Schools

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Madalyn Schenk

Madalyn Shenk drove significant political change both in Louisiana and in the nation as a whole.

Marla Oros

Marla Oros offered health care directly to poor and underserved populations in Baltimore through innovative programs that brought nurse practitioners out of hospitals and into the communities.

Susan Maze-Rothstein

Susan Maze-Rothstein’s childhood experiences of injustice led her to help create a more just world for her children and her students.

Hannah Jukovsky

Hannah Jukovsky made headlines when she organized a boycott of standardized testing to draw attention to class and race inequities in Massachusetts public schools.

Flora Langerman Spiegelberg

Willi along with his five other brothers had already established a thriving mercantile business in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Spiegelbergs were so financially successful that their wives and children were able to live luxuriously. For instance, by 1880, Willi and Flora, had the first house in Santa Fe with running water and gas appliances.

Henrietta Szold

Henrietta Szold’s intellectual and social contributions shaped the lives of Jews in two countries: the United States and the still-forming State of Israel.

Lillian D. Wald

Lillian D. Wald’s dedication to serving poor and working-class communities as a nurse and organizer transformed health care in America.

Beatrice L. Levi

Activist, innovator and visionary, Beatrice L. Levi has created educational opportunities for Baltimoreans of all ages.

Clementine L. Kaufman

She later earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and focused her work life on alternative educational institutions for girls. Clem's passion for learning continues in her retirement, and she is currently working on writing several books.

Shoshana Shoubin Cardin

Known by presidents and prime ministers, Shoshana Shoubin Cardin has achieved iconic status in the world of international Jewish diplomacy. The daughter of chalutzim (pioneers), Shoshana was born in 1926 in Palestine and came to the United States a year later. Raised in a committed Zionist family, Shoshana was an avid student who excelled in both Jewish and general studies.

Bernice Mossafer Rind

A child virtuoso on harp and long-standing champion of the Seattle Symphony, Bernice Rind’s musical career began at age seven. At age 11 she debuted professionally and retired from touring at age 23 when her mother grew ill and Bernice longed for a more "normal" life. A Seattle native whose parents emigrated from the Isle of Rhodes, she attended both Ezra Bessaroth Congregation (Sephardic) cofounded by her father, and the Ashkenazic Reform synagogue, Temple de Hirsch Sinai, (co-founded by the Rind family).

Ruth Jungster Frankel

Hebrew school teacher Ruth Frankel dedicated her life to Jewish education and the welfare of the Jewish people. Born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1916, she grew up in a close modern Orthodox home, attending Hebrew school from kindergarten until high school. Together with her sister, Lisbeth, Ruth emigrated to the U.S. in June 1938. Despite all their endeavors, Ruth and Lisbeth were unsuccessful in rescuing their parents, who had remained behind and eventually perished in Auschwitz. Ruth's future husband, Joseph Frankel, apprehended during Kristallnacht, spent four months in Buchenwald before reaching England and then immigrating to the U.S. in 1940. After the war, the Frankels and their daughter moved to Seattle where Joseph was instrumental in starting a Religious School at Herzl Ner Tamid, a Conservative synagogue, serving as its principal and cantor. Ruth became active in the synagogue Sisterhood, voluntarily kept all school records, and taught second and third grade for 30 years in Seattle public schools.

An American Jew in Israel

Teach about Israeli Independence Day (Yom Ha’Atzmaut) through the lively and engaging letters of Zipporah “Zippy” Porath. Through the letters of this young American woman who was studying at Hebrew University in 1947, we will explore the joy and the heartbreak that led up to Israel’s statehood and examine the role that gender played in one woman’s Zionist experience.

Birth of Florence Melton, Innovator in Jewish Adult Education

November 6, 1911

Florence Melton wanted others to "spend some, save some, and share some."

Rabbah Sara Hurwitz

The Rabba Revolution Continues

by  Elana Sztokman

Three years ago this month, Rabba Sara Hurwitz made history in the Jewish world by becoming the first publicly ordained female rabbi in the Orthodox community. Since then, the 35-year-old mother of three has been working as Dean of Yeshivat Maharat, an institution dedicated to training women Orthodox clergy, as well as working as Rabba at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, which this June will graduate the first three women with the title of Maharat — an acronym for “Religious, spiritual, Torah leaders” — marking yet another important milestone for women in Orthodoxy. Rabba Hurwitz explained to "The Sisterhood" what this all means.

Table and Chairs

How I Came to My Table

by  Vanessa Zoltan

I was seated at one of those grand, heavy, deep brown mahogany tables in a beautiful room with two walls of windows. To my left, sat my mother, visiting for a few days from Los Angeles. Then to my right, and all the way around the table sat 10 classmates and my professor. We were talking about my favorite topic: How do you do good?

Topics: Schools, Theology
Heather Booth and Fannie Lou Hamer, 1964

Tikkun Olam in a Mississipi Freedom School

by  Doreen Rappaport

On February 1, 1960, four black students in Greensboro, North Carolina, sat down at a race-segregated lunch counter in Woolworth’s and asked for service. When the waitress refused to serve them, they remained seated. This act of passive resistance launched a mass Civil Rights Movement involving tens of thousands of black southerners demanding equality and an end to the hideous system of racial segregation. I was a vocal music teacher in junior high school in the Lower East Side of Manhattan then, and not that much older than these students. Their courage and dignity in the face of constant violence fired my heart and mind.

Image of an Afghani Girl

In the Name of Allah: What a Young Afghani Woman Has Taught Me

by  Samantha Wood

Tell someone a story, and you don’t know what will happen next.

Last summer I was lucky to study at the Jewish Women’s Archive’s Institute for Educators. We spent five intense days learning the Living the Legacy curriculum with top scholars in social activism, Jewish feminism and history. In the coming months, I will be using Living the Legacy to teach a series of social justice workshops to teens in western Massachusetts.

But something else happened because of what I learned at the Jewish Women’s Archive.

Judith Rodin, first woman named president of Ivy League university

December 17, 1993

This date marks two “firsts” for Judith Rodin—the first Penn graduate to serve as president of the University of Pennsylvania and the first woman to become president of an Ivy League institution.&n

Rachel Rosmarin on Workmen's Circle

My Surrogate Jewish Grandmas

by  Rachel Rosmarin

You know those heartwarming chick flicks where women with seemingly little in common are forced together by circumstance, bond over something like quilting, beekeeping, small-town politics or a Jan

Topics: Schools

Shulamith Soloveitchik Meiselman, 1912 - 2009

She was born into a family of great rabbis and scholars; if she had been born a boy, her path would have been clear. Having been born a girl, she had to find her way. She did so with great success in her public and private lives, and did so with wisdom and grace.

"Thank G-D for creating me according to your will"

by  Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez

Three years ago I had the opportunity to visit the rare books room at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) library. I saw many interesting things, but one that would change my life forever.

Dr. Evelyn Handler killed at 78

by  Kate Bigam

Amidst the cheery holiday hustle and bustle surrounding the holiday season, tragedy struck in Bedford, NH late last month,  claiming the life of Dr. Evelyn Handler (nee Sass), former president of Brandeis University. The 78-year-old Handler, a cell biologist who served as Brandeis’s first (and so far only) female president, was killed in a pedestrian accident while crossing the street with her husband on December 23rd.

Topics: Schools

Reconsidering Jewish sororities must involve a systematic reconsideration of Greek life

by  Chanel Dubofsky

They seemed like they were everywhere, since where my friends and I lived on campus was known for its Greek population.

Top 10 Jewish Women in Labor History

10 Things You Should Know About Fannia Cohn

by  Leah Berkenwald

Her life offers evidence of the possibilities and limitations of women’s activism in the American labor movement.”

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