6: Portrait of Bertha Pappenheim as Glückel of Hameln, courtesy of the Leo Baeck Institute.
Bertha Pappenheim (1859-1936), who was distantly related to Glückel, (through her mother, Pappenheim was a descendent of Glückel’s husband’s sister Yenta), was a prominent Austrian-Jewish feminist. She translated the Yiddish text of Glückel’s memoirs into German in order to bring awareness of Glückel’s intellectual gifts to a new readership, as part of her politics of bringing feminism to Judaism. Pappenheim felt that Glückel exemplified the independence and family commitment that she wanted for Jewish women in Germany in her own time. In this portrait by the artist Leopold Pilichowski, Bertha Pappenheim poses as Glückel of Hameln, in the kind of clothing she imagines Glückel would wear.
Suggested Activity: Bertha Pappenheim saw Glückel as a role model for German Jewish women of her time. Based on the excerpts above, ask your students to identify qualities of Glückel of Hameln that would make her a good role model. Ask your students: If you were to have a portrait painted of yourself as a historical figure, who would you choose? Alternatively, invite students to come to class dressed as a historical figure that they see as a role model, and to explain what they find admirable about the figure.
Source: Portrait of Bertha Pappenheim as Gluckel of Hameln, by Leopold Pilichowski, courtesy of the Leo Baeck Institute.