Anti-Semitism

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International Council of Jewish Women

The International Council of Jewish Women (ICJW) is a Jewish women's organization established at the beginning of the twentieth century, which evolved with the needs and events over time. As a women’s NGO, ICJW participates in a variety of projects promoting women’s rights and human rights, motivated by its roots in Judaism.

Holocaust Studies in the United States

Jewish American women have made contributions to the field of Holocaust studies in a variety of areas, including general history, women and gender, children, literary criticism, autobiography and biography, curriculum development, religious studies, sociology, psychoanalytic theory, biomedical ethics, and archive and museum curatorship.

Holocaust Literature

Literature by and about women and the Holocaust explores the impact of the Nazi genocide on women during and after the war, its impact on subsequent generations, and the reflections of women on the implications of the Holocaust. Encompassing a range of literary genres, including fiction, poetry, drama and memoir, women’s Holocaust writing explores the intersection of history, imagination, Jewishness and gender.

Historians in the United States

American Jewish women have made important contributions to historical scholarship, especially in the arenas of social history of the United States and Europe, women’s history, and Jewish history. Jewish women, sensitive to the situations of minority groups, became pioneers in these fields as they developed from the 1970s on.

Gertrude Hirschler

A celebrated translator of deft skill and a woman of great principle, Gertrude Hirschler refused to translate, edit, or publish any book that did not mesh with her ideals or beliefs. Hirschler’s literary contributions are highly regarded in the areas of Jewish history, the Holocaust, religious literature, and Zionism.

Dorothea Hirschfeld

Too old, not properly educated, a member of the Social-Democrat Party, and a Jewish woman, Dorothea Hirschfeld nevertheless succeeded in entering the civil service at the age of forty-three. She directed the Berlin Center for Social Work and Care of the Poor in Berlin from 1924 to 1929, and despite being pushed out of work by the Nazis, survived deportation and remained in Germany until her death in 1966.

Higher Education Administration in the United States

The Academy and Judaism share similar values. At both their roots lies a passion for knowledge—the love of learning, the necessity for debate and discussion, an appreciation for the challenge of scholarship. This would suggest no mystery in the number of Jews in universities. However, it is women’s space in these intellectual settings—historically unwelcome by the academy and unsupported by Jewish scholarly institutions—that poses the wonder.

Higher Education in Central Europe

Jewish women were disproportionally represented at Central European universities before WWI and during the interwar years. Acculturated Jewish society saw higher education as a way of integrating itself into the educated bourgeoisie. Attending university offered women greater personal independence, even as they faced antisemitism and ridicule.

Etty Hillesum

Etty Hillesum’s diary, which she kept between 1941 and 1943, is the only extant source about her. Explicit in both its expression of sexuality and profession of faith, Hillesum’s diary reflects a mature, nonconformist Dutch woman attempting to grapple with the changing landscape of her internal and external worlds.

Eva Hesse

Eva Hesse created innovative sculptural forms using unconventional materials such as latex and fiberglass and gave minimal art organic, emotional, and kinetic features. She scorned the decorative, creating sculptures out of repeated units which embodied opposite extremes. Her large fiberglass and latex works are recognized as major works of the 1960s artistic era.

Judith Herzberg

Judith Herzberg is a Dutch Jewish poet, essayist, screenwriter, and professor who has been hailed as one of the greatest living Dutch poets for her ability to imbue everyday objects with unexpected meaning. Making her debut as a poet in the early sixties, Herzberg has written poems, essays, plays, film scripts, and television dramas, with many translations and adaptations to her name.

Nini Hess

In the years between 1914 and 1933, numerous significant personalities in art, culture, politics, society and sport met in the photographic portraiture studio of Nini and Carry Hess. With their technical and aesthetic brilliance, the sisters were among the leading photographers in Germany of the time.

Lilli Henoch

Lilli Henoch quickly developed a love for sports as a child and joined the Berlin Sports Club (BSC), where she was a key player on its handball, hockey, and track teams. She achieved many feats, notably a world record in the 4x100 meter relay race in 1926. She kept competing in Jewish leagues through 1942, when she was deported and murdered.

Bela Ya’ari Hazan

On the outbreak of World War II, Bela Hazan escaped her hometown of Rozyszcze, Poland, for Vilna, where she worked as a smuggler for the Dror movement. She was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942 and sent to Auschwitz, where she served as a nurse, then to Ravensbruck, and finally to Leipzig, from which she was liberated. She immigrated to Israel, where she died in 2004.

Ruth Gruber

Reporter and writer Ruth Gruber dedicated her life to rescuing and covering the stories of suffering Jews worldwide. She made history as the youngest PhD in the world, escorted European refugees on a secret mission to America, and famously reported on the crisis of the Exodus 1947 and the foundation of Israel.

Greek Resistance During World War II

Sephardi and Romaniote women during the resistance movements in Greece and in Auschwitz Birkenau have been rarely mentioned in the literature on World War II, but they made varied contributions to the movement.

Tatyana Grosman

Tatyana Grosman nurtured an entire generation of printmakers and raised printmaking in the United States to the status of major fine art. Universal Limited Art Editions, which she founded in 1957, published prints by many major American artists, and launched collaborative endeavors between artists and writers. Much of the press’s work was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Haika Grosman

Politically active from a young age, Haika Grosman played a key role in the underground resistance to Nazi occupation and the Holocaust and put her safety on the line in the name of the movement.

Michal Govrin

Michal Govrin, born in 1950 is an Israeli poet, writer, and stage director. She takes a highly individualized perspective on Israeli-Jewish post-Holocaust reality by combining artistic experimentation with Biblical and Rabbinic sources and philosophical discourse. In her poetry, prose and essays she examines places and spaces within a polyphonic context of architecture, art and theater, the sanctity of land, and the national narrative.

Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman was a potent voice of anarchism in North America and Europe in the early twentieth century, and her controversial beliefs made her many powerful enemies. Yet even after enduring many contentious interactions with law enforcement, Goldman continued to speak, write, and teach on freedom and individual rights, inspiring her followers to question authority at every turn.

Gertrude Scharff Goldhaber

Throughout a career limited by her gender, her religion, and her marital status, physicist Gertrude Scharff Goldhaber helped ensure other women scientists would not face the same hurdles.

Mire Gola

A passionate idealist, Mire Gola organized anti-German resistance in World War II as a Communist in occupied Poland. She inspired others with her eloquent poetry and her fortitude through imprisonment and torture.

Marika Gidali

After surviving the Holocaust and immigrating from Budapest to Brazil, dancer Marika Gidali became an influential performer, teacher, and choreographer at a time when the arts faced serious repression under military dictatorship. In 1956 Gidali began dancing with the Ballet Company of Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. Gidali later set up her first school, which was the meeting point for many artists in the mid-1960s.

Germany: 1750-1945

The Jewish Reform movement did not liberate women from their subordinate religious status, and the nineteenth-century bourgeois German family ideal with its rigid gender roles soon eclipsed the fluid structure of premodern Jewish families. Jewish women were expected to transmit German bourgeois values while also shaping their children’s Jewish identity.

Hilda Geiringer

A brilliant mathematician who did groundbreaking work in Europe, Hilda Geiringer had to leave her teaching position at the University of Berlin because of Nazi anti-Jewish legislation. She later worked in Turkey, but in the United States, she could only find jobs at women’s colleges despite her many accomplishments.

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