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Rama Burshtein

As an Ultra-Orthodox filmmaker working within her own community, Rama Burshtein offers a view of Haredi life rarely depicted onscreen.

Natalie Portman

From her early role as a child assassin in The Professional to her real-life stint at Harvard to her Oscar-winning performance in Black Swan, Natalie Portman has actively sought out professional challenges.

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin has used her photography to honor both the courage and the gritty reality of subjects ranging from drag queens to new parents.

Amy Heckerling

Amy Heckerling’s quirky directorial style and her knack for discovering fresh angles on classic stories led to her popular and critical successes with films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless.

Nancy Meyers

With her blockbuster hits Private Benjamin and Baby Boom, Nancy Meyers defied the conventional wisdom that a movie centered on a woman’s story wouldn’t draw audiences.

Jill Soloway

Jill Soloway’s mixture of curiosity and empathy for unusual characters, from funeral directors to people suffering from multiple personality disorder, earned her multiple Emmy awards for her creation of Transparent.

Susan Levitas

A folklorist by training, Susan Levitas has used documentary and feature films to capture unexpected facets of the cultural history of the American South, from blues musicians in Washington to Jewish boxers in Savannah.

Sabina Berman

A Jewish writer exploring her outsider identity in largely Catholic Mexico, Sabina Berman was the first writer to win the Mexican Theater Prize four times.

Michal Bat-Adam

Michal Bat-Adam, the first Israeli woman director of feature films, has been hailed for her sensitive and nuanced portrayals of mental illness and women’s inner lives.

Gila Almagor

Gila Almagor earned acclaim as a writer, actress, and filmmaker for her autobiographical Summer of Aviya in 1988, but when critics questioned details of her story, she embraced the criticism and went on to create a sequel, 1995’s Under the Domim Tree.

Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor’s bold, experimental style in directing plays and films has led to two Tonys (including the first Best Director Tony won by a woman) and an Emmy.

Lilly Rivlin

Lilly Rivlin has used her skills as a historian and documentary filmmaker to capture Jewish history in the making.

Adele Gutman Nathan

With a lifelong passion for both theater and history, Adele Gutman Nathan made a career of creating historical pageants, leading to her crowning achievement, writing a guide for Americans to celebrate their country’s bicentennial.

Meredith Monk

Meredith Monk’s avant-garde, mixed-media creations blend music, dance, film, and live performance to explore the collision of past and present, from the Black Plague to the AIDS crisis and from the medieval ghetto to Ellis Island.

Elaine May

Elaine May broke down barriers for women in comedy, first as half of the celebrated comic duo Nichols and May, then as one of the few women writer/directors in Hollywood.

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham became the first woman to win a Director’s Guild Award for Outstanding Director for a Comedy Series for her HBO series Girls, for which she writes, directs, produces and plays the lead character.

Elinor Guggenheimer

Elinor Guggenheimer focused her career in city government on higher standards for childcare and on greater representation of women in politics.

Maya Deren

Maya Deren became one of the most important avant-garde filmmakers of her time for her use of experimental editing techniques and her fascination with ecstatic religious dances.

Ellen Auerbach

Ellen Auerbach was remarkable both for her avant-garde photography and for her innovative and successful ringl+pit studio where she and fellow artist Grete Stern signed all their work collaboratively.

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand’s outsized personality, combined with her voice and acting talents, made her one of the most successful performers of the twentieth century.

Susan Sontag

Through her work as a literary and cultural critic, Susan Sontag called long-held assumptions and taboos into question.

Joan Micklin Silver

Joan Micklin Silver bucked Hollywood assumptions about what made a successful film, becoming a critically acclaimed director of independent films with Jewish themes like Hester Street and Crossing Delancey.

Goldie Hawn

As an actress, Goldie Hawn became known for playing dumb blondes, but behind the camera, she was determined to fulfill her vision as an executive producer and director.

Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron mined her most painful experiences to create brilliant comedies like Heartburn and When Harry Met Sally.

Ruth Hagy Brod

Ruth Hagy Brod’s varied career as a journalist, documentary filmmaker and literary agent made her the ideal publicity director for Job Orientation In the Neighborhoods, helping high school dropouts train for careers.
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