Content type

Joan Kahn

Joan Kahn had such a gift for choosing and editing bestselling mystery novels that her publishers put her name on their book covers to entice readers. In addition to editing and selecting many award-winning novels, she also wrote two mystery novels and four children’s books.

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.

Juedischer Frauenbund (The League of Jewish Women)

Founded in 1904, The League of Jewish Women pursued secular German feminist goals while maintaining a strong sense of Jewish identity. The League supported vulnerable women through practical social reforms while fighting for political power within the German Jewish community. It saw employment opportunities as essential to women’s economic, psychological, and emotional independence.

Lydia Joel

Lydia Joel began her dance career as a performer, but it was as the editor-in-chief of Dance Magazine that she had the greatest impact on the field. She expanded the magazines’ coverage, staff, and popularity, and she remained influential in dance until her death in 1992.

Women, Music, and Judaism in America

This article emphasizes American Jewish women’s multivalent musical choices from the eighteenth through the twenty-first centuries. In doing so, it acknowledges that mainstream Jewish liturgical, educational, art, and “popular” music histories often exclude or minimize women’s participation—as does the very term “Jewish music.” Instead, this article focuses on Jewish-identifying women’s activities in both religious and non-religious settings, rather than seeking to classify the music they create.

Jewish Feminism in the United States

Challenging all varieties of American Judaism, feminism has been a powerful force for popular Jewish religious revival. The accomplishments of Jewish feminists have transformed American Jewish life, even as the ultimate goal of gender equity and shared power has yet to be fully realized.

The Jewish Woman

The Jewish Woman quarterly magazine was launched by the National Council of Jewish Women in 1921 to provide information about the Council’s activities and promote the voices of Jewish women.

Geneviève Janssen-Pevtschin

Geneviève Janssen-Pevtschin was an accomplished lawyer, magistrate, and human rights activist in Belgium. She was active in resistance movements during World War II and is remembered for her passion, respect for human liberty, and dignity.

Irina Jacobson

Irina Jacobson, the wife of the prolific and innovative Soviet-Russian choreographer, Leonid Jacobson, was a living archive of his scores of radical and innovative ballets. A former soloist with the Kirov Ballet and the protégé of Agrippina Vaganova, she emigrated to the West in 1982 and was in demand internationally as a teacher and stager of Jacobson’s works, as well as of Romantic and Classical ballets.

Modern Italy

Jewish women were crucial both to changes in post-emancipation Italian Jewish life and to the overall condition of women in modern Italy. This article reflects on the changes in the role of Jewish women in modern Italy within the Jewish press and institutions, their activism in shaping a secular civil society, and their experiences through the Fascist regime, the trauma of the 1938 Racial laws, emigration, resistance, deportation, survival, and reconstruction.

Histadrut Nashim Ivriot (Hebrew Women's Organization)

The Hebrew Women’s Organization was one of the most successful and widespread Zionist women’s organizations to originate in Palestine, rather than North America or Europe. It focused on providing healthcare, social work, and other aid to poor and immigrant women and children across the Yishuv.

Sylvia Herscher

Sylvia Herscher’s career in the theater encompassed several occupations and spanned decades. Beginning in the 1950s, she served as general manager, producer, publisher, agent, and board member, as well as friend and guide to countless writers and composers finding their way into the business. In 2000, the American Theatre Wing presented her with its Special Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre.


Hasidism is a spiritual revival movement associated with the founding figure of Israel Ba’al Shem Tov (Besht, c. 1700–1760). Although some have depicted the movement as nothing less than a “feminist” revolution in early modern Judaism, in actuality the Hasidic movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries conceptualized gender in conventional terms drawn unquestioningly from the classical rabbinic, philosophical, and kabbalistic sources.

Marion Hartog

Marion Hartog and her sister Celia published influential poetry and books on Jewish themes, including works that were among the first fictions ever published by Jewish women anywhere in the world. Hartog later created and edited the first Jewish women’s periodical in history, The Jewish Sabbath Journal.

Blu Greenberg

Blu Greenberg is known as the mother of Orthodox feminism and is author of On Women and Judaism: A view from Tradition. She coined the phrase “Where there’s a rabbinic will, there’s a halakhic way,” demanding that rabbis find systemic solutions to help women who feel trapped by aspects of halakhah. Greenberg is a fierce advocate for agunot, women trapped in unwanted marriages.

Jean Gordon

Jean Gordon had two successful careers in her lifetime, as a founder of the Advance Pattern Company and as the owner and publisher of Dance Magazine. Through her work with Dance Magazine, she led the publication to financial stability and to a prominent place in the dance world.

Doris Bauman Gold

Doris Bauman Gold was motivated by her long participation in Jewish organizational life to found Biblio Press, dedicated to educating Jewish women about their own history and accomplishments. Through Biblio Press, Gold published more than 27 general audience books that address and illuminate the culture, history, experiences, and spiritual yearnings of Jewish women.

Ellen Frankel

A pioneering feminist leader in business and the arts, Ellen Frankel served as the first woman CEO of the Jewish Publication Society. She is the author of several books including The Classic Tales: Four Thousand Years of Jewish Lore (1989) and The Five Books of Miriam (1996), a retelling and woman’s commentary on the Five Books of Moses, and has written several librettos,.

Judith Kaplan Eisenstein

The first American girl to publicly celebrate a bat mitzvah, Judith Kaplan Eisenstein went on to become a Jewish educator, composer, and musicologist. Her accomplishments included studying at the school that would later become Julliard, teaching at the Jewish Theological Seminary Teacher’s Institute, and writing a songbook for children.

Racheli Edelman

Racheli Edelman, a leading Hebrew publisher in her own right, is a scion of two of Israel’s most distinguished book and newspaper publishing families—Schocken and Persitz.

Lily Edelman

Lily Edelman, a dynamic and much-sought-after lecturer, committed her life to learning, to teaching, and to understanding multicultural society. She published books for adults and children and was able to unite her interests in adult education and writing with her work at B’nai B’rith.

Ruth Dreifuss

Ruth Dreifuss was the first Jewish member of the Federal Government of Switzerland and the first female President of the country. When she became President of the Confederation in 1999, she was the first Jew and the first woman to hold the office.

Die Deborah

Die Deborah was an influential American Jewish newspaper published in German from 1855 until 1902 specifically aimed at German-Jewish middle-class women. The paper’s writers and editors viewed women in high esteem as keepers of moral and spiritual values, and toward the turn of the century they came to support the values of the American feminist movement.

Devar Ha-Po'elet

Devar ha’Po’elet, the magazine of the women worker’s movement, was founded in 1934 by Rahel Katznelson-Shazar, a prominent activist of the Council of Women Workers. The magazine was intended as an educational tool, through which the movement aimed to communicate the essential characteristics of the new Hebrew woman.

Midge Decter

Though she began her career in publishing at liberal Jewish journals, Midge Decter became a prominent neoconservative in the 1970s, famous for her attacks on the women’s liberation movement. By the 1980s, Decter turned to foreign policy and became a vocal Cold Warrior opposed to the Soviet Union because of the threat it posed to the United States and Israel.


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