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Jewish People

Many important men and women have made Judaism what it is today. In this section you can learn about prominent biblical characters as well as Jewish leaders, writers and philosophers.

Who Was Yael?

Biographies of Jewish People and Biblical Characters
Biographies of famous Jewish men and women, as well as Biblical characters who were not Jewish.

Albert Einstein Quotes
Albert Einstein was a Jewish theoretical physicist who developed the Theory of Relativity.

Hedy Lamarr
MGM billed Hedy Lamarr as the most beautiful woman in the world. But Lamarr's contribution to society goes far beyond acting - she also invented frequency hopping technology.

Who Was Beruriah?
Beruriah lived in the second-century and was the wife of Rabbi Meir. She was also a Jewish scholar in her own right.

Jewish Characters on HBO's "Boardwalk Empire"
HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire' depicts several real-life Jewish characters, among them Arnold Rothstein, Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel and Waxey Gordon.

Waxey Gordon
Waxey Gordon was a Jewish American mobster during the early to mid-1900's. He was a contemporary of Arnold Rothstein and Meyer Lansky and was involved primarily in gambling and bootlegging operations on the East Coast. Waxey Gordon is also a character on HBO's "Boardwalk Empire."

Who Was Meyer Lansky?
Known as the "Mob's Accountant," Meyer Lansky was an influential member of the Jewish mafia in the early to mid 1900s.

Who Was Jezebel?

Who Was Miriam?
In the Bible Miriam is the older sister of Moses. She is also a prophetess who plays an important role in the Israelite exodus from Egypt.

Ask the Rabbi: Rabbi Jeffrey Goldwasser
Rabbi Jeffrey Goldwasser is a Reform Rabbi who answers questions from About.com readers.

Rabbi Marc Disick
Rabbi Marc Disick is a Reform Rabbi who is available to answer questions from About.com readers.

Ask the Rabbi: Rabbi Ari Enkin
Rabbi Ari Enkin is an Orthodox Rabbi who is available to answer questions from About.com readers.

Abraham (Avraham) was the first Jew, the founder of Judaism, the physical and spiritual ancestor of the Jewish people, and one of the three Patriarchs (Avot) of Judaism.

Sarah was the wife of Abraham (Avraham) and the first Matriarch (Imahot) of the Jewish People.

Who Was Vashti?
In the biblical Book of Esther, Vashti is the wife of King Ahasuerus, the ruler of Persia.

Moses (Moshe) liberated the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. He is remembered as a liberator, a leader, a law-giver, a prophet, and the intermediary in the covenant between God and the Jewish people.

Miriam, a prophetess, was the older sister of Moses (Moshe) and Aaron (Aharon).

Golda Meir
Golda Meir became Israel's third prime minister and the world's second woman prime minister on February 26, 1969.

Women in the Bible and Jewish History
Women have played an important role in the bible and in Jewish history. Learn more about them by reading the articles collected on this page.

According to the biblical Book of Ruth, Ruth was a Moabite woman who married into an Israelite family and eventually converted to Judaism. She is the great-grandmother of King David and hence an ancestor of the Messiah.

Ezra the Scribe

Who was Rahab?
Rahab, called a zonah (prostitute or harlot) in the Book of Joshua, is considered one of the most righteous converts to the Israelite religion (Judaism) by the rabbis.

Who Was Ovadiah the Convert?
This is the vivid 12th-century testimony of a noble, Norman religious thinker turned convert to Judaism, which was discovered among hundreds of thousands of Jewish documents in the Cairo Genizah.

What is the Book of Tobit?
Although not considered canonical by Judaism, the Book of Tobit is a fascinating book with magical undertones and subtle comedy.

The Best of Basic Judaism Books
There are dozens of "how to" and "about guides" to Judaism out there, so how do you know which one is right for you? Check out these Judaism 101 books!

What is a shtreimel?
If you've seen a religious Jewish man walking around with a relic of furry, colder days in Russia, you might be curious about the shtreimel!

Who Was Imma Shalom?
Tracing the historical Imma Shalom, a well-known woman of the Talmud, is difficult if not impossible given the few texts and traditions available today.

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