World War II

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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.

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.

Rose Shoshana

The journey from Lodz, Poland, where Rose Shoshana was born on June 25, 1895, to New York was not an unusual one for an Eastern European Jewish woman of her time. This was, however, only one of many journeys Rose Shoshana made in her long career as a Yiddish actor, theater director, dramatist, writer, and translator.

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.

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.

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

The surviving remnant that gathered in the DP camps in Germany was a Jewish society in a state of “social moratorium.” In their efforts to begin new lives following the Holocaust, the women of the She’erit ha-Pletah found their own avenues of expression: raising a family, bearing children, education, nursing.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Martha Schlamme

Once described as a “Viennese Mary Martin,” Martha Schlamme began her American career singing Yiddish and Hebrew songs in the resort hotels of the Catskills in the late 1940s. She earned a national reputation in the 1950s as a performer of “Songs of Many Lands”, and later won acclaim for her interpretations of Kurt Weill songs.

Dorothy Schiff

Married four times before resuming her maiden name, Dorothy Schiff, owner and publisher of the New York Post newspaper for thirty-seven years, was perhaps most accurately described as “Mrs. Post.” Her publishing philosophy was simple: The Post must avoid “narrow-mindedness, prejudice, and all the things it is the business of liberals to fight.”

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.

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.

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.

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 (Tova) Sarfatty Garfinkle is remembered as a master of needlepoint and a feisty survivor-partisan-heroine of the decimated but once vibrant Salonikan Jewry.

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.

Anna Rozental

Anna Rozental belonged to the generation of Bundists who had already been active in the founding phase of the party under the Russian Empire and who were highly respected as “veterans” in the Polish Bund of the interwar period. From her youth on, Rozental’s life was closely tied to the Jewish labor movement in Vilna, where she died in Soviet custody during World War II.

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