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Jewish Women You Should Know

Welcome to
"Jewish Women You Should Know" is a place to introduce you to amazing women of a wide range of backgrounds, ages and occupations, but who all, in their own ways, have accomplished, and continue to accomplish, incredible things in their lives. Enjoy what you read and nominate a Jewish woman that you feel we should know!
The Circle Maker: Creating a More Inclusive World
Meet Bassie Shemtov, Founder of The Friendship Circle
Batsheva Cohen: Giving Strength and Connection to Those Who Protect Us
Recently, a paratrooper sent a message to a friend who was about to serve in Hebron. “There’s a lady you’ll always see at the post with cookies and treats, a Chabad lady; she’s really nice and caring. There’s nothing better you can do than go to the Beit Chabad. It’s one of the best experiences you can get as a soldier.”
In Venice, Witnessing Extraordinary Activities by (Not So) Ordinary People
Noah speaks softly, kindly, like an old friend, though we’ve never met before. Her words are interrupted every now and then, as she graciously greets the women who drop in to warm themselves with a hot cup of tea, a slice of kosher cake and the coziness of a Jewish home.
Yaffa Gottlieb: Adoptive Mother to Two Children with Down Syndrome
Two aspects of her fruitful life are particularly intriguing. She is a prolific author of both whimsical children’s and more reflective adult books. And some 24 years ago, she and her husband adopted and raised two infants with Down syndrome only 4½ months apart in age.
Woman Warrior Dina Hurwitz on Pain, Faith, Humor, Strength
Many would be tempted to wallow in self-pity or anger. But the couple has heroically risen to the challenge.
Rehabbing Lives: How One Woman Catalyzes Addiction Treatment with Chassidic Philosophy
Donna Miller’s daily planner reads a bit different than most. Meetings with lawyers and probation officers. Intake of young man addicted to cocaine. Therapy session with family torn apart by Dad’s gambling. Just another day in the life of the director of the Chabad Residential Treatment Center of Los Angeles.
Pianist Shoshana Michel Expresses the Poignancy of Chassidic Melodies
She says she is amazed by the profound effect ‘nigunim’ have, as expressed in ‘Soul Whispers’
A Woman Who Never Stopped Giving
A Portrait of Rebbetzin Henny Machlis
People would line up outside to partake of Henny’s food and bask in the warmth and comfort of a spiritually uplifting Shabbat—many for the first time in their lives.
Clean Comedy: Meet an Observant Jewish Female Comic
As Michal Levitin gets up on stage to perform, the audience bursts out laughing. She hasn’t even opened her mouth yet.
One Woman’s Fight for Healthy Youth and Healthy Relationships
Faith and Facts vs. Dangerous PC Fallacies
Dr. Miriam Grossman is a woman with a mission. A life-saving one. A non-politically correct one that has won her ardent fans wanting to see her be the next Surgeon General—and vociferous detractors clamoring that she is out of touch with reality, that her license should be revoked.
The Road to Resilience
A Journey from Grief
How can a mother, a family, continue living after such a tragic event?
Her Baby Survived Two Years After a Fatal Terrorist Attack
An Interview with Edva Biton, the Mother of Adel, of Blessed Memory
I Was a Street Child in Ukraine
The true story of a girl who learned to believe in herself
Resembling an Angel of G-d
A tribute to Mrs. Keny Deren, OBM
She was such a natural educator, empowering and building people up, because that is what she saw: their traits, their talents, their potential, and where that could lead.
Israel's Happy Cows
Meet Dr. Lisa Tager
Thanks to her commitment to animal health and Jewish values, Dr. Lisa Tager makes the world better, one cow at a time.
Chaya'le, Mushka, Mussie...
The Impact of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka
The first thing I was shown was her picture. Unquestionably, she was a very beautiful woman. She was stunning. And yet, there was something about her that was so graceful, so royal, so holy.
A Legacy of Sacrifice and Love
A Tribute to Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, of Righteous Memory
“Why are you asking forgiveness?” the Rebbetzin exclaimed. “My husband and I were sent to this world to serve people in need twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week...”
Sarah Nachshon
A Modern-Day Matriarch
My parents taught me that if the Jews want to keep the Land of Israel, then we must fight for the Land of Israel...
Bubbe Maryasha Garelik
As I looked around at my surroundings, I was amazed at the sight. Children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, uncles, aunts, cousins, second cousins, hundreds upon hundreds of Bubbe's descendents all around me...
Rivkah Holtzberg
Chabad House Co-Director of Mumbai, India
How Rivky, amidst dealing with her personal tragedy, running a Chabad house, teaching classes, caring for Moshe, and cooking meals for dozens of people daily, had extra hours available for talking is a mystery...
Mayim Bialik
Actress, neurobiologist, mom, proud Jewish woman.
Then this gal showed up on the hit TV show, The Big Bang Theory as a modest-dressing neurobiologist nerd. How she managed to convince the producers to let her character dress in a skirt that covers her knees is remarkable...
Esther Rachel Russell
Healing Through Laughter
Sara Esther Crispe
Editor of TheJewishWoman.org
She was wearing a funky, multicolored tunic and a wooly green skirt with a pair of big, black Doc Martin boots. "Alright…" I thought...
Chaya Lipshutz
The Kidney Matchmaker
Chaya does not bring people together for marriage, but to save lives. Her couples will not meet under the chuppah, but in the operating room.Chaya is known throughout the world as the uniquely dedicated, unstoppable Kidney Matchmaker...
Joan Weiner
Changing perceptions one laugh at a time
Weiner is clearly no conventional Jewish mother: A successful standup comic, she performs at Manhattan comedy clubs and for audiences across the tristate area . . .
Judy Buchman-Ziv
Healing Through Her Music
I had always known the importance of Bikkur Cholim, the mitzvah of visiting the sick. But I hadn't realized until that day how many different ways it can be done, and how all of our individual talents and abilities can be an integral part of the mitzvah as well....
Robin Garbose
Taking Filmmaking In A New Direction
Asher Lev certainly wouldn't believe it- but women of all backgrounds are embracing this Orthodox filmmaker and her vision...
Ariella Sunny Levi
A Torah Observant Tae Kwon Do Master
In trying to integrate ourselves into our newcommunity, I have also been trying to integrate my old self into who I have become. I still have a deep passion for martial arts and I greatly look forward to the day I can teach my children Tae Kwon Do. But truth be told, my goals extend far beyond the passing over of a few good techniques...
Zlata Geisinsky, OBM
Memories of a Beloved Educator
Next to Mrs. Geisinsky's picture are the words, "My teacher once told me that if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life. I have yet to work a day." We will be forever grateful for the wonder and warmth that Mrs. Geisinsky instilled into our children and into our lives and will miss her dearly...
Dorothy Smith
Turning Challenges into Springboards
From New Jersey to Vladivostok
Aliza Silberstein
A rare peek into the everyday life of a Lubavitch emmisary to Russia's Far East...
Moran Sabbah
My Journey as a Rock Star
"I'm going to be a rock star!" I knew this was my life's mission, and so, at the age of fifteen I embarked on my journey, never looking back...
Leah Larson
A Young Girl's Dream
"Wouldn't it be cool to publish a magazine for Jewish girls?" My friend was used to my constant flow of ambitious but usually impractical ideas, so she simply responded, "Yeah, but we could never do it." And that was it...
Yona Yakobavitz
Creating Harmony From Challenge
Like their mother, both Yisroel Meir and Eliyahu have chosen to be survivors. Both boys have defied medical odds that were stacked against them. With music, laughter, and above all, a deep, lasting love and faith, Yona and her sons have created a magical life of their own...
Chana Deevon
The Midwife of Over 30,000 Babies
With 46 years of midwifery experience and over 30,000 babies under her belt, Mrs. Deevon is almost certainly the most prolific and senior midwife in all of Israel...
Tali Berman
Working the "It" Factor
She spends her work hours bringing hope, understanding, and healing to some very special families with some very special needs. Her name is Tali Berman, she is the founder and director of Meir Autism in Israel, and she is a woman you should know...
Rachel Factor
The Journey of a Broadway Dancer
Rachel Factor grew up in Honolulu as Tina Horii. She was always spiritually driven, but didn't find the outlet she needed until she discovered dance...
Elisa Ross
President of the Genetic Disease Foundation
Ten years ago this past March, my husband Jim and I lost our first born, Corey, to Neiman Pick (NP) Disease, a severe and currently incurable neurodegenerative disorder, at the young age of two and half...
Meryl Lemeshow
Beating Breast Cancer and Helping Others
The cancer had returned after only five years. This time, Meryl chose to undergo a double mastectomy, in addition to chemotherapy and reconstructive surgery. It was the one choice that Meryl feels gave her the best chance at survival, and she has never had any regrets...
Shaina Ettel
Revealing How Song is the Quill of the Soul
Shaina Ettel is no stranger to a world where talents are used competitively. Starting out as a little girl with a remarkably clear and precise voice, she has been singing for audiences since she was three years old...
Ilona Bleier Roozman
My Mother's Eyes
The memories of my mother when she was young, strong and fearless are fading. I'm struggling to remember the spark - a fierceness and Herculean strength emanating from her all knowing eyes...
Yetta Keller
The Journey of a Survivor
In one corner stood a multitude of canes and walking sticks. This was the first of many visits with Yetta, an eighty-two-year-old Holocaust survivor. We sat down on her patterned couch, and soon, she began to talk...
Esther Tauby
Healing Through Helping Others
For Esther Tauby of Richmond, BC, listening is a way of life. Her own tragic experiences of losing two children have enabled her to reach out to others in distress. She has finely honed her listening skills so that she can hear the silent cries of a child in emotional pain...
Tamara Davitashvili
Hope Everlasting
These are people that come into our lives for only a brief moment and stay for an eternity. Tamara Davitashvili was such a woman...
Rochel Roth
Yitzchak, so grateful for the wife he was bestowed, nominated her for this distinction. "When you have little to give, but don't stop giving, that's special. And that's my wife."
Eileen Sklaroff
Caring for Philadelphia’s Jewish Women in Need
Ask Eileen Sklaroff for a tour of the offices of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society (FHBS) and she'll invite you to her see her home and ask you to stay for dinner...
Cecelia Rosenfeld
My Grandmother, the Doctor
This was back in 1965, when women doctors were indeed a rarity, and Miss Flanagan could not conceive of them at all...
Ahava Winston
Director and Founder of Nitza: The Jerusalem Postpartum Support Network
"I realized that if four women in my community gave birth that year, then among them there would likely be a woman and a family suffering in silence from this debilitating illness..."
Robin Schneiderman
A Teacher for Life
"If it was raining outside, she taught the kids about weather and rain. She taught them about the world around them..."
Susie Solomon
Susie Solomon. A nice Jewish girl, like me? Who loves horses? What were the odds back in the day? Some people thought her a dreamer, not very practical and maybe a little crazy. Well, we know that "a little crazy" can be a very good thing, at times...
Chaya Ben Baruch
"For every ounce of effort we give these children, they give back tenfold." Chaya is the mother of six biological children, including a son with Down Syndrome and three adopted kids with Down Syndrome who were tragically abandoned by their parents at birth or shortly afterwards
Miriam Althaus
An Open Home, an Open Heart
For over forty years she has been teaching in Melbourne, Australia.What struck me was how happy she was, teaching, never complaining, and always offering to have students join her family's Shabbat dinner table. I did not know then the true extent of her social and educational efforts on behalf of the community...
Naama Shafir
University of Toledo Basketball Player Faces the Challenge of Honoring her Religious Beliefs while Competing
Every Saturday, as the afternoon begins to draw to an end, some of the University of Toledo women's basketball players prepare to make a phone call. When the sun finally sets, they dial their teammate. "Naama, it's time to come out and play!" they sing to her...
Leah Abelsky
Passover with the Rebbetzin of Kishinev and Moldova
As I watched Rebbetzin Leah and became inspired by her strong faith I mused about the past experiences that formed this woman standing before me…
Charlotte Rohr
A Matron of Jewish Life
Mrs. Charlotte Rohr, a devoted mother and grandmother who nurtured a family with philanthropic interests spanning the globe, died in her hometown of Bal Harbour, Fla., on Monday after a long illness.
Tamar Wisemon
Making Earth Day Everyday

While the connection between Judaism and environmentalism surprises some, for Tamar it is part of one package...

Neria Cohen
Coloring Our World
The women gathering in the lobby shared a buzz of excitement. They were a broad mix of ages, backgrounds and styles, from the soccer mom suburbanites to the funky hipsters to the accomplished professionals...
Buying Lives
Her Secret Rescue of Syrian Jews
The Canadian musicologist and mother of six supported her household and raised a family while almost single-handedly rescuing 3,228 Syrian Jews. "There were no typical days," recalls Judy...
Rachel Knopf
A Pillar of Strength and Faith After the Holocaust
Her voice choked with emotion, Rachel often repeated when we spoke, "G‑d is so good to me." Rachel was a Holocaust survivor who lived a life of tragedies and great challenges. Yet she always clung to her faith and was grateful for the blessings she had...
Miriam Pollack
Wisdom at 105
It’s not every day that one is privileged to sit across from a woman whose life has spanned an entire century. At 105 years old, Mrs. Pollack is astonishingly attentive and aware . . .
Shaindel Antelis
Changing the world one song at a time
Shaindel’s rhythmic music appeals to women of all ages. But Shaindel has a special gift in her has resonance with teenage girls. “I really write and sing especially for them. I know that many teens think—everyone else is perfect, while my life doesn’t make sense. I want them to know that, no, you’re not alone...
Batya Berg
A woman who had no children, but daily cares for 150 children
Batya Berg never had children of her own, but her days are filled with caring for the needs of her young charges. Some of them have no mothers, others are orphaned from their fathers; all of them are bewildered, wounded, and intimately familiar with poverty, illness and despair.
Debbie Rose
Bringing lost letters back to life
Debbie Rose is deeply involved in a unique project that brings the past to life. Knee-deep, in fact, in boxes and boxes of letters, letters her great-great-uncle received from hundreds of writers from all over the world. Only one problem. Debbie can’t read them, as they are all written in Yiddish....
Ariella Steinreich
Motivating Others to Volunteer
Her most recent project is connecting her neighbors with the concept of giving to others. To that end, she created a one-stop resource for all the area chesed opportunities...
Naomi Zirkind
Greg Spurlock knows Naomi Zirkind as a woman who stays true to Jewish traditions and values while still being part of their group of military engineers. Her friends from synagogue, however, know her as a quiet and modest figure who inspires others with her wisdom and Jewish insight.
Jacqui Taub
Fusing Art and Spirit
Perhaps one of Jacqui’s biggest challenges was waking up to the fact that her artistic talents are gifts from G‑d and not a direct result of her own singlehanded endeavors...
Jewish Educator and Mentor, Miriam Gordon, 87
A life that coincided with the growth of Chabad-Lubavitch in America.
Susie Rosenfeld
Transforming Challenges into Miracles
“I couldn’t believe I had breast cancer! I felt perfectly healthy. Physically, I took good care of myself. Spiritually, I felt I had some merits too: I had adopted four children, had changed my entire life when I became religious, and had moved countries, to top it all. I couldn’t believe that G‑d was doing this to me. I simply couldn’t understand it.”

From pre-school age, we are told over and over again that we are special, that we are princesses. Yet, so many girls, especially teenagers, continuously struggle with feelings of inadequacy and ugliness. How can that be?