Anti-Semitism

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Ruth Klüger

A Holocaust survivor from Vienna (1931-2020), Ruth Klüger emigrated to the United States in 1947 and pursued a career in academia. Her German-language autobiography weiter leben: Eine Jugend (1992) revealed her personal experience of the Holocaust to the public, establishing her as one of the leading public intellectuals on the Holocaust in Austria and Germany.

Ruth Kisch-Arendt

Ruth Kisch-Arendt, an Orthodox Jew, became one of Germany’s foremost performers of lieder (nineteenth–century allegorical poems set to music)through the intense period of anti-Semitism leading up to the Holocaust. After World War II, Kisch-Arendt used her talents to highlight great Jewish composers.

Vitka Kempner-Kovner

Vita Kempner-Kovner was a heroic fighter on the front lines of the underground resistance to the Nazis.

Agnes Keleti

In 1944, when the Germans invaded Hungary, gymnast Agnes Keleti bought fake identification papers and carried the bodies of the dead to mass graves during the battle of Budapest. After the war, she returned to gymnastics; her career highlight was the 1956 Olympics, where 35-year-old Keleti won many medals, including four gold for uneven parallel bars, balance beam, floor exercise and combined exercise-team.

Kashariyot (Couriers) in the Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust

Kashariyot were young women who traveled on illegal missions for the Jewish resistance in German-occupied Eastern Europe during the Holocaust. They smuggled goods, news, and other Jews in and out of the ghettos of Poland, Lithuania, and parts of Russia. While those who fought the Germans within the ghettos are often most celebrated for their heroism, kashariyot were essential in the survival of Jews within ghettos.

Régine Karlin-Orfinger

Régine Karlin’s resistance activities would alone have warranted esteem and recognition, but she did not desist from further work. Totally bilingual in French and Dutch and even polyglot, since she was also proficient in both English and Russian, she had a brilliant career as a lawyer, characterized by her militant and unwavering support of causes that she considered just.

Ilona Karmel

Ilona Karmel transformed details of her experiences as a Polish-Jewish prisoner in Nazi work camps and as a patient undergoing a prolonged convalescence into two compelling and memorable novels. Karmel was a distinguished writer, winning a fiction contest from Mademoiselle and teaching awards from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Hannah Karminski

During the mid-1920s and the 1930s in Germany, Hannah Karminski served as secretary of the League of Jewish Women and, from 1924 to 1938, as editor of its newsletter. After the forced liquidation of the League in 1938, Karminski remained in Germany and continued her work in the Reich Association of Jews in Germany, assisting with the kindertransports and welfare. She was deported to Auschwitz and murdered in 1942.

Mascha Kaléko

Mascha Kaléko was a German-Jewish poet whose literary works have made her a mainstay of the German poetic cannon. She is best known for content, diction, rhythm, and Kalékoesque rhyme.

Juedischer Frauenbund (The League of Jewish Women)

Founded in 1904, The League of Jewish Women pursued secular German feminist goals while maintaining a strong sense of Jewish identity. The League supported vulnerable women through practical social reforms while fighting for political power within the German Jewish community. It saw employment opportunities as essential to women’s economic, psychological, and emotional independence.

Senta Josephthal

Senta Josephthal was German-born Zionist activist who was particularly influential in the kibbutz movement. She trained and recruited young Germans to the movement and represented the kibbutz movement in national organizations and political arenas after emigrating to Palestine.

Regina Jonas

Regina Jonas longed to become a rabbi for most of her life, and despite significant obstacles, was ordained in 1935. As the first ordained female rabbi, she worked in Berlin until her deportation to Theresienstadt, where she continued to preach, teach, and inspire her fellow inmates until her final deportation to Auschwitz.

Anna Maria Jokl

Author, psychoanalyst, and scriptwriter Anna Maria Jokl was greatly influenced by the many places she lived: Vienna, Berlin, Prague, London, Zurich, and Jerusalem. Forced to flee countries twice because of Nazism, Jokl is best known for her German children’s books. Her prolific career includes accomplishments in radio broadcasting, psychoanalytic writing, and autobiographical prose.

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was a novelist, short story writer, and two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter. Known for her nuanced depiction of exile and identity, she is the only person to have won both a Booker Prize and an Oscar.

Jewish Women and Jewish Music in America

From the Yiddish music theater of the late nineteenth century, to both the liturgical and secular music of the twentieth century, American Jewish women have continually and increasingly made their mark on American music as composers, singers, instrumentalists, educators, and patrons.

Jewish Feminism in the United States

Challenging all varieties of American Judaism, feminism has been a powerful force for popular Jewish religious revival. The accomplishments of Jewish feminists have transformed American Jewish life, even as the ultimate goal of gender equity and shared power has yet to be fully realized.

Jewish Feminism in Post-Holocaust Germany

Jewish feminism in Germany today is an expression of a wide-reaching renewal of Judaism occurring in many European countries since the early 1990s. German Jewish feminists built on the historical tradition of the Jewish women’s movement in pre-Holocaust Germany and has since taken many paths.

Laura Margolis Jarblum

Laura Margolis Jarblum’s deft management of wartime social services on three continents for the Joint Distribution Committee saved the lives of thousands. After World War II, in 1946, she became the JDC’s first female country director in France.

Geneviève Janssen-Pevtschin

Geneviève Janssen-Pevtschin was an accomplished lawyer, magistrate, and human rights activist in Belgium. She was active in resistance movements during World War II and is remembered for her passion, respect for human liberty, and dignity.

Ira Jan

Ira Jan, a painter and writer, was the first Hebrew artist in pre-State Palestine. Born in Kishinev,  Jan graduated from the Moscow Art Academy and traveled Europe before immigrating to Palestine in 1908. Known for her love affair with Chaim Nachman Bialik, she immigrated to Jerusalem in 1908, engaging in painting and teaching and publishing her stories in a number of periodicals in Palestine.

Marie Jahoda

Marie Jahoda was a major figure in social psychology, known for her work on the effects of unemployment on emotional well-being, as well as the social impact of McCarthy-era blacklisting. Jahoda received an award for distinguished contributions to the public interest from the American Psychological Association in 1979.

Zipporah Nunes Machado Jacobs

Zipporah Nunes was born a Conversa in Portugal circa 1710. After escaping to London to avoid being re-examined by the Inquisition, her family began practicing Judaism openly; later she became one of the first Jews to settle in the newly formed colony of Georgia in 1733.

Lotte Jacobi

After leaving Nazi Germany in 1935, Lotte Jacobi became a renowned photographer in New York as she captured intimate portraits of prominent Americans such as Robert Frost, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Paul Robeson. Jacobi was highly interested in politics and an active delegate to the Democratic National Convention. She was known for engaging her subjects in rich conversation as she photographed them.

Izieu, Women of

Nazi Klaus Barbie’s capture, deportation, and murder of forty-four Jewish children living at a home in Izieu, France, in 1944 is known primarily as a story of children, but the bravery of five women is also a significant part of the tale. Sabine Zlatin, Léa Feldblum, Suzanne Levan-Reifman, Fourtunée Benguigui, and Ita-Rosa Halaunbrenner were workers at the home or mothers of children who lived there. They played critical roles testifying against Barbie in his 1987.

Modern Italy

Jewish women were crucial both to changes in post-emancipation Italian Jewish life and to the overall condition of women in modern Italy. This article reflects on the changes in the role of Jewish women in modern Italy within the Jewish press and institutions, their activism in shaping a secular civil society, and their experiences through the Fascist regime, the trauma of the 1938 Racial laws, emigration, resistance, deportation, survival, and reconstruction.

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