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Sabina Spielrein

Sabina Spielrein, a pioneer in the early years of psychoanalysis who made significant contributions to the field, was the first person to propose the thesis about instinctual life, which Freud later adapted. Until recently, Spielrein’s accomplishments and contributions were overlooked and forgotten.


Over the last several decades, Jewish women attained significant achievement in the socio-economic sphere and played a leading role in maintaining Jewish continuity. In general, Jewish women are educated and participate in the labor force at higher rates than their non-Jewish counterparts.

Miriam Finn Scott

Miriam Finn Scott, a child diagnostician and educator, believed that the key to child development was educating parents as much as children. She founded the Children’s Garden, a clinic that studied relationships between parents and children and helped parents better support their children’s development. She also published two parenting books that were widely read and translated.

Saviona Rotlevy

Saviona Rotlevy, a judge who served on the Israeli District Court, is renowned for her outstanding contributions to the advancement of children’s rights, as her rulings consistently prioritized the interest of the child.

Sophia Moses Robison

Sophia Moses Robison discovered her passion for social advocacy in college. Active in the National Council of Jewish Women throughout her life, Robison was also a published researcher and studied the economic impact of arriving refugees after World War II for the federal government. Her explorations into youth delinquency demonstrated the class and social biases in the reporting of delinquency.

Feminist Jewish Ritual: An International Perspective

Beginning with the first bat mitzvah, Jewish women began adapting traditional ceremonies to focus on women and their experiences. Other rituals have been created for parts of the female life cycle such as menstruation or childbirth. However, there continues to be a lack of recognition of women in recently created holidays that are based on nationalist and Zionist beliefs.

Resistance, Jewish Organizations in France: 1940-1944

Despite the fact that women did not hold a high status in prewar French society, Jewish women played a disproportionately large role in the French resistance against the Nazis. Hundreds of women protected their fellow Jews, especially Jewish children, from the Nazis.

Reproductive Technology, New (NRT)

New reproductive technology has provided the solution for problems of infertility for hundreds of thousands of couples. For halakhically observant Jews, especially in the pro-natal state of Israel and in general in the post-Holocaust era, this technology has been a blessing but has also created a multitude of halakhic problems.

Sarah Reisen

Sarah Reisen was both a gifted Yiddish writer in her own right and a respected translator of great literature into Yiddish for children and adults. Recognized by contemporaries for her humane literary sensibility, she brought to Yiddish literature not only her own creative works but also her translations, which introduced readers of all ages to world literature.

Dalia Ravikovitch

Israeli poet Dahlia Ravikovitch (1936-2005) is one of the most significant figures in modern Hebrew literature and poetry, best known for her ground-breaking feminist poetry and for her political involvement.

Orna Porat

Orna Porat was a leading actor at the Cameri Theater who also performed at the Habimah, the Beer-Sheva Municipal Theater, Beit Lessin, and the Yiddish Theater. After immigrating to Israel from Germany, Porat struggled to learn Hebrew and break into the theater world, but ultimately she was successful. She is known for serving on the Cameri’s administrative board and founding the Cameri Children’s Theater.

Clara Asscher Pinkhof

Clara Asscher Pinkhof dedicated her life and work to helping and advocating for Jewish children, initially as a teacher and later as an author. She is most known for her accounts of the experiences of Jewish children during the Nazi occupation.

Shoshana Persitz

Born in Russia to wealthy parents, Shoshana Persitz was a passionate Zionist and a leader in education reform. She operated a Hebrew-language publishing house in Russia before making Aliyah to Israel, where she continued in publishing and served three terms in the Knesset.

Old Yishuv: Palestine at the End of the Ottoman Period

Women of the Old Yishuv saw their immigration to the Holy Land as serving spiritual sanctification at the expense of material suffering. Jewish women lived restricted lives as the result of child marriage, high infant mortality rates, and being confined to the domestic sphere in the Old Yishuv.

Margaret Naumburg

By founding the Walden School and creating her own system of education based on principles of psychoanalysis, Margaret Naumburg laid the groundwork for the new discipline of art therapy. Naumburg also authored many works on psychology and art therapy.

Eva Violet Mond Isaacs, Second Marchioness of Reading

Lady Eva Violet Mond Isaacs, Marchioness of Reading, was born into one remarkable family and married into another. She occupied a unique place in Anglo-Jewry; as Vice President of the World Jewish Congress and President of its British section she was an eloquent and vocal supporter of the Zionist cause and the young state of Israel.

Eve Merriam

Eve Merriam was an accomplished poet and playwright, best known for her books of children’s poetry that are beloved by audiences of all ages. Her life and career centered around New York, where she used her keen critical eye and unique tactile style to create poems and plays about urban life, social justice, feminism, and more. 

Medieval Ashkenaz (1096-1348)

The Jews of medieval Ashkenaz are known for their prolific rabbis and for the Ashkenazic customs that became characteristic of many European Jewish communities. During the High Middle Ages, the women in these communities had many important roles women within the family and in the communal, economic, and religious life.

Minnie Dessau Louis

Minnie Dessau Louis was an essayist, journalist, and poet, but she is best known for her philanthropic work in the Jewish community, largely focusing on women and children. She devoted her life to teaching immigrant Jewish women multiple skills through the many and varied schools she ran and her involvement in the founding of the Hebrew Technical School for Girls and the National Council of Jewish Women.

Fannie Eller Lorber

When her community became a mecca for adults suffering from tuberculosis, Fannie Eller Lorber created a Jewish children’s home for those who had no one else to care for them. Lorber epitomized the volunteer spirit of urban Jewish women in the American West.

Myra Cohn Livingston

Both through her poetry and her teaching, Myra Cohn Livingston inspired children to explore the music of language. She eventually wrote more than twenty collections of as well as several books on writing poetry, serving as an inspiration for students to enjoy poetry.

Shari Lewis

Shari Lewis won twelve Emmy awards for her children’s programming, which featured puppets on variety shows and children’s shows. She had several TV shows, including the Shari Lewis Show and Lamb Chop’s Play-Along, and earned some of the industry’s highest honors, including a Peabody Award.

Sonia Levitin

Sonia Levitin mined both her personal history and major historical events for her award–winning books for children and young adults. Her 1970 book Journey to America, which detailed her family’s struggle during the Holocaust, was an instant classic.

Elma Ehrlich Levinger

Early twentieth-century author and educator Elma Ehrlich Levinger wrote over thirty books for children and several for adults—all of which emphasize the importance of maintaining Jewish identity in America.

Leisure and Recreation in the United States

In the late nineteenth century, Jews started creating their own spaces to vacation, as a reaction to the discrimination and exclusion they faced at many established leisure spots. While vacationing was initially criticized for the lack of modesty it supposedly fostered, particularly in women, over time Jewish vacation spots and summer camps incorporated religious practices into the leisure environment.


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