World War II

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Collection
Dahlia "Pobie" Johnston

The Unsung Jewish Women of WWII

by Toshe Cecev

It is the accomplishments of everyday women that shape our world and change our collective future. Let’s tell their stories, too.

Emmy Noether, Edited Doodle

Shining a Light on Mathematical Brilliance

by Dahlia Japhet

Over the past 106 years, 48 women have been honored with the Nobel Prize. Amalie Emmy Noether, a German Jewish mathematician who is now known as the “mother of abstract algebra,” is not one of them.

The Fortunate Ones and Ellen Umansky

An Interview with Author Ellen Umansky

by Larisa Klebe and Emily Cataneo

JWA’s June Book Club pick isThe Fortunate Ones, a debut novel by author Ellen Umansky that tells the story of two women, one an older Holocaust survivor, the other a young woman living in Los Angeles, and the stolen painting that binds them together. We talked to Umansky about intergenerational friendship, becoming a writer, and the meaning of the word “fortunate.”

Ruth Franklin Einstein

From the Archives: Saturday Luncheon Club

by Robbie Terman

With the wonders of social media, I have a place to ponder the fate of Jimmy Hoffa and share anecdotes that I find in the archives. In 1921, a group of women with curious minds found a different method to uncover and share stories: The Saturday Luncheon Club (SLC).

Sarah Kofman

Philosopher Sarah Kofman argued that the ideas of great thinkers couldn’t simply be taken on their abstract merit, they had to be considered in the context of those philosophers’ lives.

Dame Myra Hess

When the National Gallery closed during the London Blitz, Dame Myra Hess persuaded the gallery’s director to reopen for an immensely popular series of lunchtime classical concerts that gave the war-weary British an infusion of culture and beauty.

Bela Ya’ari Hazan

Bela Ya’ari Hazan showed great courage as a combat instructor and courier for the Resistance during WWII.
Kubzansky Family Portrait

President Trump's Proposed Budget and The Loss of American Potential

by Caroline Kubzansky

In my journal is a piece of paper that’s older than I am. I’ve been carrying it around for some time and reading it at almost every available opportunity, though at this point, I know it almost by heart.

Maria Gorokhovskaya

Maria Gorokhovskaya made history by winning seven medals in gymnastics at the 1952 Olympics, the greatest number of medals a woman had won in a single Olympic Game.
Statue of Jewish Refugees in Shanghai

China's Jewish Sanctuary City

by Emily Cataneo

I should be able to tour the neighborhoods that sheltered hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees in New York, Chicago, Boston, Montreal and Toronto, London and Manchester. But thanks to xenophobia, inaction, and fear, these neighborhoods never existed.

Mire Gola

A passionate idealist, Mire Gola inspired others with her eloquent poetry and her fortitude through imprisonment and torture.

Karen Gershon

From early childhood, poet Karen Gershon expected to settle in Israel, but the chaos of WWII sent her in an entirely different direction.

Audrey Abade

Audrey Abade is the Jewish History Department Chair at Magen David Yeshivah High School. Her research has focused on Sephardic Jewry, particularly the role of women within Syrian and Egyptian Jewish communities. Her study of Egyptian Jewish women and their immigration to the United States was published in, “A Jewish Feminine Mystique?: Jewish Women in Postwar America.” Her lesson focuses on Syrian Jewish Americans during World War II and looks at the process of identity formation through the lens of young first and second generation women.

Henrietta Szold on Saying Kaddish

In a 1916 letter, Henrietta Szold (the founder of Hadassah) defied Jewish tradition and challenged rituals that exclude women by asserting her right to say Kaddish (the Jewish prayer for mourners).

Ethel Shilmover Grossman

While serving as a member of the Army Nurse Corps in WWII, Ethel Shilmover Grossman was moved and astonished to see the kindness with which American soldiers treated wounded German POWs.

Clara Raven

After a distinguished military career as one of the first female doctors to serve in WWII, Clara Raven went on to do pioneering research on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Ilona Elek

Hailed as one of the greatest female fencers of all time, Ilona Elek won her first Olympic gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Hannah Szenes, 1944, cropped

Living A Life Of Valor

by Sarah Groustra

I don’t think I’m a very brave person. I’m normally quite timid, and taking a stand is something that does not come naturally to me. I sometimes hesitate to say what I really think for fear of how others will react, and I often find it easy to fade into the background in large groups.

Rosenstrasse Monument, Berlin, Germany

The Women of Rosenstrasse

by Eyal Roth

After moving from Tel Aviv to Berlin about five years ago, I started noticing that the sheer number of commemorative objects scattered around the city is quite astounding. Berlin has seen more radical changes in the last 150 years then most cities have in the last 1,000. From the Prussians to the German Kaiser, from the Weimar republic to Nazi times and subsequently division and reunification, it is a city of many identities.

Topics: World War II

Beate Sirota Gordon

Through diplomacy and ingenuity, twenty-two-year-old Beate Sirota Gordon wrote unprecedented rights for women into Japan’s post-war constitution.

Angelica Balabanoff

Rebelling against her privileged upbringing, Angelica Balabanoff embraced socialism and rose to become one of the most celebrated activists and politicians of her day.

Virginia Morris Pollak

Virginia Morris Pollak’s artistic career and her longtime community service collided in WWII when she used her deep understanding of clay, plaster, and metal to revolutionize reconstructive surgery for wounded servicemen.

Ellen Lehman Mccluskey

Interior design maven Ellen Lehman McCluskey shaped the look and feel of some of the world’s most luxurious hotels and businesses, including the Plaza, the Waldorf–Astoria, and Regency hotels.

Fania Marinoff

Fania Marinoff may have been an actress of stage and screen, but she was best known as a hostess whose home became a major hub for artistic circles in New York.

Long-lost poem by war heroine Hannah Szenes is found.

September 2, 2012

A poem by WWII hero Hannah Szenes was discovered 68 years after her death.

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