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Spirituality and Religious Life

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.

A Civil Sinai

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.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Spirituality and Religious Life." (Viewed on March 20, 2018) <>.


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