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2014 Fireworks

Top Ten Moments For Jewish Women In 2014

by  Judith Rosenbaum

I’ve already expressed my feelings on the whole “year of the Jewish woman” thing, but that’s not to say we shouldn’t celebrate the many great moments for Jewish women in 2014. Here, in no particular order, are a few of our favorites at JWA.

Joan Rivers, 1933 - 2014

&ldquo;Comedy is power,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;The only weapon more formidable than humor is a gun.&rdquo;</p>

Anita Diamant

Both through her writing and through her work as founding president of Mayyim Hayyim, Anita Diamant has breathed new life into Jewish midrash and rituals.

Death of writer and comedian Selma Diamond

September 5, 1985
Selma Diamond was hard to miss, in a writer’s room, on a talk show, or in situation comedy.

Lizzy Caplan

Lizzy Caplan was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2014 for her portrayal of Virginia Johnson on the TV show Masters of Sex.

Alyson Hannigan

From her role as an unconventional flautist in American Pie to that of a lesbian witch on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, actress Alyson Hannigan has delighted in turning audience expectations on their heads.

Julianna Margulies

Julianna Margulies has earned the most SAG awards of any woman in the Screen Actors Guild for her starring roles on ER and The Good Wife.

Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones has starred in dozens of films, but is best known for her roles on TV shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation.

Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin made history in 1986 as both the youngest actress to win an Academy Award for Best Leading Actress and the first deaf person to win the award.

“One Day at a Time” starring Bonnie Franklin begins its second season.

September 28, 1976

"I just want to say, ‘C’mon guys, I’m an intelligent person, why don’t you just trust me?’ But you can’t give up.” - Actress Bonnie Franklin

Edith Flagg

Edith Flagg built a multi–million–dollar fashion empire through her innovative use of polyester.

Nora Ephron / Lena Dunham

Writer-Directors

Putting Women Onscreen and in the Director's Chair

Dr. Ruth Westheimer / Jaclyn Friedman

Sex Educators

Teaching Women About Their Bodies, Their Rights, and Their Pleasure

Hedy Lamarr / Mayim Bialik

Actress-Scientists

Stars of STEM and Screen

Julie Heldman

Julie Heldman won 22 professional tennis titles in her stunning career.

Linda Lavin

Linda Lavin won a Tony for her work in theater, but was best known for her Emmy-winning lead role in the television show Alice.

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham became the first woman to win a Director’s Guild Award for Outstanding Director for a Comedy Series for her HBO series Girls, for which she writes, directs, produces and plays the lead character.
Wedding Dress, cropped

Say Yes to the WHAT?

by Tara Metal

I have spent too many nights—nay, entire weekends—doing my nails, eating lunch, drinking gin and tonics—in front of TLC’s masterpiece to see it desecrated by old white men trying to appeal to women voters. I’ve grown up with this show: I remember when Kleinfeld’s consultant Sarah got engaged, when consultant Keisha announced she had breast cancer. I watched in horror as bride Amanda’s dad bought her a $30,000 gown to wear under her $25,000 chuppah, and cried every time a bride got emotional about buying a dress without their mother there. Say Yes To The Dress is my rock: it brings me joy, it’s always there when I want it with countless episodes to rewatch, and it prompts important rants (let’s call them conversations) about feminism and gender in my apartment. The women on Say Yes To The Dress may not all be the most liberated, but they’re MY marriage-obsessed 20-somethings, and I love them.

Iris Apfel

Style icon Iris Apfel rose to international acclaim when her clothes and accessories became the focus of a 2005 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mayim Bialik

Actress Mayim Bialik defied Hollywood stereotypes by not only playing brilliant, strong women on TV and in film, but also working as a neuroscientist in real life.

Fay Kanin

Told that women could only write movies about dating and relationships, Fay Kanin defied conventional wisdom to write award-winning dramas about subjects ranging from prostitution to deaths in Vietnam.
Joan Rivers, May 24, 2009

Joan Rivers and Jewish Comedy: A Remembrance

by  Joyce Antler

“I am not the ideal Jewish woman,” Joan Rivers admits in a comedy act filmed in the Jewish Women’s Archive film, Making Trouble. “I love to take [my audience] to the edge,” she says.  “I love to get them upset . . . And ruin their value system.” Known for her aggressiveness and her “unkosher” bawdy style, in critic Sarah Cohen’s words, Rivers (nee Joan Molinsky), Phi Beta Kappa Barnard graduate and daughter of a Brooklyn Jewish doctor, performed for over forty years. 

Topics: Television, Comedy

Tziporah H. Jochsberger

Having escaped the Holocaust on the strength of her musical talents, Tziporah H. Jochsberger went on to use music to instill Jewish pride in her students.

Frances Horwich

Frances Horwich was loved by parents and children alike for her educational television show, Ding Dong School.

Frieda Barkin Hennock

The first woman ever appointed to the Federal Communications Commission, Frieda Barkin Hennock argued that women had a disproportionate stake in the media and helped establish public broadcasting.
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