Sarah bas Tovim: The Power of Women’s Prayer

Jewish woman placing a kvitel in the Western Wall. Photo by Yonina via Wikimedia Commons.
Jewish woman placing a kvitel in the Western Wall. Photo by Yonina via Wikimedia Commons.

Sarah bas Tovim was one of the most prolific authors of tekhines, prayers composed specifically for Jewish women in Eastern Europe. Her work illustrates the deeply spiritual lives of simple women, and sheds significant light on the social history of the shtetlPart of the Jewish Biography as History series by Dr. Henry Abramson.

Henrietta Szold: Founder of Hadassah

256px-Henrietta_Szold

American-born Henrietta Szold was an extremely influential Zionist leader and organizer, founder of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.

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Yocheved bat Rashi (Jewish Biography as History)

14th century illuminated manuscript. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
14th century illuminated manuscript, Italy. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Yocheved  was the daughter of one of Judaism’s greatest scholars: Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki, better known as Rashi.  A fascinating woman in her own right, this lecture will survey some of the references to Yocheved (and her illustrious sisters) and what light this sheds on the history of medieval Jewish women.

Golda Meir and the Foundations of Israel

Golda Meir (1949), Photograph courtesy T. Brauner and Wikipedia Commons
Golda Meir (1949), Photograph courtesy T. Brauner and Wikipedia Commons

A presentation of the life of Golda Meir (1898-1978), spanning her immigration to Israel in 1921 through the end of her term as the fourth Prime Minister of Israel in 1974. The lecture will discuss the foundations of the Yishuv, the pre-state Jewish community, and touch on the major social and military conflicts that Israel endured during the first three decades of its existence.  The lecture was held at Young Israel of Bal Harbour.

Evgenia Ginzburg: Jewish Life Under Stalin

Evgenia Ginzburg (1904-1977) was a Jewish woman who endured the horrors of the Stalinist Gulag.  Charged and convicted of anti-Soviet activity in 1937, she was sent to the infamous work camps of Siberia for nearly two decades until her case was reviewed two years after Stalin’s death.  She was ultimately rehabilitated, and published her memoirs of the ordeal.  Her life story is illustrative of the tenuous situation of Jews in the Soviet Union during the Stalinist period.

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