Activism

Sold out in the name of healthcare reform

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Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the Healthcare Reform bill only after Democrats caved on abortion, allowing the Stupak Amendment to be added in order to move the bill along.  The Stupak Amendment prohibits any public option to offer abortion coverage, and also prevents private insurers from covering abortion by limiting federal affordability credits to plans that do not cover abortion.  For those of us who desire a truly comprehensive healthcare reform act that values women's healthcare needs, this "victory" was hard to swallow.

Love Shouldn't Hurt

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Today I discovered the National Council for Jewish Women of Columbus, Ohio's "Love Shouldn't Hurt" community service project, which educates high school students about dating abuse and healthy relationships.  The NCJW's Love Shouldn't Hurt committee, chaired by Nancy Eisenman, has reached over 1,800 students with their teen dating abuse lecture. The NCJW of Columbus, Ohio is working to pass a bill to require all schools to include educational programs about dating and relationship abuse in the high school curriculum. I applaud this initiative, and wish there were a similar bill on the floor of every state legislature.

Teaching resources on labor activism

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Rose Schneiderman

In (belated) honor of Labor Day and the start of the new school year, I want to call your attention to a set of lesson plans on labor activism and communal responsibility. The lessons are based on a speech given by Rose Schneiderman, a Jewish immigrant activist, lifelong advocate for the rights of workers and of women, and powerful orator.

Remembering Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Isabelle Charlotte Weinstein Goldenson

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Last week, hundreds of people attended the wake of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who was instrumental in founding the Special Olympics.  Shriver, who passed away August 11, 2009, leaves behind a legacy of activism for the rights and dignity of the mentally disabled. 

In reading the coverage of Shriver's passing, I couldn't help but notice the parallels between her story and the story of Isabelle Charlotte Weinstein Goldenson, a disability rights activist and co-founder of United Cerebral Palsy, who passed away in 2005. 

 

Getting loud about Nancy Brinker

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Jews are generally not a quiet people -- at least not in America in this day and age. We like to speak up, to speak out, to express our opinionated selves fairly loudly. So when the White House announced this year's recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, it's not surprising that there was a vocal "Jewish response."

Reflections on Stonewall

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The wee hours of June 28, 1969, began with a routine enough event: a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village gay bar owned by the mafia (as nearly all gay bars were at the time, since bars that catered to homosexuals were usually denied a liquor license, and only mob-owned bars could afford to pay off the police so that they could operate without a license). The cops entered with their usual intentions: to check id cards and arrest those found to be cross-dressing. 

Two Wendys Who Dared

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Wendy Abrams
Wendy Platt Newberger

To cap off Women's History Month, we want to recognize two stellar women who were recently honored in Chicago as part of JWA's Women Who Dared project. You may have seen our online exhibition of Women Who Dared, which features interview segments with over 50 pioneering women in Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, and New Orleans.

Women's History Month Podcast Feature #3

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The third and final feature in JWA’s Women’s History Month podcast series, Jewish Women and Political Leadership, is now live! Listen to four political activists reflect on their journeys in shaking up the political “boy’s club” and tipping the gender scales -- from confronting miniscule quotas for women in law school, to pushing women’s health legislation in Congress, to becoming the first Jewish woman elected to the Maryland State Senate.

"We have found you wanting"

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Ninety-eight years ago today, 146 people (mostly women, mostly Jewish and Italian immigrants, mostly young) burned to death in a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. The tragedy was particularly galling because it was the result of unsafe working conditions, a lack of fire escapes, and locked exits.

Rubber workers, anarchists, and little Jewish ladies

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I was reading today about Rose Pesotta, a veteran unionorganizer with the ILGWU, who in February of 1936 went to Akron, Ohio to helpworkers striking at the Goodyear Rubber factory. She was sent to raise supportfor the strike among the workers' wives and daughters, but she was alsosuccessful in connecting with the workers themselves, ultimately helping to endthe strike with a negotiated settlement.

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