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Libraries

Rikudah Potash

Crowned “the Poetess of Jerusalem” by Sholem Asch (1880–1957), Rikudah Potash wrote in Yiddish about the landscape of her beloved city and its diverse ethnic communities.

Shoshana Persitz

Shoshana Persitz developed a line of school books and the Zionist library, Ha-Noar (For Youth), which included monographs about Jewish cities, villages and kibbutzim in Palestine and on the Zionist history of the quest to establish a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. Throughout her years in the legislature she chaired the Knesset Education Committee and was instrumental in the passing of the State Education Law (1953), which replaced the schools, previously operated in accordance with various political ideologies, with one state general education system and one state-religious system.

Bracha Peli

Bracha Peli was unique among the literary community of pre-state Palestine, inasmuch as she created what was probably the most successful and dynamic publishing house in the country at the time, stressing distribution and sales rather than the content and editorial aspects which are the usual focus of publishing aspirations and inspiration.

Librarians in the United States

The development of the field of librarianship as a profession for American Jewish women had much to do with Melvil Dewey (founder of the first library training school in 1887 and creator of the classification scheme bearing his name) and little to do with Judaism and Jewish culture. Paralleling the developing opportunities for women in the United States during the twentieth century, American Jewish women found librarianship, like teaching and social work, an attractive career choice. American Jewish women did not find acceptance in professional or even volunteer positions within Jewish communities until the late 1940s and early 1950s. The establishment of Jewish libraries in the United States reflects the tradition of male leadership within the Jewish community; leadership of major Jewish libraries was perceived as a scholar’s (in other words, man’s) position.

Rozka Korczak-Marla

“We did not have the privilege of choosing between converting to Christianity and sacrificing ourselves to sanctify the name of God—in this we differed from our ancestors. … We did have a choice of the manner in which to live to the very end as free Jews and die as liberated people.” Thus, in 1982, Korczak-Marla referred to the choice made by members of Halutz movements in the Vilna Ghetto.

Ruth Klüger

On the occasion of Ruth Klüger’s seventieth birthday, Germany’s leading literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki congratulated the acclaimed author with a tribute published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, in which he praised her work as a writer and as a scholar in the field of German literature. Reich-Ranicki noted Klüger’s distinguishing characteristics by summarizing that “she is an Austrian Jew, an American professor, a German writer, and one of the most brilliant Germanists in the world.”

Lillian Ruth Kessler

In 1982, when she retired from the presidency of Kessler International Corporation, Lillian Kessler prepared a brochure listing the principal export items of the company she had founded in 1946. The list included abrasives, adhesives, locomotive parts, chemicals, navigational and meteorological instruments, tank and jeep bearings, crankshaft and camshaft grinders, and many other automotive parts.

Rahel Katznelson

A thinker and teacher, Rahel Katznelson was one of the early activists in the Labor Movement and Mo’ezet ha-Po’alot in the Yishuv and Israel.

JWRC: Eleanor Leff Jewish Women's Resource Center

The Eleanor Leff Jewish Women’s Resource Center (JWRC) of the National Council of Jewish Women, New York Section, maintains an extensive collection of materials by and about Jewish women and creates Jewish programming with a feminist focus. The JWRC was founded in 1976 to document and advance the modern Jewish women’s movement.

Jewish Museums in the United States

Jewish women play prominent roles as founders, directors, curators, artists, and patrons of Jewish museums in the United States. While women have rarely played an exclusive role in the creation of either small community or larger museums, their work as creators and developers of these repositories is critical.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Libraries." (Viewed on December 13, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/libraries>.

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