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.
Sophie Rabinoff used the skills she honed as a doctor in Palestine to improve health care in some of the worst slums in New York.
With her indie rock song cycle Girls in Trouble, musician Alicia Jo Rabins has reinterpreted the women of the Bible for a modern audience.
Dorit Rabinyan was an acclaimed writer even before publishing her controversial novel Borderlife, with its focus on an Israeli-Palestinian romance. Born to an Iranian Jewish family, Rabinyan published a poetry collection, Yes, Yes, Yes, in 1990. She spent her military service working for the army newspaper, but got in trouble for inventing characters when she needed interview quotes for articles. After the army, she engaged in a literary experiment of imagining her grandmother’s life, which a friend showed to a publisher.
Computer scientist Kira Radinsky earned a reputation for predicting the future when she developed technology that could anticipate cholera outbreaks and student riots based on data in old newspapers.
A gifted comedian, Gilda Radner made a name for herself as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live.
Luise Rainer made history as both the first person to win multiple Academy Awards and the first to win them consecutively.
Alexandra “Aly” Raisman not only won gold and bronze medals for her individual performances at the 2012 Olympics but captained the women’s gymnastic team that won the gold medal that year.
Ayn Rand sparked a new ethical philosophy called Objectivism with the principles laid out in her novels including the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
Lydia Rapoport’s contributions to crisis theory transformed how social workers and therapists handle crisis intervention.
One of the top opera sopranos of her time, Judith Raskin shone on stage and taught her students to stop thinking about “the Voice” as separate from themselves.
A Labor Bund activist who joined the Russian Revolution, Miriam Raskin went on to write stories of ordinary people challenged by extraordinary circumstances.
A social reformer ahead of her time, Bertha Floersheim Rauh initiated dozens of vital services and completely overhauled Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Welfare.
Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush followed in the footsteps of her famous father, Louis Brandeis, by becoming a leader in labor legislation and helping lay the groundwork for the New Deal.
After a distinguished military career as one of the first female doctors to serve in WWII, Clara Raven went on to do pioneering research on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Cecilia Razovsky found countless ways to help Jewish refugees, from writing plays and pamphlets that changed public opinion to running numerous committees and organizations for immigrant aid.
Singer Helen Reddy’s feminist anthem “I Am Woman,” the only song she wrote herself, earned her a Grammy and international stardom.
Sarah Reisen was both a gifted Yiddish writer in her own right and a respected translator of great literature into Yiddish for children and adults.
A gifted pianist, Nadia Reisenberg used her talents to connect with others, from her acclaimed performances with her sister to her years of training musicians in New York and Jerusalem.
The second female American astronaut to travel into space, Judith Resnik is remembered for her death in the tragic Challenger explosion.
Undaunted by changes to her voice, opera singer Regina Resnik reinvented herself multiple times in her career, taking on unexpected new roles.
Freda Resnikoff helped found the group that would become Mizrachi Women (later called AMIT) and set an example of leadership for generations of women in her family.
From empowering and educating young girls, to preserving the oral histories of women over 75, Brenda Brown Rever has helped shape women’s stories and been shaped by them in return.
Irina Reyn’s novels capture the immigrant experience of being simultaneously an outsider and a member of a tight-knit community.
Adrienne Cecile Rich used her poetry as a means to reclaim the voices of the silenced, drawing from her own experience as a woman and lesbian.
A polarizing and important social reformer, Julia Richman sought to better manage the massive influx of immigrants in New York by Americanizing the new arrivals as quickly as possible.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Profiles." (Viewed on January 20, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/toc/R>.