Who she was:

As a teenager, Anna dropped out of school and took on odd jobs, like tying teabags, so that she could study dance and theater in New York City. She was also an activist fighting for the rights of women who worked in clothing factories.

Later in her life, Anna traveled around the world to teach dance. During her travels, she lived in Israel and fell in love with the country, returning every summer for most of her life.

What she did:

When she was 10, Anna took dance classes with her older sister Rose. By the age of 15 she was performing with an Off-Broadway theater called the Neighborhood Playhouse where she worked with the famous choreographers Martha Graham and Louis Horst.

As a member of the "radical dance movement," Anna created dances about current events and the struggles of ordinary people. She believed that dance must come from the dancer's feelings and experiences.

Why she's cool:

Anna influenced many famous dancers who perform today. By the mid-1930s, she was the youngest American choreographer to lead her own professional dance group. It was called "Dance Unit." In 1939, she was invited to Mexico where she started a dance company. Her work was so important, Anna is known as the founder of Mexican modern dance.

In 1953, Anna moved to Israel, where she trained a Yemenite dance group called the Inbal Dance Theater, which combined music, theater, and dance into one performance style. In 1998, she was inducted into the United States' National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame.

About being Jewish: 

Anna is known for creating dance pieces about the Holocaust. Her pieces also celebrated the strength and courage of the Jewish people, especially Jewish women like Hannah Senesh and Golda Meir. In 1943, Anna named a dance after a book of poems called Songs of a Semite, written by Emma Lazarus.