She's a Mensch!

  • Pages:112
  • Publisher:Second Story Press
  • Series: Do You Know My Name?
  • Themes:Jewish women, Jewish history, Canadian history, women leaders
  • Available:05/23/2023
  • Lexile:1030L
  • Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient:Z

From the poorest neighborhoods in Kenya to the halls of the Canadian Supreme Court, the Jewish women found in these pages have accomplished remarkable feats. Some survived the horrors of the Holocaust while others had more peaceful childhoods, but all of them saw unfairness in their world and decided to do something about it.

Despite living in hiding throughout the Second World War, Hungarian gymnast Ágnes Keleti went on to win four Olympic gold medals at age thirty-five. South African Ruth First used her privilege as a white woman to battle her country’s racist system of Apartheid—a fight she eventually paid for with her life. Canadian Judy Feld Carr, a quiet high school music teacher, secretly organized the rescue of persecuted Jews from Syria. And Yavilah McCoy, an African American Jew from New York, uses her voice today to advocate for diversity in Judaism. You may not have heard of the ten women in this book before, but you will remember them. Their greatest legacy could be the action that their stories inspire in you.

"The biographies collected in She’s a Mensch! have at least one thing in common: all 10 of them sought to do something about the unfairness they saw in the world…. Compelling stories are told."

– The Canadian Jewish News

"Each section draws readers in with a brief but dramatic vignette focused on a significant life event... A well-organized, informative collective biography recommended for general interest and research projects."

– School Library Journal

"The writing is clear and concise, and small blue and grey illustrations grace the chapter heads. Appended with glossary, sources, acknowledgments, and endnotes, She’s a Mensch! should be a first pick for Judaica collections, and it will make a worthwhile addition to larger public and school collections. Highly Recommended."

– Canadian Review of Materials

"The bold, inno­v­a­tive, and globe-span­ning Jew­ish women in this book all tri­umphed over bad luck, prej­u­dice, pover­ty, and war. Their suc­cess­es — from win­ning Olympic gold medals to res­cu­ing imper­iled Jews — are pre­sent­ed in detailed yet read­able vignettes that will inspire many read­ers to reach beyond what they think they can achieve."

– The Jewish Book Council