Courtesy of Corbis-Bettmann

Henrietta Szold 1860-1945

It is said that had American thinker and Zionist leader Henrietta Szold been born later, she would have been the first female rabbi. Szold was a passionate and learned scholar of Judaism who grew up as one of eight daughters of a Baltimore rabbi. In 1888, she opened a night school in Baltimore for Russian Jewish immigrants. In 1898, the Federation of American Zionists elected her as the only female member of its executive committee. After a visit to Palestine in 1909, Szold joined six other women to found Hadassah, which recruited American Jewish women to upgrade health care for Palestine's Jews and Arabs. At age 60, she moved to Palestine, where she created Youth Aliyah, an agency that is estimated to have saved 22,000 children from concentration camps.