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Elaine Friedman Lebenbom

The first woman composer to earn a degree from the University of Michigan, Elaine Friedman Lebenbom responded to sexism and anti-Semitism by composing works that celebrated Jewish themes and women’s experiences.

Elizabeth Swados

One of the youngest playwrights ever to have a play produced on Broadway, Liz Swados was unafraid of tackling heavy subjects like politics, racism, and mental illness.

Barbara (Monique Andree Serf)

The singer who called herself Barbara became an icon of French music in her lifetime and remained beloved decades after her death.

Chaya Arbel

Raised as a kibbutznik and taught that music was frivolous, Chaya Arbel only began pursuing a musical career in her forties, but went on to become one of Israel’s great modern composers.

Shirley Cohen Steinberg

Shirley Cohen Steinberg helped make the Jewish holidays fun and interactive for children with her Holiday Music Box albums, featuring “One Morning” (popularly known as the Passover “Frog Song”).

Adrienne Cooper

Adrienne Cooper played a critical role in the revival of Yiddish music as founder of the Yiddish Folk Arts Program (KlezKamp), a group that brought together musicians, linguists, and anthropologists to recover the tradition of Klezmer.

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.

Tziporah H. Jochsberger

Having escaped the Holocaust on the strength of her musical talents, Tziporah H. Jochsberger went on to use music to instill Jewish pride in her students.

Lillian Fuchs

While Lillian Fuchs was also a gifted teacher and composer, she is best remembered for her soulful viola performances, which inspired composers to create pieces specifically for her.

Sylvia Fine

Even after their separation in 1947, Sylvia Fine collaborated with her husband, Danny Kaye, creating playful, complex songs to support his effervescent performances on screen.

Miriam Gideon

Miriam Gideon took inspiration for her compositions from great poetry and Jewish prayers, earning acclaim as the second woman inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1976.

Claire Brook

Claire Brook made important innovations to publishing as the music editor of W.W. Norton, such as including CD recordings with music textbooks.

Ruth F. Brin

Ruth F. Brin helped transform modern prayer with her evocative writing, translation, and poetry.

Blanche Bloch

Blanche Bloch helped open new opportunities for women in music as both a founding member and conductor of the New York Women’s Orchestra.

Jeanne Behrend

Jeanne Behrend earned praise both for her work as a composer and for her studies of South American music.

Marion Eugénie Bauer

A modernist composer who experimented with dissonance, serialism, and complex harmonies, Marion Eugénie Bauer also made strides for women through her musical scholarship that revived interest in female composers.

Ora Bat-Chaim

A largely self-taught musician, Ora Bat Chaim had a thriving career as a cellist and concert manager before becoming a prolific composer in her late fifties.

Carole King

Carole King not only wrote many of the best-loved songs of the 1960s and ‘70s, she was a performer in her own right, winning several Grammys for her music.

Dorothy Fields

Dorothy Fields wrote songs for a wide variety of musicals that became dearly loved classics of American culture, from “Hey Big Spender” to “A Fine Romance” and “The Way You Look Tonight,” which won an Academy Award in 1936.

Judith Kaplan Eisenstein

The first American girl to publically celebrate a bat mitzvah, Judith Kaplan Eisenstein went on to become a Jewish educator, composer, and musicologist.

Debbie Friedman

Debbie Friedman’s music transformed prayers for Jews across the movements.
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