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.
In her too-short life, Vera Paktor reached unprecedented heights for a woman in maritime law, forging regulations for new developments in the shipping industry.
A rare example of a writer deeply engaged with the world, Grace Paley made an impact as much through her activism as her writing.
Actress Lilli Palmer fled Nazi Germany to make a place for herself in Hollywood, but chose to return after the war, becoming celebrated once again in her home country.
Known best for her Oscar-winning performance in the romantic comedy Shakespeare in Love, Gwyneth Paltrow has repeatedly sought out difficult roles playing unconventional women, including playing Sylvia Plath in 2003.
Dorothy Parker commented on the art and events of her times with her brilliant turns of phrase and acid wit.
While she is best known as the iconic Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker’s roles in theater, television and film have run the gamut from instant classics like 1984’s Footloose and 1991’s LA Story to cult favorites like 1994’s Ed Wood and 1996’s Mars Attacks!
Mollie Parnis was equally famed for her New York salons that welcomed literary and political giants and for her fashion designs that adorned first ladies.
Amy Pascal has regularly been named one of the world’s most powerful women by Forbes and the Hollywood Reporter for her management of Sony Pictures’ run of commercial and critical successes from Casino Royale to The Social Network.
Marilyn Paul risked her safety to train a mixed group of Israeli and Palestinian health care professionals in the Gaza Strip.
Jessica Blanche Peixotto defied convention and her family to become a respected authority in the field of economics.
A gifted teacher who tirelessly promoted her students both within their schools and in the larger world, Judith Peixotto was appointed the first Jewish principal in the city of New York in 1849, at age 24.
Phoebe Yates Levy Pember managed a hospital through the chaos of the Civil War and left an account of her life that offered a window into daily life for Jews in Southern high society.
Rabbi Barbara Penzner has been a moral force for her congregation, leading it in multiple actions to uphold human rights around the world and in the local community.
Resisting trends towards fussy recipes with complicated instructions and esoteric ingredients, Deb Perelman focused her Smitten Kitchen food blog on “foolproof” recipes that incorporated feedback from online commenters.
As the founder of Radical Doula, Miriam Zoila Perez created a network for birthing coaches to support people of all genders, races, and economic backgrounds through pregnancy, birth, miscarriage, and abortion.
In her almost forty years on Hadassah’s board, Florence Bierman Perlman helped bring the organization to national prominence.
A software designer and network engineer, Radia Perlman earned a place in internet history for creating the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) which governs how information is sent between servers.
Helen Harris Perlman pioneered the “Chicago School” of social work, arguing that many people in crisis needed short-term therapy and solutions rather than long-term Freudian analysis.
An icon of the labor movement, anarchist Rose Pesotta was hailed for her ability to mobilize workers across gender and ethnic lines.
Roberta Peters made a remarkable debut at the Metropolitan Opera which led to a career spanning more than half a century as one of the Met’s most popular sopranos.
Alice S. Petluck used her position as one of the first women lawyers to advocate for women and children.
Beyond mothering her many biological and adopted children, Rebecca Machado Phillips tended her community by founding soup kitchens and aid societies for the poor and sick.
Between her family ties to the American Revolution, her political work, and her efforts as a founding member of Hadassah, Rosalie Solomons Phillips showed her deep concern for both preserving the past and creating a future for the Jewish people.
Ellen Phillips helped shape generations of Jewish children as a founder of the Hebrew Sunday School Society, the first to offer lessons on Jewish religion and culture in English to both boys and girls.
Irna Phillips created soap operas for radio and television that were followed by massive audiences, including Guiding Light, and introduced plotlines that shaped the format of many soaps that followed.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Profiles." (Viewed on February 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/toc/P>.