World War II

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Simone Signoret

Simone Signoret's five-decade career of more than sixty films, her Leftist politics, and her unassailable talent in creating not only memorable but iconic female heroes at every stage of her career, give her an important place in twentieth-century cultural history.

Lillie Shultz

Victor H. Bernstein, managing editor of the Nation during her years there, described Lillie Shultz as the magazine’s “dynamo—a tireless bundle of energy.” “Lillie had two passions,” he said, “the Nation and Israel.” This energetic journalist was a Zionist, a champion of the oppressed, a skilled administrator, and a businesswoman.

Rebecca Sieff

Rebecca Sieff (1890–1966), the daughter of a wealthy Jewish family from Manchester, England, played an active role in two central social-historical movements: the struggle for women’s rights and the Zionist movement which eventually led to the establishment of the State of Israel.

Rose Shoshana

Rose Shoshana began her acting career in the Yiddish theater world, playing Manke in Got fun Nekome in 1908. She went on to perform across Europe, America, and Asia. When she arrived in New York in 1946, she began a career as a novelist, writer, translator, and journalist at the Forverts.

Dinah Shore

Dinah Shore, the quintessential American girl, was both America’s sweetheart in the 1940s and 1950s and a leading example of an independent woman in the 1970s. Her career spanned over forty years and included stints on the radio and in the movies. Her most enduring legacy, however, is her impressive vocal recordings and television shows.

Sarah Shner-Nishmit

Since her aliyah, Holocaust survivor Sarah Shner Nishmit has been involved in teaching and education and has written several children’s books. She has also collected testimonies from Holocaust survivors and engaged in historical research. Through her books and children’s stories she has sought to instill an awareness of the Holocaust in children and young people.

She'erit ha-Peletah: Women in DP Camps in Germany

Family played an important role in the lives of Holocaust survivors in DP (displaced persons) camps – in 1947, the birth rate in DP camps was one of the highest in the world. Women served as teachers and eager students, and they were active in the effort to open immigration to Palestine.

Alice Hildegard Shalvi

Well known as a public speaker and a social activist, Alice Hildegard Shalvi’s contribution to Jewish education, to Israeli culture and to Jewish feminism has been widely recognized.

Ada Ascarelli Sereni

Much of Ada Sereni’s life was spent in the shadow of the heroic figure of her husband Enzo, who died as one of the Jews who parachuted into German-occupied Europe during World War II, but she herself made so noteworthy a contribution to the Zionist enterprise as to win her the 1995 Israel Prize.

Toni Sender

Together with others, Toni Sender formed a women’s group which aimed to free married women of their economic dependency and from political and social discrimination. She was convinced that without the active participation of women there could be no profound social transformation.

Anna Seghers

Anna Seghers, one of the most important German women writers of the twentieth century, was born Netty Reiling on November 19, 1900 in Mainz on the Rhine. Her combination of social commitment and mythic vision are as rare as her style, which is harsh yet poetic.

Hela Rufeisen Schüpper

Hela Rufeisen Schüpper now began her career as a courier in late July between Warsaw and Cracow and between Cracow and other branches of the movement. Dyeing her hair a lighter shade, she set out on the dangerous journey out of the ghetto, continuing by train to Cracow and into the Cracow ghetto—all without any identity papers.

Ottilie Schönewald

In her autobiography, Ottile Schönewald wrote, “The German Women’s Movement had the greatest influence on my life.” Deeply involved in several women’s and Jewish organizations, Schönewald was a feminist activist who became a politician to advance her causes.

Dorothy Schiff

Dorothy Schiff led many lives, from debutante to social reformer, but she is best remembered as the publisher of the New York Post, the first woman to run a New York newspaper. Her publishing philosophy was simple: The Post must avoid “narrow-mindedness, prejudice, and all the things it is the business of liberals to fight.”

Martha Schlamme

Martha Schlamme was an internationally known singer who rose to prominence after the Second World War due to her phenomenally large repertoire and ability to sing in multiple languages.  Schlamme studied piano in Austria before the war and had a successful post-war career in England, singing on BBC radio, before immigrating to the United States and singing in nightclubs and concert halls across the country.

Miriam Schapiro

Miriam (Mimi) Schapiro is one of the foremost pioneers in the feminist art movement in the United States. Nicknamed “Mimi Appleseed” after Johnny Appleseed whose dream was for a land where blossoming apple trees were everywhere, she has opened paths previously closed and unknown to women artists, past and present, trained and untrained.

Rosa Schapire

Rosa Schapire was one of the few women to pursue art history studies at a time when the discipline itself was still in its infancy. However, she was no mere dilettante and her foray into this male-dominated profession was indicative of her allegiance to feminist aspirations to equal opportunity and adult suffrage.

Alice Schalek

The first woman in Austria to become a career photojournalist and travel writer, and the first and only female member of the Austrian Kriegspressedienst (war information unit) during World War I, Alice Schalek paved the way for careers in both photography and journalism for other women.

Margherita Sarfatti

Margherita Sarfatti was born in Venice on April 8, 1880, into the wealthy and cultured Jewish Grassini family. Sarfatti was educated by private tutors, among them Antonio Fradeletto (1858–1930), the founding director of the Venice Biennale. During her childhood, she began to be interested in art and poetry, influenced by Fradeletto, who introduced her to the theories of John Ruskin.

Bouena Sarfatty Garfinkle

Bouena Sarfatty Garfinkle, a Sephardi woman, risked her life over and over again to aid to her community during World War II. At a later stage in her life, Bouena’s historical-literary acumen enabled her to record Jewish life in Salonika during the twentieth century, including the devastation to her community at the hands of the Nazis.

Nathalie Sarraute

A Russian Jew by birth, French by education and European by culture, Nathalie Sarraute was always intensely aware of and resistant to the reductive powers of categorizing language: she refused to be described as a “woman writer,” and would equally refuse the label “Jewish writer.” Growing up in Paris in the highly cultured milieu of her free-thinking father, Sarraute never felt any sense of difference in status between men and women, and Jewishness was never an issue.

Angiola Sartorio

In approximately 1918 Angiola Sartorio had an opportunity to see a performance by the father of European modern dance, the Hungarian Rudolf von Laban (1879–1958). This proved a striking and fateful experience for her. She was later able to attend the classes of Laban teacher Sylvia Bodmer (1902–1989) and received her diploma from Laban himself.

Charlotte Salomon

Charlotte Salomon was living as a refugee from Nazism in Villefranche on the French Riviera when she made a startling discovery: that eight members of her family, one by one, over the years, had committed suicide. With this traumatic revelation in mind, she arrived at what she called “The question: whether to take her own life or to undertake something eccentric and mad.” Something “eccentric and mad” turned out to be an artwork in over seven hundred scenes, painted during one year (1941–1942), enriched by dialogues, soliloquies and musical references, arranged into acts and scenes, and titled “Life? Or Theater? An Operetta.”

Nelly Leonie Sachs

In 1966, Nelly Sachs was recognized as the only German-speaking woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, an honor she shared with the Galician-born Israeli novelist Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888–1970).

Ida Rubinstein

From an early age Ida Rubinstein studied dance and provoked scandal by pushing the boundaries of sexuality and respectability. Although she was a controversial figure, her prolific career in French ballet and as a patron of French music make her a significant pioneer of the early twentieth-century French dance scene.
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