Penina Moise published a collection of poems in 1833, and historians say it was the first book of poetry by a Jewish-American woman. Fancy's Sketch Book was published under her full name, not a pseudonym, as was the custom for women writers of the time. While Moise would have fit in better in those days by writing about frivolous topics, she often wrote about social issues such as prejudice. "She seemed to be a very highly intelligent person who was mostly self-trained and self-taught," said Solomon Breibart, a retired teacher and historian, whose essay on Moise was published in a book, Jews of the South. She "pursued a literary career at a time when it was considered unseemly for women, especially Jewish woman, to do so." Moise was contributor of poems in periodicals published from New Orleans to Boston. In 1845, she contributed "Miriam," a poem, and a short story called "The Convict" to The Charleston Book, an anthology of the best writers in Charleston. Moise, whose parents fled Haiti's slave insurrection to settle in Charleston, also wrote 190 hymns for her congregation of Beth Elohim, the nation's fourth-oldest Jewish congregation. Despite failing eyesight in her old age, Moise continued to teach literature at a private school until her death in 1880.