Content type

Bertha Solomon

Bertha Solomon was one of the first women’s rights activists in South Africa. At first as a practicing advocate of the Supreme Court and then during her long career in parliament, she was indefatigable in her fight for women to be treated as equals in the eyes of the law.

Judith Solis-Cohen

Judith Solis-Cohen had a prolific literary career that covered a wide range of topics, from clothing to education to women’s suffrage. She was also active in Philadelphia’s Jewish intellectual circles and introduced Jewish literature to the blind.

Chava Slucka-Kesten

As a writer from the perspective of a politically engaged woman, Slucka-Kesten offers a unique glimpse into pre- and post-war Jewish life in Poland’s cities and villages, as well as into the early years of the State of Israel; there are few such women’s voices.

Michal Smoira-Cohn

One of Israel’s best-known musicologists, Smoira-Cohn’s expertise has led to her involvement in innumerable musical features and events and continues to be a leading figure in Israel’s cultural life.

Ida Siegel

One of the most indefatigable and effective volunteer leaders in the history of the Toronto Jewish community, Ida Siegel either herself founded or participated in the establishment of many of the community’s most significant Zionist and welfare institutions.

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.

Anna G. Sherman

Anna G. Sherman was one of the unsung heroes of the Hebraist movement in the United States. A passionate believer in Hebrew as the vehicle for nurturing Jewish identity, Sherman taught adults, mostly women, at the extension schools of the Teachers Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary for approximately forty years.

Sarah Shmukler

Sarah Shmukler—nurse, midwife and Second Lit. "ascent." A "calling up" to the Torah during its reading in the synagogue.Aliyah pioneer—is an outstanding example of Israel’s working women. Her death in Yesud ha-Ma’alah in 1919, as she battled a yellow fever epidemic, made her a symbol of the fate of the new woman of the Land of Israel, her creativity and her love.

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.

Mania Wilbushewitch Shochat

Mania Wilbushewitch ran away from home at the age of fifteen to become an industrial worker in the carpentry workshop of her brother Gedaliah (1865–1943) in Minsk. Before long she found herself coordinating a massive strike of the workers against her brother, in protest at the extremely long work day he had imposed upon them. This episode marked the beginning of what was to become her decades-long devotion to ameliorating the working conditions of industrial and agricultural laborers.

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.

Havvah Shapiro

Over her lifetime, Havvah Shapiro composed some fifty pieces of literary criticism, fiction, or journalism appearing in over half a dozen Hebrew periodicals, as well as a collection of short sketches and a scholarly monograph. Of the nineteenth-century women writers of Hebrew in the Diaspora, Shapiro is the most prolific.

Clara Sereni

Both Clara Sereni’s fiction and non-fiction have enriched contemporary reflections on important issues such as identity and its relations with the politics of gender and ethnic diversity. Indeed, what is at stake in her writing is what one may call a politics of listening to any kind of diversity, from mental illness to race.

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.

Second Aliyah: Women's Experience and Their Role in the Yishuv

The question of women’s identity in Jewish society in general and Yishuv society in particular has attracted some scholarly attention. The majority of the studies offer an approach that depicts the adoption of masculine characteristics by the new Hebrew woman and the excessive admiration for masculine labor as opposed to feminine labor.

Adolphine Schwimmer-Vigeveno

In 1935, a bill prohibiting the employment of married women which was introduced in the Dutch parliament caused a dispute in the Joodsche Vrouwenraad, the Jewish Women’s Council in the Netherlands. After closely considering the issue, the president of the Jewish Women’s Council, Adolphine Schwimmer-Vigeveno deduced that, since care for the family was not a woman’s sole responsibility, the council could not subscribe to the bill.

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.

Alice Schwarz-Gardos

As a journalist, editor and foreign correspondent, Alice Schwarz-Gardos wrote articles for German-language newspapers in Israel and Europe from an explicitly Zionist and patriotic point of view. Besides her journalistic work, Schwarz-Gardos published eleven books in German.

Rebecca Schweitzer

Rebecca Schweitzer had a heart as big as her pocketbook. In addition to her support for Hadassah, Schweitzer contributed to other Zionist organizations, including Keren Hayesod (the United Israel Appeal) when it was created in 1920 to provide all Jews with a means to further the goal of a Jewish state through monetary contributions.

Eva Schocken

When Eva Schocken's father brought Schocken Books to New York in 1946, she became involved as an education consultant. When Salman died in 1960, Eva’s husband Herzl took over as president of Schocken Books. Eva became an editor.

Faye Libby Schenk

A committed Zionist, Faye Libby Herz Schenk chose to direct her considerable talents and energies into organizing and strengthening Zionist organizations worldwide. Schenk went on to hold every major portfolio in Hadassah and eventually served as national president from 1968 to 1972.

Flora Sassoon

Born in Bombay into the legendary Sassoon dynasty, Flora (Farha) Sassoon lived a colorful life in India and then in England as a businesswoman, philanthropist, famed hostess and Jewish scholar.

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.

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.

Subscribe to Zionism


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

Can We Talk?

listen now

Get JWA in your inbox