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Henriette Fürth

Despite facing ongoing anti-Semitism, journalist Henriette Katzenstein Fürth remained a passionate and vocal German patriot throughout her life. She began publishing articles on social criticism while raising eight children, eventually writing 200 articles and 30 monographs, earning both an income and a reputation for insightful journalism. She served on the Frankfurt municipal council and in 1932 she was honored by the city of Frankfurt for her 70th birthday.

Marta Friedländer-Garelik

Just the third Austrian woman to establish a legal practice, Marta Friedländer-Garelik’s law career was cut short by the 1938 Anschluss. She was able to escape Vienna through passage to Ireland, where she discovered her talent for handicrafts. After immigrating to Texas in 1941, Friedländer-Garelik started her own very successful knitwear factory.

Recha Freier

German-born Recha Freier founded Youth Aliyah in 1933, which assisted in sending Jewish European teenagers to Palestine prior to World War II to be trained as agricultural pioneers on kibbutzim. Although she was responsible for saving the lives of many thousands of Jewish youth, Freier’s efforts were not officially acknowledged until 1975, when she was eighty-three years old.

Else Frenkel-Brunswik

Else Frenkel-Brunswik was a social psychologist who is best known as a coauthor of The Authoritarian Personality.

Anne Frank

Anne Frank is famous for the diary she wrote during the Holocaust, in which she describes her life while hiding in an Amsterdam attic. She was caught and perished in Bergen-Belsen. Her diary, which is often part of school curricula, has become one of the central symbols of the Holocaust and human suffering.

Modern France

From the French Revolution to the twenty-first century, Jewish women in France have undergone radical legal, political, cultural, and religious transformations. Seizing upon the increasing number of opportunities available to them, both as Jews and as women, Jewish women have left their marks on all areas of French society.

Fiction in the United States

Literature by American Jewish women reflects historical trends in American Jewish life and indicates the changing issues facing writers who worked to position themselves as Americans, Jews, and women.

Edna Ferber

Prolific writer Edna Ferber celebrated America in her many works, even as she exposed its shortcomings. Her novel So Big won a Pulitzer Prize in 1925, and the film Giant and the musical Show Boat were both based on her novels. Ferber’s work was shaped by her childhood experiences of antisemitism and frequently featured strong and talented women.

Feminism in the United States

Jewish women participated in and propelled all aspects of the women's rights movement, from suffrage in the nineteenth century to women's liberation in the twentieth. Despite occasional instances of antisemitism in the general feminist movement, Jewish women were passionate advocates of feminist goals.

Elaine Feinstein

Elaine Feinstein was the preeminent Jewish woman literary author in late 20th- and early 21st-century England and a leading European Jewish writer. An award-winning poet, novelist, and translator, her works explore Jewish women’s identities as writer, wife, friend, and mother; assimilation; antisemitism; the Holocaust and its transgenerational impact; Soviet Russian poets; European Jewish life in the 20th century; Israel and Zionism; and the meanings of a literary life.

Lotte Errell

Photojournalist Lotte Errell worked tirelessly to make her adventurous travels in Africa, China, and the Middle East accessible to her readers at home in Germany and beyond. Her success illustrates how photography and travel journalism provided women with new possibilities for independence and careers. Errell traveled the world throughout the 1930s taking photos and writing essays, but she was interrupted in the 1940s by the war.

Tilly Edinger

Tilly Edinger made her mark as one of the leading vertebrate paleontologists of the twentieth century. Her pioneering work in paleoneurology, the study of fossil brains, established her international reputation as the outstanding woman in her field. She performed research in Germany before World War II and continued researching and teaching in the United States until her untimely death in 1967.

Modern Dance Performance in the United States

Jewish immigrants to the New World brought with them their ritual and celebratory Jewish dances, but these traditional forms of Jewish dance waned in the United States. Working-class and poor Jewish immigrants parents sought out culture and education in the arts for their children, often as a vehicle for assimilation. Jewish women were particularly attracted to the field of modern dance.

Rose Laub Coser

Sociologist Rose Laub Coser redefined major concepts in role theory—the idea that our actions are largely dictated by our roles in society—and applied them to expectations of women’s roles in the family and the workplace.

Gerty Theresa Cori

Gerty Cori’s work on carbohydrate metabolism, which changed our understanding of diabetes, earned her the Nobel Prize for Medicine, making her the first American woman given the honor.


After the establishment of the Inquisition in 1478, observance of crypto-Judaism became dangerous and more difficult. Women were at the center of Judaizing efforts, since the home was the only remaining institution in which one could observe Jewish law. Crypto-Jewish women most frequently observed the Sabbath and dietary laws.

Contemporary Jewish Migrations to the United States

The three primary groups of Jewish immigrants to the United States in the last decades of the twentieth century were from the former Soviet Union, Israel, and Iran. In each group, women played key roles in helping their communities adapt to life in the United States.

College Students in the United States

In the last two decades of the twentieth century, Jewish women in America achieved parity with their male counterparts on college campuses, but only after many decades of struggle.

Rose Gollup Cohen

In her short life, Rose Gollup Cohen was a unionized factory worker and a domestic servant, was helped through an illness by Lillian Wald, became educated, and wrote short stories. Her moving 1918 autobiography Out of the Shadow offers a vivid account of her life as an immigrant Jewish woman in the sweatshops of New York.

Elisheva Cohen

Elisheva Cohen was a successful curator, known for her work with the Israel Museum. She was a thorough, modest, and knowledgeable worker and person.

Phyllis Chesler

Dr. Phyllis Chesler is a feminist, best-selling author, and scholar whose career spans more than five decades and 20 books. An early and radical second wave feminist, she has focused on topics such as feminism, women’s rights globally and domestically, Islamic gender apartheid, academic freedom, Judaism, anti-Semitism, and freedom of speech.

Eva Besnyö

Photographer and photojournalist Eva Besnyö was born in Budapest in 1910. In the 1930s Besnyö moved to Berlin, where she quickly became successful with numerous exhibitions and commissions and spent time with politically engaged intellectuals and artists. Following the war, Besnyö was active in the Dolle-Mina feminist movement and was awarded the Dr. Erich Salomon Award for her life’s work.

Clementine Bern-Zernik

A lawyer by training, Vienna-born Clementine Bern-Zernik produced broadcasts for the US Office of War Information in London during the war, served as the director of a Displaced Persons Camp in post-war Germany, and spent the last 50 years of her life as a UN liaison to the New York Public Library. Throughout her life she maintained a strong Austrian identity and was a founding member of the Austrian-American Federation.

Gretel Bergmann

Gretel Bergmann was a highly successful German track and field athlete. While studying at London Polytechnic, she became the British high jump champion in 1934. Returning to Germany to train for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, she was denied entry to the German team even though she tied the German high jump record of 1.60 meters.

Matilde Bassani Finzi

Matilde Bassani Finzi was an active Italian anti-fascist who relentlessly fought the injustices of Mussolini and the Nazis. She continuously worked towards the ideals in which she believed: freedom, democracy, and equality for women.


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