Spirituality and Religious Life

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Collection

Adele Bluthenthal Heiman

Adele Blumenthal Heiman spent her life in Arkansas, helping create and lead the state’s close-knit Jewish community.
Sikh Marching Band

Oak Creek, Two Years Later

Tara Metal

In my neighborhood, Sikhs hand out free cold drinks on certain Saturdays. They do this on important days in Sikh history to raise awareness of their beliefs—the water bottles and cans of Coke are accompanied by small printed brochures detailing Sikh practices and culture.

Rose Goldstein

Rose Goldstein worked to support women’s greater involvement in Jewish ritual life through her education work with United Synagogue and her essential guide to Jewish prayer, A Time to Pray: A Personal Approach to the Jewish Prayer Book.

Rebecca Fischel Goldstein

Both as a rabbi’s wife and as a leader in her own right, Rebecca Fischel Goldstein strove to make women a significant force in Orthodox Judaism.

Edna Goldsmith

The granddaughter of one of the pioneers of Cleveland, Edna Goldsmith devoted her career to creating and leading Jewish women’s organizations within her home state of Ohio.

Birth of Esther Broner, co-creator of "The Women’s Haggadah"

July 8, 1927

Esther Broner "made room for us at the table by creating a whole new one—a Seder table at which women’s voices were heard.”

Maya Deren

Maya Deren became one of the most important avant-garde filmmakers of her time for her use of experimental editing techniques and her fascination with ecstatic religious dances.

Rose Brenner

As president of the National Council of Jewish Women, Rose Brenner focused on inclusion of people who were often marginalized—the deaf, the blind, and those isolated in rural areas.

Rose Haas Alschuler

Rose Haas Alschuler founded and directed more than twenty nursery schools and early childhood education programs before turning her attention to Zionist causes and becoming a vital fundraiser for the State of Israel.

Miriam Albert

Miriam Albert helped B’nai B’rith Women transition from an auxiliary of the men’s association to an independent organization.

Nima Adlerblum

Nima Adlerblum’s scholarship and Zionist activism helped shape worldwide perspectives about the land where she was born.

Racie Adler

Racie Friedenwald Adler helped shape a number of Jewish institutions, most significantly the Women’s League For Conservative Judaism.

Flora Langerman Spiegelberg

Flora Langerman Spiegelberg transformed two cities in very different ways, championing education and children’s parks in Santa Fe and public sanitation in New York.

Rosa Sonneschein

Rosa Sonneschein created the American Jewess, the first English-language magazine for Jewish women in the United States.

Esther Jane Ruskay

At a time when the Jewish community was focused on the benefits of assimilation and the possibilities of ethical culture, Esther Jane Ruskay argued passionately for a return to traditional religious practice and study.

Rosanna Dyer Osterman

Rosanna Dyer Osterman’s supplies helped travelers explore the western frontier, but it was her life-saving efforts as a nurse for which she was best remembered.

Tehilla Lichtenstein

Lichtenstein cofounded Jewish Science with her husband as an alternative to Christian Science, creating a small but passionate following and carving a place for herself as a congregational leader.

Pearl Lang

Pearl Lang was the first dancer Martha Graham allowed to perform some of her roles, and brought elements of the ecstatic poetry and dance of Hasidic and Sephardic Jewish traditions to her own critically praised work as a dancer and choreographer.

Anna Halprin

Anna Halprin was one of the founders of postmodern dance, but her focus has been on dance as a healing art, creating companies for dancers living with HIV and AIDS.

Bilah Abigail Levy Franks

Bilah “Abigail” Levy Franks’ letters created a portrait of life for Jews in colonial America.

Hannah Bachman Einstein

Hannah Bachman Einstein’s activism and volunteer activities bridged very different worlds, from temple sisterhood leadership to lobbying and helping draft legislation for children’s welfare.
Rabbi Susan Silverman with Police at Western Wall

A Civil Sinai

Susan Silverman

When I became a Woman of the Wall, I became more fully Jewish.

I had been a rabbi for almost 20 years the day I was detained, with nine other women – including my seventeen-year-old daughter – by police for wearing a tallis and praying out loud at the kotel. We were singing the psalms of hallel when a young police officer waved for me to follow her out of the women’s section. I shook my head. She approached me, her hand outstretched. I reached for my daughter who is named for the prayers we sang – Hallel --and together we sat down. The police officer squatted in front of me and asked me to come with her.

Savina Teubal

Savina Teubal created space for Jewish women to participate in holidays and rituals, and created a powerful new tradition to recognize her own rite of passage from adult to elder.

Marcia Cohn Spiegel

Marcia Cohn Spiegel was one of the first to speak out about alcoholism and domestic violence in the Jewish community, using her own experience to help others.

Lynn Gottlieb

One of the first ten women rabbis, Lynn Gottlieb became a voice for peace between Jews and Muslims.
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