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Lydia Rabinowitsch-Kempner

A leading figure in the feminist movement of women scientists in Germany in the first three decades of the twentieth century and an outstanding bacteriologist, Lydia Rabinowitsch-Kempner was a pioneer among women scientists, an exception among the first generation of women scientists in her combination of career and family.

Judith Graham Pool

Judith Graham Pool was a physiologist whose scientific discoveries revolutionized the treatment of hemophilia.

Ursula Philip

Geneticist Ursula (Anna-Ursula) Philip began her professional career in Germany and, after fleeing into exile became a prominent researcher in Great Britain.

Lydia Pasternak

Lydia Pasternak was a chemist who was compelled to change her profession due to both marriage and second exile. Born and educated in Moscow, she studied in Berlin and worked in science in Munich, but after emigrating to Great Britain she became an outstanding translator of Russian poems.

Berta Ottenstein

The life and fate of Berta Ottenstein, a pioneer of skin biochemistry and an outstanding dermatologist, epitomize both the successes and frustrations of women scientists in academia in Germany in the first half of the twentieth century.

Elsa Neumann

Elsa Neumann was the first woman to receive a doctoral degree from the University of Berlin. She became prominent in Berlin’s scientific community, carrying out research for the newly established airship industry. In 1900 Neumann established a highly successful association that gave grants to female students.

Elsie Margaret Binger Naumburg

Elsie Margaret Binger Naumburg was a researcher of South American avifauna and a gazetteer with the American Geographical Society. She put her research on hold during World War II to aid refugee and unemployed musicians.

Hélène Metzger

Hélène Metzger was a French historian of chemistry and philosopher of science, whose work has remained influential to this day.

Lise Meitner

The dramatic splitting of the atom—“nuclear fission”—was a discovery which changed our world. Yet few know that it was a woman physicist who discovered the power of nuclear energy just after her dramatic escape from Nazi Germany.

Mathilde Krim

Mathilde Krim is unique among philanthropists. She was able to combine her years of experience in medical research with her extraordinary skills as a fund-raiser to create and sustain AmFAR (the American Foundation for AIDS Research), the preeminent national organization supporting research on AIDS and advocating public policies that respond to the needs of people with AIDS.

Frances Krasnow

In 1917, Frances Krasnow graduated from Barnard College with a bachelor of science cum laude, from Columbia University with a master’s degree, and from the Teachers Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Krasnow would eventually receive recognition for being a pioneer in both science and Jewish education.

Gertrud Kornfeld

Gertrud Kornfeld’s life epitomises both the successes and frustrations of women scientists in academia in the first half of the twentieth century. She was the first woman scientist to receive an academic appointment in chemistry at the University of Berlin when she obtained the “venia legendi” to lecture in physical chemistry at the university (Privatdozent).

Malka Kolodny

Malka Kolodny (née Fisz), one of the earliest educators in pre-State Palestine, was born in Horodziec (Horodyszcze), in the Volhynia district of Poland, on June 17, 1910, the youngest of eight children of an Orthodox Jewish family.

Irene Caroline Diner Koenigsberger

A distinguished chemist credited with discovering the structure of rubber, Irene Caroline Koenigsberger was also an important figure in the Washington, D.C., Jewish community.

Helene Khatskels

In its commitment to socialism, diaspora Jewish nationalism, and Yiddish secular education, the life of the Yiddish pedagogue and writer Helene Khatskels closely reflects the history and ideals of the Jewish Labor Bund, which she actively supported. Her unfaltering devotion to her pupils, evident from both her own writings and writings about her, makes her stand out in the charged atmosphere of East European Jewish politics in the early twentieth century.

Joyce Jacobson Kaufman

Inspired as a little girl by Marie Curie, Joyce Jacobson Kaufman has herself become one of the most distinguished international scientists in the fields of chemistry, physics, biomedicine, and supercomputers.

Clara Immerwahr

Clara Immerwahr was born on June 21, 1870 on the Polkendorff Farm near Breslau, where she grew up together with her three older siblings, Elli, Rose and Paul, in a wealthy, highly-cultured, open and liberal family, which wore its Jewishness lightly. Her father, Philipp Immerwahr, had studied chemistry and sought to establish a factory, but when this enterprise failed he turned to Polkendoff, where his farming skills and inventive spirit combined to make him wealthy. He married his cousin Anne, née Korn. The family regularly spent the winter months in Breslau, where Philipp’s mother owned a large store selling clothes and dress materials.

Libbie Henrietta Hyman

In 1960, zoologist Libbie Hyman explained her work: “I like invertebrates. I don’t mean worms particularly, although a worm can be almost anything, including the larva of a beautiful butterfly. But I do like the soft delicate ones, the jellyfishes and corals and the beautiful microscopic organisms.” Hyman transformed her love of the soft creatures to writings that brought her international recognition as an expert on invertebrates and as the world authority on flatworms.

Ida Henrietta Hyde

Physiologist Ida Henrietta Hyde’s proudest accomplishment wasn’t her pioneering research—it was her work on behalf of other women scientists. In 1896, she conducted research at the Zoological Station in Naples, Italy, after completing her Ph.D. in Heidelberg, Germany. The next year, she persuaded America’s foremost women educators and philanthropists to make this opportunity available to other American women scientists. The group she founded was known as the Naples Table Association for Promoting Scientific Research by Women. Using a subscription system, the group raised five hundred dollars annually to fund a research “table,” actually a small laboratory, where thirty-six American women in all benefited from Hyde’s vision.

Rahel Hirsch

Physiologist, physician and teacher, Rahel Hirsch was the granddaughter of Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808–1888), the founder and spiritual leader of neo-Orthodoxy and one of the major rabbinical figures of the nineteenth century. Born in Frankfurt am Main on September 15, 1870, one of the eleven children of Dr. Mendel Hirsch, Rahel grew up in a cultured, Jewishly knowledgeable family. Her father, who was the principal of the Jewish community’s Realschule and a leading figure in the strictly Orthodox Jewish community, ensured that she receive good schooling by sending her to a girls’ school in her native city. Since women were not yet admitted to German universities, Rahel went to the teachers’ seminary in Wiesbaden, where she received her teaching certificate in May 1889. For want of any alternative, she taught until 1898, but since she longed to be a physician she went to Zürich, where women had been admitted to medical school since 1840. However, when German universities followed suit, she returned, studying first in Leipzig and later, from November 1900, in Strassburg. Here she passed the state examination in July 1903, wrote her dissertation on the impact of glucose and was immediately licensed as a physician.

Clara Heyn

Botanist Chaia Clara Heyn was born on June 13, 1924, in Cluj (Transylvania), Romania, to Paul-Pinchas (1889–1948) and Sima (née Grünfeld, 1895–1990) Blau, who also had a son, Jehoshua. Theirs was an affluent Jewish family. Paul Blau had a doctorate in international relations and worked as a journalist and businessman, while Sima was a homemaker. In 1931 the family moved to Baden, Austria, relocating to Vienna in 1937. One year later, in response to the Anschluss, the Blaus immigrated to Mandatory Palestine.

Elisabeth Goldschmidt

Elisabeth Goldschmidt was the founder of genetic studies as a research and teaching discipline at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Charlotte Friend

Cell biologist and immunologist Charlotte Friend made major contributions to our understanding of cancer and its causes.

Rosalind Elsie Franklin

Although best known for being the British physical chemist whose crucial experimental data enabled James Watson and Frances Crick to solve the structure of DNA as early as 1953, she received no gracious mention from either of them during their Nobel Prize speeches.

Naomi Feinbrun-Dothan

Botanist Naomi Feinbrun-Dothan was one of the first and rare women who became part of the academic staff at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the days when very few women had scientific careers, not only locally but also worldwide. For more than six decades she studied the flora of Israel and published dozens of articles and several analytical flora books. At the age of ninety-one she received the 1991 Israel Prize for her unique contribution to Land of Israel studies.

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