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Spirituality and Religious Life

Deborah Marcus Melamed

Deborah Marcus Melamed encouraged Jewish women to form their own relationship with Jewish practice through her 1927 book The Three Pillars, an interpretive guide to rituals and customs.

Fannie Eller Lorber

When her community became a mecca for adults suffering from tuberculosis, Fannie Eller Lorber created a Jewish children’s home for those who had no one else to care for them.

Rachel Mordecai Lazarus

Proud of her Jewish heritage but conflicted about her faith, Rachel Mordecai Lazarus was torn between publicly fighting anti-Semitism and privately questioning Judaism’s ideals.

Finding Sisterhood at Services

I knew I was getting older when my mom stopped letting me bring Archie comics and Crayola crayons with me to services. These kept me entertained, even if it meant hiding my comics behind the prayer books, peeking over them periodically to see if anyone had noticed the offending material.

Mordecai Kaplan

The founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, Mordecai Kaplan struck a fundamental blow for women’s participation in Jewish ritual with the bat mitzvah of his eldest daughter, Judith.

Zipporah Nunes Machado Jacobs

Zipporah Nunes Machado Jacobs escaped the horrors of the Inquisition as a conversa, using clever tricks to keep her devotion to Judaism secret from any who might betray her.

Adele Bluthenthal Heiman

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

Oak Creek, Two Years Later

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.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Spirituality and Religious Life." (Viewed on March 18, 2018) <>.


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