This online collection contains reminiscences of a variety of recently deceased American Jewish women who made a difference in their community and beyond.
She traveled the world in defense of Jewish rights, meeting with refuseniks and facing commissars in the Soviet Union, and advocating freedom of worship and emigration in front of the leaders of Syria and Egypt. She also defended Israel and the Jewish people in the halls and overseas conferences of the United Nations.
She gave generously of her time to the community while never losing sight of commitment to her own development and dedication as a full-time artist.
As a resource speaker for Facing History, she spoke to many audiences of all ages and championed the power of education to address injustices wherever they occur.
She had a strong sense of what was ethical and right; she didn’t just talk about it, she took action.
As so many people have suggested, my mother was a presence. Not only that she had a presence, but that she was one.
In her later years, Sophie was a tireless activist with the National Council of Senior Citizens, fighting for universal health care and defense of Social Security. A woman of charm and passion, she developed ties with a range of local activists, including nuns and other local Catholics.
"Like 'The Man Who Came to Dinner,' I was the woman who came to Princeton."
She was known equally for her generosity and her strong will, her enthusiasm and her temper, her warmth and her keen business sense. She might greet you or grill you, but chances were if you needed help with something on Martha’s Vineyard, she had the answer.
Ninety-five years was not long enough for us to enjoy [her] passion, wit, commitment to justice, and love of life.
A world without a Carla in it just doesn’t seem possible (and certainly less interesting). But I know she will always be with us. Once you know her, you can’t forget her.
Gail Dolgin balanced her activism in the cause of social justice with an equally fervent commitment to the life of the spirit and was active in a close and cohesive spiritual community.
It wasn't so much what the lady did – although she did much in her 96 years. It is what she meant to Wilmington [NC].
Mother was a working girl when most women found their identity in motherhood and the home, but she was much more than that. She was a free spirit, supreme motivator for women who wanted to start their own businesses, and a generous friend to those causes she believed in and the people she cared about.
Her life was filled with the love of giving and of fighting for truth, justice, and the Jewish people.
She belonged to a generation of Yiddish cultural figures who have no concept of the notion of retirement. Mina worked until the end - for herself, for her audiences, for her art, for the world of Yiddish.
Vivian had presence. And she had style, coming to work every weekday afternoon and Shabbat morning dressed to the nines and fully coiffed. She was from the generation of religious school teachers who not only championed the teaching of the Hebrew language to American Jewish students (and successfully taught it to them), but also viewed themselves as true professionals.
Many of the stories of her young life in France give a glimpse into the shaping forces of her strong character, enormous empathy and compassion for others. This shaped her life as a giver.
Rhonda Copelon often worked behind the scenes, but her finger prints, or perhaps I should say brain waves, are all over many of the most important breakthroughs in progressive feminist advances both in the United States and globally.
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
Her capacity to empower people while leading with a firm hand and a kind heart was so inspiring. Many of us have been moved to action, to effect change, because of her example.
Through word and example, Adrienne taught countless women how to survive and thrive in male-dominated university settings. She firmly believed in the possibility of changing the world—or at least a piece of it.
Mother’s public debut was not exactly spontaneous — in 1982 my brother Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank faced a tough re-election campaign. We were all engaged, but probably the most effective family effort was a campaign commercial featuring Mother, in her rocking chair, explaining that she trusted Barney to protect Social Security.
She liked to tell me that she started out in life as conservative but that she did a full political turn when she traveled to South Africa at l9 and observed first hand the awful effect of apartheid. When she returned to San Francisco, she became active in the Jewish community and with liberal and social justice causes and campaigns.
Having never heard of Sephardic music before her first exposure to it in the late 1970s in a Renaissance music group to which she belonged, she plunged headlong into an enduring passion to bring this music and the richness of its heritage to a greater audience.
Jean Carroll was a stand up comedian in the truest, truest essence ... [She] just stood there in front of a microphone and talked. She was what today we would call a monologist... If she was sitting a table with Don Rickles and Jack Benny, she could hold her own.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "We Remember." (Viewed on February 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/weremember>.