Zionism

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Eva Violet Mond Isaacs, Second Marchioness of Reading

Lady Eva Violet Mond Isaacs, née Melchett, Marchioness of Reading, was born into one remarkable family and married into another. She occupied a unique place in Anglo-Jewry; as Vice President of the World Jewish Congress and President of its British section she was an eloquent and vocal supporter of the Zionist cause and the young state of Israel.

Sarah Gertrude Millin

With a career of over thirty years, Sarah Gertrude Millin was one of South Africa’s most prolific literary figures of the twentieth century. The racism and conservative political attitudes that pervade her work, however, have lowered her status in South African literary history.

Fania Metman-Cohen

Fania Metman-Cohen set up the first Hebrew kindergarten in Odessa in 1899 and ran a Zionist school in 1902–1903, at which Chaim Nachman Bialik taught. She was active in the local B’not Zion organization for the education of Zionist women and—together with her husband—set up the Army of Rebirth Association that sent educators, physicians and other professionals to Palestine.

Dorothee Metlitzki

Dorothee Metlitzki, a philologist and medievalist, was born to factory owner Israel Metlitzki, a Russian Jew, and Rosa Malbin, a German Jew, on July 27, 1914, in Koningsberg, then in Germany, and spent her youth in various places in Eastern Europe.

Martha Tamara Schuch Mednick

One of the most influential women in the development of the psychology of women is Martha Mednick. She was born on March 31, 1929, in New York City of working-class immigrant parents who “had an almost mystical belief in the power of education to change the condition of life.”

Hannah Maisel-Shohat

Hannah Maisel was born on December 12, 1883 to an affluent family in the city of Grodno (Horodno, Belarus). Her father, Yitzchak Maisel, an exporter of wheat and furs to western Europe, emigrated to Palestine after World War I and died c. 1936–1937. Her mother, Reizel, a homemaker, died in 1927. Hannah was the fifth of their twelve children and the fourth daughter. Eight of the children ultimately emigrated to Palestine. One daughter, Rachel, committed suicide in Jaffa in 1910. Leah, who married on the same day as Hannah, was a teacher in Safed. She became one of the founders of the Hebrew Women’s Organization (Histadrut Nashim Ivriyyot) and later treasurer of Wizo. She was also a candidate for the Lit. "assembly." The 120-member parliament of the State of Israel.Knesset. Others who came to Palestine were David Misha Baruch, Liza and Dora. The latter committed suicide after losing two children in World War I. Sarah, who went to Switzerland to study medicine, also committed suicide. Two brothers, Gershon and Motke, emigrated to the United States, where Hannah visited them in the 1950s.

Sarah Malkhin

Sarah Malkhin, one of the first women agricultural laborers of the Second Lit. "ascent." A "calling up" to the Torah during its reading in the synagogue.Aliyah (1904–1914), died at the age of sixty-four in the first year of the State of Israel. Since she had been ill for many years, she was not even aware of the dramatic events transpiring all around her. Her death prompted many veteran Israelis to recall the achievements of the small group of trailblazing female laborers of the Second Aliyah, who had faced immense opposition and challenges in their lifetimes and whose influence would be felt only many years later.

Judith Pinta Mandelbaum

Judith Pinta Mandelbaum was an important part of the Mizrachi Women’s Organization of America (American Mizrachi Women) from the 1930s until shortly before her death in 1977, by which time the organization was known as Amit. She also achieved professional acclaim as an outstanding teacher and is remembered fondly as a woman with a wonderful sense of humor and a rich family life.

Zivia Lubetkin

Zivia Lubetkin was born on November 9, 1914 to a well-to-do, traditional Jewish family in the town of Beten in eastern Poland, where in 1880 her father, Ya’akov-Yizhak, who ran a small business, had also been born. Her mother, Hayyah (née Zilberman), was born in 1882 in Useten. During the Holocaust Zivia’s parents went into hiding but were discovered in 1942 and shot on the spot.

Hildegard Löwy

Born in 1922, Hildegard Löwy was the youngest member of the Baum Gruppe, a mainly Jewish resistance group against the Nazi regime in Berlin. She belonged to the sub-group of Heinz Joachim, which operated jointly with Herbert Baum’s group.

Sophie Irene Simon Loeb

“Not charity, but a chance for every child.” Sophie Irene Simon Loeb adopted this as the creed of her life work for orphaned children in the United States and throughout the world. During the Progressive Era, Loeb was one of many women to enter the political arena through reform work, calling for government involvement to mitigate the problems of poverty. Loeb brought her life experience and her personalized approach to work for the rights of women and children to quality of life.

Irma Levy Lindheim

Irma Levy Lindheim was a colorful American Zionist millionaire, fund-raiser, and educator. Born in New York City on December 9, 1886, into a German Jewish assimilated family with roots dating back several generations in the American South, Lindheim discovered Zionism at age twenty-one. In 1926, she succeeded Henrietta Szold as president of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. Then, in 1933, as a forty-seven-year-old widow and mother of five, Lindheim joined A voluntary collective community, mainly agricultural, in which there is no private wealth and which is responsible for all the needs of its members and their families.Kibbutz Mishmar ha-Emek in Israel, where she remained, aside from frequent stays in the United States and elsewhere for Zionist and political activity. To create greater interest in Judaism and Zionism, she designed family-based educational programs, a project on which she worked until her death.

Rivka Kuper Liebeskind

Rivka Spiner, nicknamed Vuschka, was born on June 15, 1920 in Rzeszów, Poland, to a middle-class religious Zionist family. Her father, Hayyim Spiner (1890–1943), was active in Ha-Po’el ha-Mizrachi, as was her mother, Hadassah (1890–1943). She also had a younger brother, Menahem (1923–1943).

Batia Lichansky

Through portrait sculptures, reliefs and memorials sculpted in stone, wood and bronze, the work of Batia Lichansky, Israel’s first woman sculptor, expresses the pioneer Zionist spirit during the formative years of the State of Israel and its struggle for existence.

Bertha Szold Levin

Bertha Szold Levin, a civic leader and Jewish communal activist, was born on December 21, 1874, in Baltimore, Maryland, the youngest daughter of Rabbi Benjamin and Sophie (Schaar) Szold. Along with her sisters, Rachel, Sadie, Adele, and Henrietta Szold, she grew up in a household infused with a love for both German culture and Jewish learning. Three other sisters died as children. Educated in Baltimore’s public schools, she received a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College in 1894 and returned home to work as a teacher. In 1901, she married Louis H. Levin, an attorney who later founded the Associated Jewish Charities in Baltimore. The couple had five children. Levin assisted her husband as a writer and translator for the Baltimore Jewish Comment, which he edited. In 1924, she became the first woman appointed to the Baltimore City School Board, a post that she held until 1940.

Lotta Levensohn

A writer, publicist, and Zionist activist, Lotta Levensohn was among the original founders of hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. Born in Syracuse, New York on August 13, 1882, and raised in Titusville, Pennsylvania, she was the daughter of Moshe Gerson Levensohn, a cantor, and Eva F. (Dvoretzky) Levensohn. Moving to New York, she attended the Teachers Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Levensohn was one of the leaders of the Harlem chapter of the Daughters of Zion, a women’s study group, which in 1912 decided to launch Hadassah as a national movement. Levensohn was for many years a director of the organization, serving as head of its Central Committee (an office equivalent to the presidency) during 1920 and 1921. At that time, Hadassah had briefly ceased to function as a separate organization, and Levensohn was one of two board members who favored the absorption of the group by the Zionist Organization of America. The seven members who opposed the plan prevailed, however, and Hadassah reemerged as an autonomous entity.

Blume Lempel

Blume Lempel was a master of stream-of-consciousness, flashback, free association and eroticism—all rare in Yiddish literature. Her modern short-story style was appropriate to her themes, which were often daring: incest—Oedipus in Brooklyn (1981), rape—Aleyn in Eynem (Alone Together, 1989) and the ambivalent attraction of one woman to another (Correspondents, 1992).

Nehama Leibowitz

Nehama Leibowitz was born in 1905 in Riga, Latvia, to Mordechai and Freyda Leibowitz. She grew up in a home filled with Jewish and general culture, competing in her father’s Bible quizzes against her brother, Yeshayahu, who later became a famous and controversial Israeli philosopher. In 1919 the family moved to Berlin, where Leibowitz taught, wrote articles and studied for her doctorate. She married her uncle, Lipman Leibowitz, who was many years her senior, and on the day she finished her doctorate they fulfilled their dream and moved to Israel (c. 1930).

Lehi (Lohamei Herut Yisrael)

The underground movement Lohamei Herut Yisrael (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, known by its acronym, Lehi) came into existence in 1940 in the wake of the opposition on the part of Avraham (“Ya’ir”) Stern (1907–1942) to the cessation of hostilities against the British rule in The Land of IsraelErez Israel (Palestine) proclaimed by David Raziel (1910–1941), the commander of the Irgun Zeva’i Le’ummi (IZL) during World War II. Stern regarded this decision as mistaken and as the loss of a rare historic opportunity to take advantage of the war situation to obtain concessions from the British, who he felt should be compelled by use of force to fulfill its promise to establish a Jewish state in Erez Israel. “Even in time of war, England is fighting the Jewish Jewish community in Palestine prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. "Old Yishuv" refers to the Jewish community prior to 1882; "New Yishuv" to that following 1882.Yishuv, attempting to restrict it, and even manages to provide the military forces to prevent the rescue of Holocaust survivors. In reality, Britain is a foreign power, whose interests in the Middle East do not include a Jewish state … we must not cease our war until Britain is expelled and an independent State of Israel is established.”

Emma Lazarus

“Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” proclaims the “Mother of Exiles” in Emma Lazarus’s sonnet “The New Colossus.” Her best-known contribution to mainstream American literature and culture, the poem has contributed to the belief that America means opportunity and freedom for Jews, as well as for other “huddled masses.” Through this celebration of the “other,” Lazarus conveyed her deepest loyalty to the best of both America and Judaism.

Lucy Fox Robins Lang

A committed anarchist by age fifteen, Lucy Fox Robins Lang participated actively in the labor and free speech movements of early twentieth-century America. She directed regional and national committees in support of persecuted anarchists, antiwar activists, and labor organizers, while earning her livelihood as a printer, waitress, vegetarian restaurant owner, and real estate broker. Eventually, she moved into the mainstream of the labor movement, becoming an adviser to and confidante of Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Although her focus shifted, the impulse behind Lang’s work remained constant.

Sarah Kussy

Sarah Kussy was a versatile and accomplished leader of American Jewry who devoted her educational training and organizational skills to the community throughout her long life. She was a founder and leader of a constellation of significant Jewish organizations, including Hadassah and the United Synagogue Women’s League, both of which named her an honorary national vice president. Through her many associations, Kussy worked to change the face of Jewish education, Zionist activities, and women’s participation in Jewish American communal life. Her energy, erudition, and leadership inspired Jewish women and educators across North America.

Gertrud Kraus

Gertrud Kraus, the “first lady” of modern expressionistic dance in Israel, was born in Vienna on May 5, 1901.

Marcia Koven

Marcia Koven is one of a small number of Jewish women in Canada’s Maritime Provinces who have been involved in the creation of museums which recall aspects of the region’s past. Many native sons and daughters of that less than prosperous area of Canada have moved away in the post-World War II era, sparking a desire among those who remained to commemorate earlier periods of growth and prosperity.

Julia Koschitzky

An activist, philanthropist, and leader of Canadian and world Jewry, Julia Koschitzky was born in Cardiff, Wales, the daughter of Max Podolski (b. Posen, now Poznan, 1904, d. Toronto, 1986) and Elli (Moses) Podolski (b. Berlin, 1908, d. Toronto, 2002).

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