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Jewesses with Attitude

50 Most Influential Progressives of the 20th Century - Who else?

The Nation recently published a list of the 50 Most Influential Progressives of the Twentieth Century. As JSpot noted, 5 are Jewish. Two of those are women: Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. While I don't put much stock in these types of lists (it's a lazy and popular way to create news content out of nothing) they unfortunately contribute to shaping and recording our cultural memory. So what other Jewish women deserve to be on the list of Influential Progressives of the Twentieth Century?

Some that come to mind are:

Bella Abzug, Florence Prag Kahn, and Rose Schneiderman, pioneers in progressive politics.

Betsy Shure Gross, an advocate for the preservation of open spaces, historic sites, and affordable housing.

Justine Wise Polier, activist and "fighting judge."

Heather Booth, who founded the first campus women's movement organization in 1965 and helped create JANE, one of the country's first abortion counseling services.

Susan Brownmiller, civil rights activist, volunteer at Freedom Summer, and author of Against Our Will, which defined rape as a serious social problem of violence against women.

Judy Chicago, feminist artist.

Who else would you add to the list? Leave a name in the comments!

How to cite this page

Berkenwald, Leah. "50 Most Influential Progressives of the 20th Century - Who else?." 28 September 2010. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on October 23, 2016) <>.


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