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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Dr. Helena Kagan improved the lives of generations of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian children in Jerusalem.
The first Orthodox woman to claim the title of Rabbi, Lila Kagedan has worked to make Jewish learning accessible to all.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anna Kaplan helped transform nursing in Israel by holding it to the best standards of medical care from around the world.
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.
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.
Regina “Kappy” Kaplan helped break down gender barriers in medicine by creating the first nursing school in the South that admitted male students.
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.
May Karff made her mark in the traditionally male bastion of professional chess as the first woman champion of the United States in 1938.
Ilona Karmel wrote two powerful novels based on her experiences in the Holocaust and its aftermath.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Profiles." (Viewed on February 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/toc/K>.