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Sampter, Jessie Ethel (22 March 1883–11 November 1938), Zionist poet and educator, was born in New York City, the daughter of Rudolph Sampter, a lawyer, and Virginia Kohlberg. Her mother came from a traditional German-Jewish household, and her father, the son of East European Jewish immigrants, was an atheist affiliated with the Ethical Culture Society. Her father was a strong and supportive influence, reading and encouraging Sampter’s early writing....

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Sonneschein, Rosa (12 March 1847–05 March 1932), editor and Zionist, was born in Nagykansiza, Hungary, the daughter of Hirsch B. Fassel, a rabbi, and Fannie Sternfeld. She attained a high school education in Hungary and at a young age, in 1864, married Solomon Hirsch Sonneschein, a Reform rabbi; they had four children. In 1869 they immigrated to the United States and settled in St. Louis, Missouri. From the outset, their marriage was a disaster because they were wholly incompatible and because of her husband’s alcoholism. During her tumultuous marriage, Sonneschein began a lifelong habit of smoking cigars after dinner, claiming that smoking helped alleviate the indigestion that resulted when she and her husband quarreled at the dinner table....

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Syrkin, Marie (23 March 1899–01 February 1989), writer, educator, and Zionist activist, was born in Switzerland, the only daughter of Nachman Syrkin, the theoretician of socialist Zionism, and Bassya Osnos, a feminist socialist Zionist. Nachman Syrkin was the author of The Jewish Socialist State...

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Szold, Henrietta (21 December 1860–13 February 1945), first president of Hadassah, the women's Zionist organization of America, first president of Hadassah, the women’s Zionist organization of America, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of Benjamin Szold, a rabbi, and Sophie Schaar. As a girl, Szold showed great interest in biblical and Talmudic studies and served as personal secretary to her father, from whom she learned both Hebrew and German. As a young adult, she taught in a private girls’ school, wrote articles for the New York weekly ...