Rachel Bernstein Wischnitzer was a professor and art historian who specialised in synagogue architecture. Born in Minsk, Russia, she moved to the United States in 1940. She studied at Heidelberg University and graduated from the Ecole Speciale d'Architecture in Paris in 1907 as one of the first women to receive a degree in architecture. Her four major works on buildings broke new ground in the scholarship and understanding of synagogue architecture and its place in the wider narrative of western architectural development. Her books included, Synagogue Architecture in the United States, Architecture of the European Synagogue and Messianic Themes in the Paintings of the Dura Synagogue. Between 1928-38, she served as the curator of the Jewish Museum in Berlin.