World War II

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Collection

Ruth Hagy Brod

Ruth Hagy Brod’s varied career as a journalist, documentary filmmaker and literary agent made her the ideal publicity director for Job Orientation In the Neighborhoods, helping high school dropouts train for careers.

Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt grappled with the Holocaust throughout her lifetime, creating the concept of “the banality of evil” to understand the widespread complicity in the mass killings.

Rosalie Silberman Abella

Rosalie Silberman Abella’s early experiences as a refugee fueled her dedication to justice and led her to become the first Jewish woman elected to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Denise Schorr

As a member of the French Resistance, Denise Schorr began saving Jewish children when she was still just seventeen.

Molly Picon

A lively comic actress with a talent for playing tomboys, Molly Picon brought Yiddish theater to a wider American audience.

Ingeborg B. Weinberger

Ingeborg B. Weinberger has worked much of her life with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), helping new immigrants and refugees to resettle in the United States.

Bernice Stern

A native Seattleite born in 1916, Bernice Stern was the youngest National Council of Jewish Women officer elected at the national level, and first woman elected to the King County Council. She attended the University of Washington from 1932–1935, leaving to marry Edward Stern. Mother to two young boys, Bernice began volunteering at home, working on behalf of the blind, and on John F. Kennedy’s Women’s Conference on Civil Rights in 1961, and served on the Washington State Women’s Civil Rights Committee in 1963. She was named Outstanding Public Official in 1979 by the Municipal League of King County. Bernice Stern died on June 29, 2007.

Alice Abrams Siegal

A social reformer and political activist, Alice Siegal is a tireless advocate for families and disadvantaged youth and a fierce opponent of discrimination wherever she encounters it. Born and raised in Seattle, Alice grew up within the Orthodox, Ashkenazic community. After her two children were born, Alice attended the University of Washington and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology, a teaching certificate, and a Master’s Degree in Counseling. Upon graduation, Alice worked for the Washington State Employment Service War on Poverty Office, the Youth Opportunity Center in the 1960s, and the Seattle Public Schools Disadvantaged Youth Program in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1970s Alice began counseling students for the Bellevue Public Schools. More recently, Alice has worked as a counselor for Jewish Family Service. Volunteer work plays an important role in Alice’s life as well.

Blanche Gordon Narodick

Journalist and international Red Cross volunteer, Blanche Gordon Narodick graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington and earned a masters degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, launching her career as a journalist, ghost writer, and public relations consultant. Raised in part by her aunt and uncle, she met her husband, Dr. Phillip Narodick, in graduate school and refers to their partnership as a “true love story.” During World War II Blanche worked with the American Red Cross and has continued that affiliation, initiating an international chapter in Seattle, promoting “Holocaust tracing” helping Jewish families locate relatives, and founding a sister chapter in Shanghai, China. For her work, the ARC awarded Blanche the Harriman Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service in 1989.

Ventura Franco Israel

A native of Seattle, Ventura Israel was
born in 1915, two years after her parents immigrated from Turkey. Forged as a strong woman by the deaths of men in her family-her father’s in 1928, her first husband’s in 1970, and her second husband’s in 1989-she helped support her family during the Depression, and as a twenty-five year employee of Union Federal Savings and Loan. Both her first husband, Maurice Franco, and her second husband, Morris Israel, were born in Rhodes, Greece, and Ventura spent her religious life in Seattle’s Sephardic community. The mother of two, and a vibrant community member, Ventura currently volunteers at the Caroline Kline Galland home and at her synagogue, Congregation Ezra Bessaroth.

Irena Sendler saves Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto.

October 20, 1943

Irena Sendler Saves Jewish Children from the Warsaw Ghetto

Mollie Weinstein in France, July 1945

War, Motherhood, & A Little Cheesecake

by  Cyndee Schaffer

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to work with your mother and learn about her life and in doing so discover a completely different person?

Mollie Weinstein Schaffer, 1916 - 2012

We are finally in Paris and you can see that the Americans took over the situation. Can you imagine—ME—with the “handle” that I’ve got using Hitler’s stationery?

Naomi Harris Rosenblatt

Naomi Harris Rosenblatt has had a distinguished career in Washington, D.C. as a psychotherapist and Bible teacher. Born in Haifa, she lived in Palestine during the time of the British Mandate and witnessed first hand the birth of the State of Israel. After her marriage to Peter Rosenblatt, a Washington attorney, she moved to the United States, which has been her home ever since.

Lucy Kramer Cohen, 1907 - 2007

She never put herself in the limelight to lead and yet she was a leader.

Jewish Partisan Education Project 2012 Youth Writing Contest

What can we learn from Jewish women partisans? Jewish Partisan Education Foundation announces 2012 Youth Writing Contest

by  Leah Berkenwald

Thanks to the success of feature film Defiance (2008), Americans now associate the history of Jewish partisans with the hunky Bielski brothers, played by Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jaime Bell. In the film's depiction of their society hidden deep in the forest women contributed by cooking and gathering food but not so much as leaders or fighters. The real story of female Jewish partisans--in the Bielski encampment and elsewhere--is, of course, much richer.

Veteran's Day: Discover stories of Jewish women in the military

by  Leah Berkenwald

Today we honor our all the veterans who served their country, past, present, and future.

Dr. Sabina Zimering's memoirs come to the stage

March 27, 2004

On March 27, 2004 at the age of 81, Dr.

June Salander, 1908 - 2010

June took the opportunity to study Torah with the rabbi and five other women and, at age 89, became the oldest woman in Rutland to celebrate her bat mitzvah.

Sylvia Willard, 1922 - 2006

She and Howard opened a third store and managed all three, while she translated her theatrical training and love of fashion into show-stopping window displays.

Zezette Larsen, 1929 - 2010

As a resource speaker for Facing History, she spoke to many audiences of all ages and championed the power of education to address injustices wherever they occur.

"Top Secret Rosies": How female computers helped win WWII

by  Leah Berkenwald

Back before Microsoft, IBM, and Apple, the word "computer" referred to a person who computes.

Eleanor Pearlson, 1921 - 2010

She was known equally for her generosity and her strong will, her enthusiasm and her temper, her warmth and her keen business sense. She might greet you or grill you, but chances were if you needed help with something on Martha’s Vineyard, she had the answer.

Hannah Block, 1913 - 2009

It wasn't so much what the lady did – although she did much in her 96 years. It is what she meant to Wilmington [NC].

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