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Music

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Beate Sirota Gordon

Through diplomacy and ingenuity, twenty-two-year-old Beate Sirota Gordon wrote unprecedented rights for women into Japan’s post-war constitution.

Astrith Baltsan

Astrith Baltsan has used her strengths as a musician, director, and scholar to find unconventional and engaging ways to introduce classical music to new audiences.

Chaya Arbel

Raised as a kibbutznik and taught that music was frivolous, Chaya Arbel only began pursuing a musical career in her forties, but went on to become one of Israel’s great modern composers.

Chava Alberstein

In her fifty-years as one of Israel’s most celebrated singer/songwriters, Chava Alberstein has run the gamut from recording pop hits to reviving Yiddish classics.

Hanne Blank

Both as a historian and as a fiction writer, Hanne Blank has questioned how we relate to our bodies and our sexuality, from gender norms to fat-shaming.

Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler

Praised for “Playing like a man,” Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler exploded notions about women pianists with the precision, power, and expressiveness of her performances.

Julie Taymor

Julie Taymor’s bold, experimental style in directing plays and films has led to two Tonys (including the first Best Director Tony won by a woman) and an Emmy.

Helen Tamiris

Acclaimed choreographer and director Helen Tamiris used dance to comment on the social issues of her day, including racism, poverty, and war.

Teresa Sterne

Teresa Sterne had two great careers in music, first as a child prodigy pianist, then as one of the first women record producers in the US.

Johanna Spector

Through her scholarship and the documentary films she produced, Johanna Spector not only preserved the music of Jewish communities around the world but introduced them to new audiences.

Death of Lillian Fuchs, "one of the best string players in America"

October 5, 1995
Lillian Fuchs was "one of the best string players in America."

Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” Climbs Billboard Charts

February 1, 1964
"I don’t care what age you are—whether you’re 16 or 116—there’s nothing more wonderful than standing on the stage and shaking your finger and singing, ‘Don’t tell me what to do.’” - Singer Lesley Gore

Vivienne Segal

Actress Vivienne Segal was best known for creating the role of Vera Simpson in the 1940 Rodgers and Hart musical Pal Joey, for which she sang what would become her signature song, “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered.”

Martha Schlamme

Martha Schlamme rose to popularity singing Yiddish and Hebrew songs at Catskills resorts, but was best known for her interpretations of Kurt Weill’s music.

Ruth Rubin

Ruth Rubin helped lay the cornerstones for the modern Yiddish revival movement by recording, studying, and performing Yiddish songs and folk tales.

Sylvia Rosner Rothchild

Sylvia Rosner Rothchild used her writing talents to turn oral history interviews with Holocaust survivors and Russian refuseniks into engaging accounts that challenged stereotypes and captured American mainstream audiences.

Regina Resnik

Undaunted by changes to her voice, opera singer Regina Resnik reinvented herself multiple times in her career, taking on unexpected new roles.

Nadia Reisenberg

A gifted pianist, Nadia Reisenberg used her talents to connect with others, from her acclaimed performances with her sister to her years of training musicians in New York and Jerusalem.

Shirley Cohen Steinberg

Shirley Cohen Steinberg helped make the Jewish holidays fun and interactive for children with her Holiday Music Box albums, featuring “One Morning” (popularly known as the Passover “Frog Song”).

Adrienne Cooper

Adrienne Cooper played a critical role in the revival of Yiddish music as founder of the Yiddish Folk Arts Program (KlezKamp), a group that brought together musicians, linguists, and anthropologists to recover the tradition of Klezmer.

Ethel Stark

As founder of the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra, Ethel Stark broke down barriers, becoming the first woman to conduct an orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 1947 and welcoming Violet Grant States as the first black woman member of a Canadian symphony orchestra.

Yasmin Levy

As a world music singer, Yasmin Levy ignited interest in the Ladino music traditions of her family, weaving Greek, Turkish, and Persian elements into her soulful performances.

Regina Spektor

With her surreal lyrics and experimental vocalizations, Regina Spektor carved a place for herself in the anti-folk music scene and went on to conquer the pop charts.

Judith Raskin

One of the top opera sopranos of her time, Judith Raskin shone on stage and taught her students to stop thinking about “the Voice” as separate from themselves.

Margalit Oved

Dancer and choreographer Margalit Oved’s performances blended elements from many cultures, including the Yemen of her childhood, the Israel of her adolescence, and the Los Angeles of her adulthood.
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