Schools

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Adeline Schulberg

Adeline Schulberg’s long and winding career path led her from socialist activist, to child welfare advocate, to Hollywood agent. During World War II, she moved to London and returned to activist work, helping rescue refugees from Nazi Europe.

Rina Schenfeld

Rina Schenfeld has choreographed solo and company performances that have been presented on the world’s most important stages. She uses the objects of daily life for her props, tests the limits of their usefulness and creates a poetic world with them.

Romania, Women and Jewish Education

The delay in opening schools for girls (both general and Jewish) illustrates one of the obvious ways in which the gender balance of power was slanted in favor of the male: women were restricted to the private sphere, excluded from the centers of power and achievement in Romanian society—the fields of finance, politics and the army—which required higher education. Such an approach was especially apparent in traditional, conservative societies such as Romania’s in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and until 1950.

Religious Zionist Movements in Palestine

Within the Yishuv society of pre-state Israel, there developed a unique sector with a complex ideology: a religious Zionist society that included two main movements—Mizrachi (1902) and Ha-Po’el ha-Mizrachi (1922).

Flora Sophia Clementina Randegger -Friedenberg

Figuring among a precious few accounts left by a Jewish woman of a stay in the Old Yishuv in nineteenth-century Jerusalem, Flora Randegger's journal is also a record of a woman’s attempt to establish an educational project for Jews and especially for Jewish women in Palestine.

Puah Rakovsky

Referring to herself in her memoirs as a “revolutionary Jewish woman,” Puah Rakovsky included her personal struggle for autonomy together with her Zionist and feminst activism in her self-definition. She dedicated her long life to struggling for the empowerment of Jews, and particularly of Jewish women.

Marie Rambert

Influenced by Isadora Duncan, Emile Jacques-Dalcroze, and Vaslav Nijinsky, Marie Rambert became known as one of the “Mothers” of English ballet. Her passion for and devotion to dance allowed her to become a talented choreographer and cultivator of talent, and her contributions to the art form earned her many honors.

Daniella Rabinovich

Following decades of intensive work in management of Israeli music institutions, Daniella Rabinovich became a leading figure in the field in Tel Aviv in the 1980s and 1990s.

Ellen Phillips

Ellen Phillips influenced generations of young Jewish girls and boys in nineteenth-century Philadelphia.

Rivkah Perelis

As a historian, Perelis strove for moral principles, accuracy and the utmost openness, without sacrificing the personal emotional motivation behind her work. She struggled with the inevitable dilemma of every historian when dealing with the Holocaust—the dichotomy between the sense of personal-emotional commitment and the professional obligation to maximum objectivity—and learned to live within this contradictory space.

Pelech Religious Experimental High School for Girls, Jerusalem

Thirty years on, Talmud learning for women is a recognized fact and Pelech graduates have been conspicuously involved in the establishment and ongoing activities of the Batei Midrash (learning groups, particularly of Talmud) that have proliferated in the modern orthodox community. They have been prominent in the establishment of alternative minyanim (prayer groups) and in lobbying for the improved status of women in issues of halakhah (Jewish Law).

Margalit Ornstein

Margalit Ornstein (nèe Oppenheimer) is perceived as the “founding mother” of Israeli dance, a pioneer of modern dance in Erez Israel and of the revolutionary ideas of the new “body culture” movement.

Rina Nikova

Rina Nikova, a pioneer of classical and biblical ballet in Palestine, distinguished herself mostly in character dances, which had a nationalist style influenced by ethnic folklore.

Margaret Naumburg

Margaret Naumburg founded the Walden School and authored many works on psychology and art therapy.

Doña Gracia Nasi

Doña Gracia Nasi (c. 1510–1569) was among the most formidable figures of the Sephardi world in the sixteenth century. Her dramatic (indeed melodramatic) life began in Portugal, where she was born into a Jewish family whose members had recently been forcibly baptized. It ended in Constantinople after a career that brought her renown as a shrewd and resourceful businesswoman, a leader of the Sephardi Lit. (Greek) "dispersion." The Jewish community, and its areas of residence, outside Erez Israel.diaspora, and a generous benefactor of Jewish enterprises.

Music: Palestine and Israel

The story of music in Israel is inextricably intertwined with the waves of immigration that broke upon its shores from 1882 on. Music in Israel is thus a giant mosaic of cultures, styles and musical traditions which in one way or another integrated into the music made in the country prior to their arrival.

Marion Simon Misch

Marion Misch participated in a great number of volunteer activities through her lifetime, all the while running a successful business following the death of her husband. Her primary interests centered on education and Judaism, and her volunteerism reflected her concern for these issues.

Mexico: Education

The first immigrants to arrive in Mexico during the early decades of the twentieth century from Eastern Europe, Syria and the Balkan countries were profoundly concerned with the formal education of their children. At that time, part of the controversy in the community was whether Mexico should be an “in transit” country to the United States or a place in which to settle permanently, in which education would play an important role as part of the socializing process.

Fania Metman-Cohen

Fania Metman-Cohen set up the first Hebrew kindergarten in Odessa in 1899 and ran a Zionist school in 1902–1903, at which Chaim Nachman Bialik taught. She was active in the local B’not Zion organization for the education of Zionist women and—together with her husband—set up the Army of Rebirth Association that sent educators, physicians and other professionals to Palestine.

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.

Judith Berlin Lieberman

In her contribution to the book Thirteen Americans: Their Spiritual Autobiographies, Judith Berlin Lieberman wrote that her goal was to “elevate the teaching of Bible and the traditional commentaries to their rightful place in the curriculum for girls,” to help them “acquire a knowledge of and love for the Hebrew tongue” and of Eretz Yisrael.

Sara Lee

Sara Lee, a Jewish educator who combines charisma with caring and vision with realism, has become a central figure in the effort to ensure Jewish continuity. In recent years the American Jewish community has recognized both the critical need for and the difficult challenge of providing all Jews with an excellent, compelling Jewish education.

Rachel Mordecai Lazarus

In 1815, Rachel Mordecai Lazarus, a twenty-six-year-old North Carolina schoolteacher, met a “Shylock.” Dishearteningly, he was a character in her favorite writer’s latest novel. Even worse, the malicious London coachmaker of Maria Edgeworth’s The Absentee (1812) was named Mr. Mordicai. The sting festered, and Rachel wrote to Edgeworth, a best-selling Irish writer of fiction and progressive educational guides, requesting an explanation. Rachel’s genteel, principled criticism moved and shamed Edgeworth, who not only begged pardon but set out in her next tale to unveil antisemitism’s irrational roots. So began an epistolary friendship that continued until Rachel Mordecai Lazarus’s death, though few knew of it. Adhering closely to social strictures on women—to be widely known was to risk one’s virtue—she refused ever to have her name publicly linked to Edgeworth or to the apologetic novel she inspired, Harrington (1817).

Rebekah Bettelheim Kohut

Rebekah Bettelheim Kohut made her mark on the American Jewish community in the areas of education, social welfare, and the organization of Jewish women. Grounded in her Jewish identity as the daughter and wife of rabbis, Kohut had a public career that paralleled the beginnings of Jewish women’s activism in the United States.

Esther Loeb Kohn

“The great need today is for social inventions for the prevention of destitution and illness.” This statement, made in 1938, illustrates two of the primary interests of Esther Loeb Kohn’s life—social reform and medical social work. A thirty-year resident of Hull House, the famous Chicago social settlement founded by Jane Addams, Kohn was also an active volunteer and financial supporter of Jewish charitable organizations in Chicago.

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