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Publishing

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Judith Kaplan Eisenstein

Before she was thirteen years old, author, composer, and musicologist Judith Kaplan Eisenstein was already a significant figure in Jewish history. The eldest of four daughters born to Lena (Rubin) and Rabbi Mordecai Menachem Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, Judith Kaplan was the first young woman to celebrate a Lit. "daughter of the commandment." A girl who has reached legal-religious maturity and is now obligated to fulfill the commandmentsBat Mitzvah publicly in an American congregation on March 18, 1922.

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

A preeminent authority on adult education and multiculturalism, Lily Edelman spent her life encouraging others to read and think about people of different cultures and faiths. Through her writings, the reviews and anthologies she edited, and the adult education courses she taught and planned, she challenged individuals to examine both their own religious faith and society. Drawing upon her own heritage, she wrote a popular children’s book, The Booth erected for residence during the holiday of Sukkot.Sukkah and the Big Wind (1956) about the Jewish holiday of Sukkoth, and Israel: New People in an Old Land (1958) was based on her many trips to Israel.

Ruth Dreifuss

An outspoken and strong feminist, Switzerland’s first Jewish member of the Federal Government and first woman president Ruth Dreifuss was born in St. Gall in Eastern Switzerland on January 9, 1940. Her father Sigi Dreifuss (1899–1956) was from Endingen (Canton of Aargau), one of the two villages of old Switzerland in which Jews could live before the emancipation in 1866. The Dreifuss family was among the oldest in Switzerland. Her mother’s family left Alsace (near Colmar) after the German annexation in 1871 and Ruth’s mother Jeanne Dreifuss-Bicard (1905–1962) was born in St. Gall. Ruth’s brother, Jean Jacques, born in 1936, was a professor of physiology in the faculty of medicine at the University of Geneva.

Die Deborah

As the most important German Jewish newspaper in America, Die Deborah propagated a program of German identity, of bourgeois culture, and of Jewish Reform in which women were assigned a strategic place. The paper published essays on Jewish religion, culture, and history, and debates on education. Literature, mostly ghetto novels, was given a privileged place. While Die Deborah reported on Jewish issues from all over the world, it focused on news from Germany, and it gave special attention to the cultural life of the German immigrant community in America.

Devar Ha-Po'elet

Devar ha-Po’elet was founded in 1934 as the organ of the women workers’ movement. It was conceived as a monthly supplement to the daily newspaper Davar, both to increase its readership and in response to the demand of the women workers’ movement, which thus realized its goal of creating a women’s magazine—a goal it had cherished since the 1920s. The women’s magazine was both officially and financially subordinate to Davar, which provided printing and distribution services. The Mo’ezet ha-Po’alot (Council of Women Workers) was responsible for its funding, which it supplied through contributions and an allocation from the Histadrut (General Federation of Workers in Israel). An independent editorial staff, led by a woman editor, was responsible for content and design.

Midge Decter

“Nerve,” according to activist-writer Midge Decter, is “the one thing all writers need.” Her own career has demonstrated this principle several times over, as Decter’s controversial opinions have put her at the center of public debates over issues such as feminism and foreign policy. A neoconservative who enjoys debunking cherished liberal beliefs, Decter has inspired both fury and respect among readers. Even those who disagree violently with her insist that hers is “an opinion to be reckoned with.”

Vera Dean

In the preface to her book Builders of Emerging Nations (1961), Vera Dean poses the question, “What makes a leader?” While the book goes on to discuss the important qualities necessary to be a leader in the political arena, the story of Vera Dean’s life is a testament to her own leadership abilities. She helped shape American foreign policy and opinion on international relations, as both an educator and a writer.

Cookbooks in the United States

When you are searching for instructions on how to prepare the perfect pickled tongue, for hints on setting a festive SabbathShabbat table, or a refresher course in the laws and lore of A seven-day festival to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt (eight days outside Israel) beginning on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan. Also called the "Festival of Mazzot"; the "Festival of Spring"; Pesah.Passover, American Jewish cookbooks are an invaluable source of information on Jewish life. The first publicly available American Jewish cookbook was published in 1871. Esther Levy’s Jewish Cookery Book on Principles of Economy Adapted for Jewish Housekeepers with Medicinal Recipes and Other Valuable Information Relative to Housekeeping and Domestic Management was an attempt to touch on most aspects of Jewish home life. While few of the hundreds of Jewish cookbooks written since attempt the breadth of this first work, American Jewish cookbooks capture the range of Jewish religious and cultural expression.

Mildred Cohn

Biochemist Mildred Cohn used new technology to measure organic reactions in living cells. She not only breached new frontiers in atomic chemistry, but also did so by breaking through barriers as a woman and a Jew in a male- and Christian-dominated field

Selma Jeanne Cohen

It was Selma Jeanne Cohen’s mission in life to make dance scholarship a respected field, taking its place with the study of the other arts both in society and, particularly, the university. As a writer, editor, and teacher, she was a leader in transforming dance history, aesthetics, and criticism into respected disciplines. She encouraged and often trained those who are now working in these vital fields, so that dance is no longer viewed as mere entertainment, but is studied as a rich art on many levels, from the most elite to varieties of popular and folk expression, illuminating society in new and valuable ways. She was an internationalist, her Jewish heritage playing little part in her life or her approach to dance in the world. However, when being inducted into the Dance Library of Israel Hall of Fame in 2001, she spoke eloquently of her love of Israel and what it meant to her.

Children's Literature in Hebrew

All of these aspects are clearly reflected in the developmental patterns of Hebrew children’s literature at the end of the eighteenth century; likewise, the ways in which this literature became established serve to illustrate the factors that led to the institutionalization of children’s literature in Europe in general.

Aviva Cantor

The great synthesizer, bringing together Jewish feminism, Zionism, socialism, animal rights and concern for the environment, Aviva Cantor remains best known for her work as co-founder and editor of Lilith, the independent Jewish feminist magazine, her landmark Egalitarian Hagada, and her passionately analytical and theoretical volume Jewish Women/Jewish Men: The Legacy of Patriarchy in Jewish Life.

Claire Brook

Claire Brook is a writer, editor, and composer whose career is most distinguished by her work in publishing.

Ruth Hagy Brod

Ruth Hagy Brod was a versatile and peripatetic career woman who worked for nearly fifty years as a journalist, publicist, literary agent, television host, and government antipoverty official.

Bridges: A Journal for Jewish Feminists and Our Friends

Drawing on the traditional Jewish values of justice and repair of the world and insights honed by the feminist, lesbian and gay movements, seven Jewish women began to publish Bridges: A Journal for Jewish Feminists and Our Friends in 1990.

Judy Blume

The perennially best-selling author Judy Blume is a rare phenomenon in children’s literature.

Anne Fleischman Bernays

Anne Bernays’s work as novelist and nonfiction writer is notable for its literary quality and as a running commentary on manners and customs.

Vicki Baum

Baum frequently depicted powerful, self-reliant women caught up in the social and economic turbulence of twentieth-century Europe and America.

Baraita de-Niddah

The term niddah is used in Jewish tradition in relation to menstruation. It implies “a menstruating woman,” “menstruation,” “menstrual blood,” “bleeding period,” “menstrual impurity,” “laws related to menstruation,” etc. The root of the term is ndd or ndh, which means wandering or exclusion, related most certainly to the exclusion of the menstruant from ordinary social activities.

Rokhl Auerbakh

Rokhl Auerbach (1903–1976), a member of the Polish-Jewish literary elite, ran a soup kitchen in the Warsaw Ghetto while simultaneously in her writing recording the voices of its captive inhabitants. She ultimately survived the war by passing herself off as an "Aryan," and went on to found the Department for the Collection of Witness Testimony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

Associazione Donne Ebree D'Italia (ADEI)

The Association of Italian Jewish Women, or ADEI, was founded in 1927 in the city of Milan, Italy, home to the second largest Jewish community in the country.

Devorà Ascarelli

Although in the writing of history the term “first” must be used with caution, Devorà Ascarelli may have been the first Jewish woman to have had her own book published.

Eve Arnold

Largely self-taught, Arnold was the first American woman to be accepted into Magnum Photos, a cooperative photography agency that in the 1950s helped photographers gain artistic and financial control of their work. Inspired by Magnum members such as Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Arnold took photographs for major newsmagazines such as Life. Her well-known studies of China, women, political figures like Senator Joseph McCarthy and Malcolm X, and movie stars like Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe have placed her among the top American photographers.

Anarchists, American Jewish women

The first Jewish anarchist organization was formally set up as a result of the Haymarket bombing in 1886 and the subsequent trial of the accused anarchists. The inception and growth of the Jewish anarchist movement in the United States were inseparable from the mass immigration of Jews from Eastern Europe starting in 1881.

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