did a guest appearance on a local radio show. The audience response was so positive that she was soon hosting her own show.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Encyclopedia." (Viewed on March 24, 2019) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia>.