This growing online collection contains reminiscences of a variety of recently deceased American Jewish women who made a difference in their community and beyond.
She was a pioneer in discovering the purpose of certain areas of the brain, and the implications regarding human behavior. Without Dr. Helen Mahut, modern medicine would have a very different view and understanding of memory, the human brain, and resultant human behavior.
She worked hard and organized. She would call parents cold when she learned they had a problem. “We don’t want to intrude,” she’d say, “but we can help.”
Not afraid to make enemies and blessed with many loyal friends, [she] was unrelenting and consistent in upholding the highest standards for rigor and clarity in philosophy and in academia more generally.
She continued to dream of, and work for, a world at peace. Before the 2004 election, horrified at America's attack on Iraq, she wrote a long, impassioned letter about the importance of the election, photocopied it, and mailed it to friends who were doubtful their vote would matter.
From 1963-2009, she developed a contemporary theater for children. The shows intimately reflected a child’s world.
Her writing apprenticeship began when she was 27 years old and the mother of three small children. She and [her husband] Harry made a pact to squeeze at least an hour out of every day to write. Frequently, this was at four o’clock in the morning
For those around her Emily served as a compass, both figuratively and literally. She knew how to help her community steer a clear course, guiding us with her own impeccable honesty and tenacious personality. You could also ask her for more practical directions and arrive with more clarity than mapquest can provide….
She was born into a family of great rabbis and scholars; if she had been born a boy, her path would have been clear. Having been born a girl, she had to find her way. She did so with great success in her public and private lives, and did so with wisdom and grace.
It was her conviction that others shared her desire to be a knowledgeable Jew, and her dream was to create the way to provide that knowledge.
Alternately reckless, mischievous or courageous, Mom's defiance had a triple edge. At 10, she secretly smoked a corncob pipe stuffed with stolen tobacco. She was arrested at age 14 for driving her Aunt Minnie's car at 90 miles an hour without a license. (Her adored maternal aunt, something of a bon vivant herself, was in the car at the time.) She challenged a revered male leader at a federation board meeting for using green Israel bonds to pay his campaign pledge – a practice that no one else had the guts to expose.
In addition to being a great friend to many and a loving mother, daughter, and sister, she was a Tzaddik.
Ruth deeply believed that economic empowerment was the basis for increasing human rights and gender equity for women. If women have economic power, they gain confidence and courage, and become greater participants with increased voice in their communities. Everyone benefits when women benefit.
Her passion for learning and for education at all levels propelled her to make them a central part of her life, both as a student, a mother, and a supporter of women's education over her lifetime.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "We Remember." (Viewed on July 27, 2017) <https://jwa.org/weremember/toc/M>.