Religion

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Abigail: Bible

Abigail is the wife of Nabal the Calebite from Carmel and later becomes the second wife of David. According to 1 Samuel 25, Abigail is married to Nabal, a wealthy rancher, and she is described as beautiful and intelligent.

Abigail: Midrash and Aggadah

The Rabbis depict Abigail as a wise and practical woman, capable of acting at the right moment and in the right way. She saves David from committing unnecessary bloodshed, while at the same time assuring her future.

Abishag: Bible

When King David (reigned c. 1005–965 bce) ages and his health fails, a beautiful young woman is sought throughout Israel to lie in his bosom and keep him warm. The king does not have sexual relations with Abishag (I Kgs 1:4).

Abishag: Midrash and Aggadah

Abishag is described in Rabbinic literature as a woman possessing self-respect and a mind of her own, who is not deterred from confronting King David himself.

Abortion

The chief biblical source referring to abortion is Exodus 21:22–25 concerning the man who inadvertently strikes a pregnant woman, causing her to lose the pregnancy.

Benvenida Abravanel

Benvenida Abravanel was one of the most influential and wealthiest Jewish women of early modern Italy.

Achsah: Bible

Achsah is the daughter of Caleb, according to the genealogy of the tribe of Judah. She is given to Othniel, son of Kenaz, brother of Caleb, in exchange for his taking of Kiriath-sepher (identified as Debir in Judges).

Achsah: Midrash and Aggadah

The Rabbis describe Achsah as being a beauty, finding an allusion to this in her name: “Whoever sees her is angry [koes] with his wife,” who is not as ravishing as she is (BT Temurah 16a).

Paula Ackerman

Paula Ackerman

At the turn of the twentieth century, a young girl from Pensacola, Florida, named Paula Herskovitz dreamed of one day becoming a medical doctor. Believing that the medical profession was unsuitable for women, her father insisted that she abandon her dream. Yet decades later, she embarked upon a career he no doubt would have found equally unsuitable: she became a spiritual leader.

Adah 1: Bible

According to the genealogy of Gen 4:17–19, Adah is one of the two wives of Lamech and the mother of two sons. Those sons, along with the son and daughter of her co-wife, Zillah, are in the seventh generation of naturally born human beings.

Adah 1: Midrash and Aggadah

According to the aggadic tradition, Lamech took two wives, one for sexual pleasure and the other for procreation. One wife would be in his company adorned like a harlot, and he plied her with a drug that induced barrenness, so that she would not give birth; the other sat alone, like a widow. Lamech’s behavior graphically attests to the process of spiritual decline from one generation to the next and the corruption of the Flood generation.

Adah 2: Bible

Adah, the daughter of Elon the Hittite, marries Esau, one of the two sons of Jacob and Rebekah, to whom she bears Eliphaz. Esau’s marriage to a woman outside his family’s descent line results in his exclusion from the endogamous patrilineage of Abraham’s father, Terah.

Helen Goldmark Adler

Helen Adler helped her husband establish the first model tenements at Cherry Street as well as the first free kindergarten in America, called the Working Man’s School, and later the Ethical Culture School at Fieldston. She took an active part in the visiting nurses’ service for the poor at the DeMilt Dispensary, the oldest clinic in the city, which Felix had initiated in 1877. With the assistance of a Dr. Koplik, she helped cut the infant death rate by having milk bottled safely at the Laboratory Department for Modified Milk for Tenement Babies, which Koplik and Adler founded in 1891.

Rachel Adler

Rachel Adler

The writings of Rachel Adler on Jewish law and ritual have catapulted her into the center of modern Jewish religious discourse, and she is unquestionably among the leading constructive Jewish theologians, translators and liturgists of the modern era, garnering attention from Jewish and non-Jewish scholars, women and men alike.

Nima Adlerblum's Book Memoirs of Childhood

Nima Adlerblum

Nima Adlerblum was a writer, educator, and early Zionist activist in New York, whose life began and ended in Jerusalem. She wrote widely on philosophy, education, Jewish philosophy, and American history, contributing to encyclopedias and scholarly journals.

The Second Graduating Class of the Bais-Yaakov in Lodz, Poland, 1934

Agudat Israel: Interwar Poland

Agudat Israel, the world movement of orthodox Jewry, was founded in May 1912 at a conference held in Kattowitz, Upper Silesia (now Katowice, Poland). The movement’s founders, mostly from the separatist orthodox community of Frankfurt am Main, wanted to enlist the large masses of orthodox Jews in Eastern Europe and their spiritual leaders in the struggle against Zionism and other secular ideologies.

Grace Aguilar

Grace Aguilar

When she died in 1847 at the age of thirty-one, Grace Aguilar enjoyed a reputation as a poet, historical romance writer, domestic novelist, Jewish emancipator, religious reformer, educator, social historian, theologian, and liturgist.

Ahinoam: Bible

Ahinoam, said to come from Jezreel, is King David’s wife and the mother of his eldest son, Amnon. All references to her occur with, or in close literary proximity to, Abigail (another wife of David, king of Israel, c. 1005–965 b.c.e.).

Akiva, Rabbi

Rabbi Akiva was not merely a transmitter, formulator and redactor of halakhah; he also innovated and changed a great deal in our conception of Jewish law.

Frida Alexandr

A Brazilian-born daughter of immigrants, Frida Alexandr (born Frida Schweidson) is the only woman writer to describe those Jewish cowboys from the viewpoint of one who lived among them. Her only published book was the novel Filipson, its title being the name of the farm where she was born on December 29, 1906.

Sadie American

Sadie American

From 1893 to 1916, Sadie American and the National Council of Jewish Women were virtually synonymous. As one of the founders of the council, its first corresponding secretary (1893–1905), and later the paid executive secretary of the organization (1905–1914), American functioned as executive director, organizing local sections across the United States, representing the group at national and international meetings, and taking care of the routine work that building the organization required.

Anda Pinkerfield-Amir

Anda Pinkerfeld Amir

Anda Pinkerfeld-Amir was born to an anti-Zionist family in Poland but became a committed Zionist who immigrated to Israel as a member of Ha-Shomer ha-Za'ir, abandoning her goal of writing in Polish to become instead a beloved writer of Hebrew poetry and children's literature.

Anath: Bible

Anath (Anat) is a prominent figure in the Canaanite mythological texts, dating to c. 1400 b.c.e., discovered at Ugarit on the Syrian coast. She is a maiden/warrior goddess, the sister or consort of the fertility and storm god Baal. She plays a major role in the Ugaritic myths, rescuing Baal from the underworld and defeating Mot, the god of death.

Nina Salaman Portrait by Solomon J. Solomon, 1918

Anglo-Jewish Writers: Twentieth Century

The particular insights of Jewish women writers and their intimate dilemmas of contemporary life throw light on how society and family have changed for this new generation of writers. The novels attract a larger readership than anyone could have predicted.

Annotated Bibliography and Guide to Archival Resources on the History of Jewish Women in America

This bibliography concentrates on books, chapters in anthologies, and periodical articles on the collective history of American Jewish women and archival resources on individuals and women’s organizations.

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