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Dorothy Rothschild Parker

Writer, poet, critic, and screenwriter Dorothy Parker became known for her fierce wit as Vanity Fair’s drama critic in 1918 and as a founder of the “Algonquin Round Table.” She wrote multiple successful volumes of poetry and short stories and co-wrote the screenplay for the original A Star Is Born (1939). Parker was also committed to activism and numerous political causes.

Lydia Pasternak

Born in Moscow into a family of highly successful artists, Lydia Pasternak made a name for herself in both scientific and literary realms. She worked as an assistant to American neurochemist Irvine H. Page in Munich and later became the preeminent translator of her brother Boris’s poetry while living in Great Britain.

Isadora Newman

Isadora Newman was a celebrated writer, storyteller, poet, and artist. Born in New Orleans, her stories often focused on Creole and Black life and legend and folktales from foreign countries. Her books were translated into many languages and she later became an accomplished painter and sculptor.

Rachel Morpurgo

Italian Hebrew poet Rachel Morpurgo was part of the renaissance of Hebrew poetry and literature that began at the end of the eighteenth century. While earlier Italian Jewish women poets had written almost entirely in Italian, Morpurgo wrote all her poems in Hebrew and can be considered the first Hebrew woman poet.

Robin Morgan

Poet, activist, journalist, and feminist leader Robin Morgan has dedicated her life to addressing women’s oppression globally and fighting for systemic social, economic, and political change. She has published more than twenty books, including poetry, essays, fiction and non-fiction work; her writings, especially her Sisterhood anthologies, remain central feminist canon and foundational texts and references for feminist thought.

Elsa Morante

Elsa Morante (1912-1985) was an Italian author whose writing often addressed persecution and injustice. After fleeing Fascist authorities during World War II, Morante traveled extensively while continuing to write prolifically; she later won the Viareggio literary prize, Strega Prize, and Prix Medicis.

Penina Moïse

A Jewish-American poet, nurse, journalist, and educator, Penina Moïse was born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1797. Penina Moïse, a staunch supporter of the Confederacy, shaped American-Jewish culture through her poetry as the first woman poet included in an American prayer book.

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 Hebrew Literature: Portrayal of Women

Stereotypes of women, “good” and “bad,” are found throughout the medieval Hebrew canon. The love poetry cultivated during the Golden Age in Muslim Spain seems to glorify and idealize women, but the female “beloved” is subject to the power of the male “gaze” and male rhetoric.

Ida Maze

Ida Maze was a “communitarian-proletarian” Yiddish writer who turned her Montreal home into a magnet for Yiddish writers and culture. After emigrating from Belarus to North America at age twelve in 1905, Maze began writing lyrical poems that were original and inspiring to young people.

Maskilot, Nineteenth Century

Nineteenth-century maskilot were Jewish women proponents of the Haskalah, who wished to take part in the cultural and social revolution it preached. Despite assumptions that the Haskalah was an exclusively male movement, a small number of women read Hebrew literature, wrote in Hebrew, and regarded themselves as part of the Haskalah movement.

Anna Margolin

Despite her short writing career, Anna Margolin is regarded by literary critics as one of the finest early twentieth-century Yiddish poets in America. She was an active member of a circle of Jewish immigrant intellectuals in New York and her work influenced several major writers of her time, including the Yiddishist Chaim Zhitlovsky.

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.

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.

Amy Levy

Novelist, essayist, and poet Amy Levy was a popular and successful writer of the late nineteenth century. Admired by Oscar Wilde, she was the second Jewish woman to attend Cambridge and the first at Newnham College. Her work reflects the autonomous and achievement-oriented ideals of the “New Woman,” as well as her own struggles with depression.

Malka Lee

A writer of lyrical and sometimes sentimental poetry, Malka Lee was one of the most beloved female poets writing in Yiddish in America during her lifetime. Her poems had great folk appeal to Yiddish readers as reflections of their own experiences in the Old World and the New.

Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus (1849-1887), an internationally known poet and essayist, created the role of the American Jewish writer. She lent her voice to the Statue of Liberty to enunciate a vision for America, but she herself was in no doubt about the Jewish roots of her vision in tikkun olam (repairing the world) through righteousness, justice, and compassion.

Else Lasker-Schüler

Else Lasker-Schüler was a German-Jewish poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright. Born in Elberfeld (today part of Wuppertal, Germany) in 1869, Lasker-Schüler is best known for her dream-like, bohemian poetry.

Shulamit Lapid

Shulamit Lapid is an Israeli-Jewish novelist and playwright born in 1934. Her literary work focuses on feminism, social consciousness, and immigration to Israel.

Pearl Lang

Pearl Lang was the first dancer Martha Graham allowed to perform some of Graham’s own roles. She also brought elements of the ecstatic poetry and dance of Jewish traditions to her own praised work.

Hedwig Lachmann

Hedwig Lachmann was a poet and translator in Germany around the turn of the twentieth century. In addition to her original poetry, she translated works by Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, and Honoré de Balzac.

Maxine Kumin

Maxine Kumin is most widely known as a nature poet for her well-crafted descriptions of life on her New Hampshire farm. Yet increasingly her social conscience prompted her also to write “poetry of witness,” protesting torture and other injustices. Her strong Jewish consciousness showed itself in poems about her Jewish ancestors and historic injustices to Jews and in use of sacred Jewish texts to form an environmental message.

Ewa Kuryluk

Ewa Kuryluk is an author, writer, essayist, artist, and art historian. Born in Poland, she did not know for a long time that her mother was a Jew and a member of the underground whose survival had been facilitated by her future husband. Kurlyuk has published in the field of art history, produced art held by museums around the world, and written poetry and novels.

Isa Kremer

Isa Kremer (Belz, Bessarabia, 1887-Córdoba, Argentina, 1956) traveled the world performing art, folk, and classical music. She studied and sang opera in Italy but appeared as an art singer in Odessa, where she was the wife of Israel Heifetz, the editor of The Odessa News. Her great legacy is her Isa Kremer Sings Jewish Life in Song, a book and album of Jewish songs.

Rokhl Häring Korn

Rokhl Häring Korn is a major figure in modern Yiddish literature. She published eight volumes of poetry and two collections of fiction, much of which focused on themes of homelessness, the upheaval of war, and her experience during the Holocaust.


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