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Outstanding Jewish Women

Beth Admin

Hadassah celebrates the many mothers, daughters and women throughout our history who championed the causes important to them and changed the world.

Feel proud to stand side by side with these great women who dare to make a difference:

Virginia Apgar was the creator of the Apgar Newborn Scoring System, a method of evaluating the health of infants minutes after birth, in order to make sure they receive proper medical care.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the second woman ever to sit on the United States Supreme Court and is known as the legal architect of the modern women's movement.

Eleanor K. Baum is the first female engineer to be named dean of an engineering college in the United States, breaking many professional gender barriers along the way.

Gertrude Belle Elion was a Nobel Prize winner and one of the America’s most distinguished research scientists. Elion, working predominantly with George Hitchings, created drugs to combat leukemia, gout, malaria, herpes and autoimmune disorders. Elion and Hitchings devised a system for designing drugs that led to the development of the AIDS drug AZT.

Charlotte “Eppy” Epstein was known as "Mother of Women's Swimming in America" after she founded the Women's Swimming Association and coached the Women's Olympic Swimming Team in the 1920s. 

Anne Frank is one of the most renowned and most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Acknowledged for the quality of her writing, her diary has become one of the world's most widely read books, and has been the basis for several plays and films.

Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique, has been central to the reshaping of American attitudes toward women's lives and rights.

Hannah Greenbaum Solomon, the visionary founder of the National Council of Jewish Women, spent her lifetime organizing communities to work cooperatively for social good.

Ruth Handler changed the face of the toy industry with her introduction of the Barbie doll in 1959. Co-founder of the Mattel toy company, Handler was also noted for her marketing innovations. She later went on to a successful second career in the prosthetic breast business.

Emma Lazarus, an American poet, is best known for her faith in America as a safe place for all the suffering people of the world, as expressed in her poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Annie Londonderry was the world's first international female sports star who transcended the limitations of her time, and displayed independence and bravery by being the first person to ride a bicycle around the world. Is this a quote?

Golda Meir was the fourth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Meir was Israel’s first and the world’s third female to hold such an office. She was described as the “Iron Lady” of Israeli politics.

Judith Resnick was an American engineer and a NASA astronaut who died in the destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger during the launch of its mission. Resnik was the second American woman and the second Jewish person in space, logging 145 hours in orbit.

Felice Schwartz founded Catalyst, which dedicated itself to expanding opportunities for women in business. Through Catalyst, Schwartz effected long lasting changes that reshaped the American business world into a more inclusive, women-friendly environment.

Gertrude Stein, the American modernist writer, is considered an important innovator whose attention to language and questioning of narrative conventions influenced such writers as Ernest Hemingway and Sherwood Anderson.

Gloria Steinem recognized around the world as a writer, speaker, political activist, and feminist visionary.

Henrietta Szold was the founder of Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of American, Inc. Largely under Szold's leadership, Hadassah created the infrastructure for a modern medical system in Palestine that serves both Jews and Arabs. Szold spent most of the last twenty-five years of her life in Palestine, overseeing numerous health, educational, and social service institutions that would become an integral part of the State of Israel. In her seventies, under the shadow of the Nazi threat in Europe, Szold directed Youth Aliyah, an organization that brought thousands of children from Germany and Europe to agricultural settlements in Palestine.

Florence Wald was an American nurse, former Dean of Yale School of Nursing, and largely credited as "the mother of the American hospice movement."

Lillian Wald dedicated her life to bringing quality medical care and better living conditions to the Jewish immigrant population on New York’s Lower East Side. 

Gertrude Weil's passion for equality and justice shaped the course of her long life. Weil stood courageously at the forefront of a wide range of progressive and often controversial causes, including women's suffrage, labor reform and civil rights.

Frances Wisebart Jacobs organized and became president of the Hebrew Ladies’ Relief Society and later broadened the scope of her work to establish the Denver Ladies’ Relief Society. Jacobs became known as Denver’s “mother of charities.”

Rosalyn Yalow, the first woman born and educated in the United States to win a Nobel Prize in a scientific field.

YOU, the member who supports Hadassah as we research cures, protect children in need, promote worldwide humanitarian relief, and stand in solidarity with Israel.

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