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Barbara Myerhoff

Credit: Photograph by Vincent J. Grass.
Courtesy of Sonia Press Fuentes.

Profiles

Browse this section for short profiles of some of the thousands of Jewish women found throughout jwa.org. We will be adding new profiles to this section regularly and welcome your suggestions for women to add.

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Showing 1 - 25 of 114
Name & Description
Date of Birth
Birth Place
Rachel Kadish

Rachel Kadish’s fiction focuses on the ways Jewish women struggle to fulfill their longings and dreams despite the limitations of the times and places in which they live.

Gurit Kadman and the First Israeli Folkdance Leadership Course in Tel Aviv, 1945
Gurit Kadman

Gurit Kadman earned fame as a pioneer of Israeli folk dancing. Born Gertrude Lowenstein, Kadman joined the Wandervogel, a youth movement that focused on German folk culture.

March 3, 1897
Leipzig
Germany
Rachel (Cohen) Kagan, May 14, 1948
Rachel Kagan (Cohen)

One of two women to sign the Israeli Declaration of Independence (the other being Golda Meir), Rachel Kagan shaped women’s rights in the new state.

February 19, 1888
Odessa
Ukraine
Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan
Elena Kagan

One of the rare Supreme Court Justices who had never served as a lower court judge, Elena Kagan has made her mark on the court as a liberal Justice with a gift for engaging dissents that avoided legal jargon.

April 28, 1960
New York, New York
United States
Helena Kagan and Rebecca Sieff, 1955
Helena Kagan

Dr. Helena Kagan improved the lives of generations of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian children in Jerusalem.

September 25, 1889
Tashkent
Uzbekistan
Lila Kagedan
Lila Kagedan

The first Orthodox woman to claim the title of Rabbi, Lila Kagedan has worked to make Jewish learning accessible to all.

1980
Florence Prag Kahn
Florence Prag Kahn

Florence Prag Kahn made history as the first Jewish woman to serve in Congress, first filling her husband’s seat and then in her own right, with Alice Roosevelt Longworth commenting that she was “the equal of any man in Congress, and the superior of most.”

November 9, 1866
Salt Lake City, Utah
United States
Dorothy C. Kahn

During the Depression, Dorothy C. Kahn helped pioneer social work as a service provided by the government to all who needed it, instead of the responsibility of just private or religious charities.

1893
Seattle, Washington
United States
Madeline Kahn, November 25, 1977, cropped
Madeline Kahn

Madeline Kahn acted in dramas and musicals on stage, film, and television, but she was best known for her comedic roles as Mel Brooks’s favorite female lead.

September 29, 1942
Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Jenette Kahn
Jenette Kahn

Jenette Kahn rebranded National Periodical Publications as DC Comics, reviving the failing company as a proving ground for both experimental titles and reboots of iconic characters like Batman and Superman.

1948
Lis Kahn, cropped
Lis Kahn

Rebuilding her life time and again after great upheaval gave Lis Kahn unique insight as she helped the Jewish community of New Orleans heal after Hurricane Katrina.

March 19, 1939
Copenhagen
Denmark
Joan Kahn

Called “publishing’s grande dame of detective stories” by the LA Times in 1988, Joan Kahn had such a gift for choosing and editing bestselling mystery novels that her publisher put her name on their book covers to entice readers.

April 13, 1914
New York, New York
United States
Mascha Kaléko

Through her celebrated satirical poetry, Mascha Kaléko voiced her experience of the growing threat of Nazism in Germany and the pain of being a refugee.

July 6, 1907
Chrzanow
Poland
Bertha Kalich, cropped
Bertha Kalich

A distinguished performer, Bertha Kalich performed 125 roles in seven languages and became the first actress to make the transition from Yiddish theater to mainstream American drama in film, radio, and on stage.

May 17, 1874
Lemberg
Ukraine
"The Settlement Cookbook," by Lizzie Black Kander
Lizzie Black Kander

With her typical ingenuity, Lizzie Black Kander turned the recipe book she made for a cooking class for new immigrants into a two-million-copy bestseller.

May 28, 1858
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
Fay Kanin
Fay Kanin

Told that women could only write movies about dating and relationships, Fay Kanin defied conventional wisdom to write award-winning dramas about subjects ranging from prostitution to deaths in Vietnam.

May 9, 1917
New York, New York
United States
Rusty Kanokogi
Rusty Kanokogi

The first woman allowed to train with male judo students at Japan’s judo headquarters, the Kodokan, Rena “Rusty” Kanokogi pioneered women’s judo as an Olympic sport.

July 30, 1935
Brooklyn, New York
United States
Anna Kaplan in the First Graduating Class of Hadassah School of Nursing, 1921
Anna Kaplan

Anna Kaplan helped transform nursing in Israel by holding it to the best standards of medical care from around the world.

Bialystok
Poland
Mordecai Kaplan, 1915
Mordecai Kaplan

The founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, Mordecai Kaplan struck a fundamental blow for women’s participation in Jewish ritual with the bat mitzvah of his eldest daughter, Judith.

June 11, 1881
Russia
Rachel Landy, Rose Kaplan, and Eva Leon, Jerusalem, 1913
Rose Kaplan

Despite her own failing health, Rose Kaplan insisted on nursing Jewish settlers in Palestine and refugees in Egypt and inspired others to follow her example.

September 4, 1867
St. Petersburg
Russia
Aline Kaplan

As executive director of Hadassah, Aline Kaplan credited the organization’s success to the commitment of its volunteers, whose numbers grew to a staggering 370,000 during her tenure.

1923
New York, New York
United States
Regina Kaplan

Regina “Kappy” Kaplan helped break down gender barriers in medicine by creating the first nursing school in the South that admitted male students.

May 12, 1887
Memphis, Tennessee
United States
Donna Karan, 2008
Donna Karan

Donna Karan brought a modern sensibility to women’s clothing by designing interchangeable pieces in simple black and bold colors that were meant for professional women, not just fashion runway models.

October 2, 1948
Forest Hills, New York
United States
May Karff
N. May Karff

May Karff made her mark in the traditionally male bastion of professional chess as the first woman champion of the United States in 1938.

1914
Russia
"An Estate of Memory" by Ilona Karmel
Ilona Karmel

Ilona Karmel wrote two powerful novels based on her experiences in the Holocaust and its aftermath.

August 19, 1925
Cracow
Poland

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Profiles." (Viewed on December 16, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/toc/K>.

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