Content type
Collage of Jewish Women Who Died in 2023

Jewish Women Whose Memories I’m Carrying into 2024

Judith Rosenbaum

The year 2023 brought the deaths of several powerful and influential Jewish women, whose insights and voices changed the world and are all the more painful to lose in this difficult time. 

Joan Feynman


Jayne Guberman interviewed Joan Feynman on January 16, 2013, in Pasadena, California, as part of the Jewish Women’s Archive General Oral History Project. Astrophysicist Feynman talks about researching solar phenomena, fighting for gender equality in science, and conducting groundbreaking research on solar radiation and climate change, earning prestigious accolades for her exceptional achievements.

Collage of Gertrude Goldhaber on pink background

Women in STEM: Gertrude Goldhaber and Me

Maya Viswanathan

Just as Dr. Goldhaber wanted to personally encourage others to study science and math, I too, try to personally invite others in the hope of creating a more fun and welcoming environment. 

Mirra Burovsky-Eitingon

Mirra Burovsky was the first Jewish actress to star in the mainstream Russian theater. Her stormy life and career brought her to center stage of Jewish cultural, intellectual, and social ferment in Tsarist and revolutionary Russia, Weimar Germany, and mandatory Palestine. Her third marriage, to psychoanalytist Max Eitingon, and the career of her son Yuli Khariton, “the father of the Soviet atomic bomb,” created the background for a continuing espionage controversy.

Miriam Rykles in her office, 1968

Knocking on Harvard's Glass Ceiling

Elana Spivack

In 1962, Miriam Rykles applied to work in Harvard University’s physics department. This is her story.

Topics: Education, Physics
2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Maya Jodidio Pipetting DNA into a Gel

To Girls Taking Their First STEM Classes

Caroline Kubzansky
Maya Jodidio
If you’re a female-identifying teen and you attend high school, chances are good that you take, or will take, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) class. Physics, biology, and chemistry are the usual suspects. We’re writing to share some collective wisdom with you from our own high-school experience.

Eileen Pollack

Discouraged from a promising career in science, Eileen Pollack published her 2015 memoir The Only Woman in the Room to unravel the many instances of sexism, large and small, which push women like her out of STEM fields.

Joan Feynman

Astrophysicist Joan Feynman shaped our understanding of solar winds, auroras, and sunspots, and her battle to open scientific bastions to women transformed the field for those who followed.

Women in Science: Reflecting with Dr. Joan Feynman

Jordyn Rozensky

Dr. Feynman fought an uphill battle—she had the smarts and the ability, but she was living in a world that wasn’t able to support or encourage a woman in science. Realizing the realities of the academic culture, she relegated her ambitions to being an assistant to a male physicist. Luckily for all of us—and for the field of theoretical physics—the support of her brother helped her set her goals at being a “high-medium physicist.”

Death of Elsa Neumann, first female doctoral graduate of University of Berlin

July 23, 1902

Death of Elsa Neumann, first female doctoral graduate of University of Berlin

Kepler's Supernova Remnant

Women as Wave, Women as Particle: The gender-racial politics of the male-female gaze

Gabrielle Orcha

Who are you?

I mean really . . .

Who are you . . . when you are alone and no one is watching?

What is your wave state?

Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, 1921 - 2011

Ultimately, RIA created “an explosion of knowledge” in every aspect of medicine and was used in thousands of laboratories in the United States and abroad.

Mattie Levi Rotenberg, 1897 - 1989

One Erev Pesach my grandmother demonstrated physics at the University of Toronto for three hours, went to the radio studio to tape a live broadcast, taped two more broadcasts for the upcoming days of Yom Tov, and came home to make seder.

Dr. Rosalyn S. Yalow becomes first American-born woman to receive Nobel Prize in science

December 8, 1977

On December 8, 1977, Rosalyn Yalow became the first American-born and American-trained woman to receive a Nobel Prize in science when she accepted

Rosalyn Yalow

Rosalyn Yalow made a breakthrough contribution to medical research with the discovery of radioimmunoassay, which contributed to major advances in diabetes research and other medical conditions. She won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1977. At a time when it was rare for a woman to have a career in science, she defied gender barriers and pursued both a career and a family.

Science in Israel

In Israel, awareness has grown recently that only through proactive effort can gender equality in scientific fields can be realized. Thorough investigations of inequalities have taken place, and actions are being taken to catalyze policy and systematic action to further women in science and technology.

Mattie Rotenberg

The first woman and the first Jew to be granted a doctorate in physics at the University of Toronto, Mattie Rotenberg also founded Toronto’s first Jewish day school in 1929 to educate her five children. She went on to embark upon a successful second career in journalism.

Olga Taussky-Todd

A self-proclaimed “torchbearer for matrix theory,” Olga Taussky-Todd made the previously little-known field essential for scientists and mathematicians.

Ruth Sperling

Ruth Sperling is an esteemed Israeli scientist. Her work with her husband included a revolutionary discovery of the 3-D structure of spliceosomes, the cell's "machinery" for chopping up and re-attaching pieces of DNA to create its requisite assortment of functional proteins.

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.

Hélène Metzger

Hélène Metzger was a French historian of chemistry and a philosopher of science, whose work remains influential today. Her independence and drive brought her great recognition, despite the lack of credibility given to her as a woman.

Lise Meitner

Lise Meitner’s influential work concerning radioactivity in the early 20th century made her a target of the Nazis. She fled to Sweden in 1938, and it was there that she discovered the power of the fission reaction. Even though Meitner never worked on nuclear weapons, her 1939 research was essential in the research of nuclear power.

Lillian R. Lieber

Frustrated with the way math is taught in schools, Lillian R. Lieber created unconventional, popular books to excite young readers and incite their curiosity.

Hilde Levi

Hilde Levi was an exceptional physicist who worked first in Germany and later in Denmark, where she became a prominent researcher. She belonged to the second generation of women scientists in Germany, who were able to participate on a relatively equal basis in scientific institutions and in academia.

Hedwig Kohn

Born in Breslau, Hedwig Kohn was one of the early woman pioneers in physics. After a narrow escape from Nazi Germany, she went on to teach at Wellesley College and pursue independent research at Duke University in the field of flame spectroscopy, measuring absorption features of atomic species in flames.


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