Justice Rosalie Abella's life has been a series of “firsts”: She was Canada's first Jewish woman judge and the country’s youngest ever. She was the first woman chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the first woman in the British Commonwealth to become the head of a Law Reform Commission. In August 2004, she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, becoming the first Jewish woman to sit on the Canadian Supreme Court bench.
Renowned for her remarkable skills as a reference librarian, Dina Abramowicz built an impressive library collection at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, where she worked since 1947. Her scholarship and expertise, praised by readers and writers alike, were celebrated by both library and cultural achievement awards.
Women faculty members in the higher education system in Israel share with their sisters in other Western developed countries characteristics regarding proportions, promotions, and positions. They constitute a small minority of the total tenure-track faculty, with somewhat larger minorities in the humanities and social sciences, and very small minorities in the physical sciences and engineering.
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.
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.
At Stella Adler’s death in 1992, Robert Brustein wrote in The New Republic, “Stella Adler’s death … represents a major loss in the pantheon of theater greats. Through the strength of her convictions, the integrity of her character, and the brilliance of her mind, Adler embodied the art of the dramatic profession and remained an influential figure throughout a career that spanned most of the century.”
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.
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.
Fay Ajzenberg-Selove, a nuclear physicist who fought discrimination against women, ultimately became the second female professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
“M.A.” and “The Mighty Atom,” as Mildred Albert was called, charmed the fashion world as an international fashion consultant, lecturer, columnist, and radio and television personality.
Allen was one of a group of Philadelphia Jewish women who established and ran the first independent Jewish charitable societies in the United States. She was treasurer of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society (founded 1819) for forty years and, for a time, its director as well. In 1838, along with Rebecca Gratz, she founded the first Hebrew Sunday school in America, and in 1855, she started the Philadelphia Jewish Foster Home and Orphan Asylum, serving as its president until 1867.
In 1860, six French Jewish intellectuals, inspired by the ideals of the Enlightenment and motivated by a genuine sentiment of solidarity, set out to “regenerate” the Jews of the world—vocationally, linguistically, morally and spiritually. By the eve of World War I, the international organization they founded, the Alliance Israélite Universelle, had attracted more than thirty thousand members.
Passionate, principled, provocative, and above all path breaking, Shulamit Aloni has left a greater imprint on Israeli political life and public discourse than any woman to come of age after Israel’s independence.
Tikvah Alper was an outstanding radiobiologist who had to overcome many obstacles in her personal and professional life.
Alschuler was a prolific writer, lecturer, and educator, and in the later part of her life, she contributed to the development and growth of the State of Israel.
Women have played an important part in the American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) since the organization was first established after World War I.
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.
Noted both in Israel and abroad, Ziva Amishai-Maisels is a researcher of modern art, both Jewish and non-Jewish.
Established in 1925 to create vocational schools for religious girls in Palestine, AMIT, an American-based religious Zionist organization, has helped shape the educational and social welfare landscape in the State of Israel for eight decades.
Sadie Annenberg's husband Moe credited her with the idea that made them millionaires, and she used that money to support numerous causes, including the State of Israel.
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.
Ruth Nanda Anshen, philosopher, lecturer, and author, was an “intellectual instigator” for such writers of genius and eminent thinkers as physicist Albert Einstein, theologian Paul Tillich, philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, psychoanalyst Erich Fromm, scientist Jonas Salk, and anthropologist Margaret Mead.
A seminal figure in the history of performance art, Eleanor Antin is one of the most prolific artists of the last three decades, moving freely in many forms of media, including live and installation art, independent film, photography, video, drawing, painting and writing.
Mia Arbatova (née Hirshwald) was one of the leading pioneers of classical ballet in Israel.
A woman and a kibbutznik, Chaya Arbel embodied two under-represented sectors on the Israeli musical composition scene.