Paula Sinclair is the Director of Programs and Partnerships for the Jewish Womens Archive, the worlds largest collection of stories and voices of Jewish women in North America and beyond, all online and freely accessible at jwa.org. Paula began her career as a banker, became a business journalist, and even ran a youth writing and adventure camp before joining JWA. The biographies she co-wrote for Kveller in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month are adapted from entries in the JWA Encyclopedia of Jewish Women. Follow Paula and JWA on Twitter (@jwaonline ) and on Facebook (facebook.com/JewishWomensArchive) Niki Lamberg is a communications specialist who collaborates with non-profits in Boston, MA and beyond to fulfill their missions and potential; see more at nlamberg.com. Her specialties are youth, education, the arts, social services and Jewish organizations: in recent years, she has been honored to support The Cohen Camps (Pembroke, Tel Noar and Tevya); The Ruderman Family Foundation; JCDS, Bostons Jewish Community Day School; and The Jewish Womens Archive.
In the 1930s-1980s, where did you get your financial news? The smart money was on an insightful journalist and economist with the enigmatic byline S.F. Porter.
Only after nearly a decade of…leadership and a daily column did this writer’s full name appear, plus a photo: Sylvia Field Porter. Unmistakably female! In an interview for New Women in Social Sciences, Porter later reflected, “On that day I became a woman.” By the time she died in 1991, Sylvia was a nationally syndicated columnist with 45 million readers in 450… >> Read More
"Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel." --Susan…B. Anthony, 1896 Her adventure began with a bet. In 1894, one gentleman in Boston bet another, $20,000 against $10,000, that no woman could travel around the world by bicycle, a feat that had been completed for the first time by a man in 1885. Annie Cohen Kopchovsky took up the challenge and set out… >> Read More
Notorious for her connections with gangsters at the height of Prohibition, Polly Adler fought to become "the best goddamn madam in all America." Historian Ann Millin tells the story:
Born…in Belorussia in 1900 into a tailor's family, Polly began her education with the village rabbi. Her father sent her to the United States at age 12 to be the first link in a “chain emigration” to bring the entire family to the United States. Separated from her family by the Great War as a teenager, she was… >> Read More
Imagine what children’s TV would be like without Peggy Charren. You can’t! Peggy took on the burgeoning television industry of the 1970s and won. She fought to keep advertising out of…children’s programs, to keep quality children’s shows on the air, and to place limits on programs designed to sell toys to kids. Some people thought she was in favor of censorship, but Peggy vehemently disagreed: for her, content for children was all about context. Journalist Janet Beyer tells her story: The product of a liberal… >> Read More
Meet Maria Winetzkaja, a renowned opera singer and a rebellious, independent woman.
Russian-born around 1888, her father was a cantor, but Maria wanted nothing to do with her family's Judaism. She…called it ridiculous and foolish, due to what she perceived to be a lack of respect for women, according to her grandson Steven Winnett. His biography of her relates what happened next: Her family moved to the United States in 1904, following a series of pogroms. She studied opera in New York, eventually traveling the… >> Read More
Meet an energetic and thoughtful woman who opposed the suffragist movement: she’s the tireless writer, advocate, activist, fundraiser, author, playwright, and art critic who founded Barnard…College, New York City’s first liberal arts college for women. Historian Myrna Goldenberg tells her story: Annie Nathan Meyer, born in 1867 and a descendent of Gershom Mendes Seixas, a Jewish Revolutionary War patriot, received less than six months of formal schooling. She educated herself, later boasting she had read all of Charles Dickens by… >> Read More
How many women do you know who have a crater named after them? Now, at least one: Gerty Theresa Cori. And planetary study wasn’t even what made her a scientific star.
In 1947, Cori became the…first American woman--the third woman ever--to win the Nobel Prize. She and her husband Carl received it together in recognition for their life’s work on carbohydrate metabolism, specifically for “their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen,” which expanded understanding of how muscles make and store energy and the role of enzymes, with implications for… >> Read More
Does Rusty Kanokogi sound like name of the Jewish mother next door? Only if it's the mom who mastered Judo in Japan, convinced Congress to pass Title IX in sports and secured women's Judo's spot in…the Olympics. The woman who received the Order of the Rising Sun, Japan's highest honor for a foreigner, was born Rena Glickman in 1935. Writer Wendy Lewellen chronicled Rusty's life and says it happened this way: Living in Coney Island, she befriended the hawkers, the barkers and the social misfists of the colorful boardwalk. By… >> Read More
Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp, the woman who lived with renowned lawman Wyatt Earp for nearly 50 years, was long on daring, short on propriety, and, of all things, Jewish.
You may be familiar…with the “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral,” a bloody confrontation with the lawmen on one side and the cowboys on the other, but did you know it was a conflict of jealous revenge as well, a love triangle with our Josephine in the middle? And you might think that Wyatt Earp, the Deputy Marshal of… >> Read More