Exhibit: Women Who Dared
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  Madalyn  Schenk
  Political Activist
  New Orleans WWD Event 2005
   
  Organized first pro-choice rally in Louisiana
 
Biography  up to top

Madalyn Schenk was born in Chicago in 1950. Her first piece of mail upon moving to New Orleans twenty-three years ago was from the National Council of Jewish Women, and from then on she was engaged in civic leadership and political activism. She is quick to point out that her activist work takes place in the context of the warm networks of Jewish women's organizing. She pays homage to the social nature of her work, saying, "I have never felt alone or at risk. Rather, my closest friendships have been cemented by standing up for my beliefs and the rights of others."

Risks or not, Madalyn has been a major political force for state and national change. She orchestrated the first pro-choice rally in Louisiana, and was Louisiana contact for the Million Mom March. She held leadership roles in six major Democratic campaigns, including the elections of President Bill Clinton and Senator Mary Landrieu. As an education reformer, she helped to initiate NCJW'S Home Instruction Program for Pre-School Youngsters, evaluated AmeriCorps grants, and served on the fund-raising boards of two exemplary public schools.

Madalyn's activism is fired by her desire to be part of something larger than herself. She says, "Judaism is about celebrating freedom, moving people from darkness to light, enabling people to be everything that they can be in this time and place."

 
What She Said  up to top
ON JEWISH VALUES
For me, Judaism is about celebrating freedom. It's about moving people from darkness to light; it's about enabling people to be everything they can possibly be, in this time, in this time, in this space. ...More 
ON FAMILY UPBRINGING
I grew up in Chicago, you might say kind of like in a schtetl. ...More 
ON ROLE MODELS
Elizabeth Rack taught me everything I know about politics, and how to organize people, and manage a database, and to engage people in a cause that's bigger than themselves. ...More 
ON BEING A WOMAN ACTIVIST
It's November 12, 1989... ...More 
ON TRADITIONAL ROLES
My father would say you don't talk about sex, money, religion or politics. As soon as he died, that's all I've talked about: sex, money, religion and politics. ...More 
ON WOMEN'S MOVEMENT
[F]or me, it's about who's calling the shots ...More 
ON PATH TO ACTIVISM
Because of this inbred love of Israel, we'd save dimes in an envelope. ...More 
 
Multimedia  up to top
Photographs Photographs
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How to Cite This Page
For a bibliography: Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA - Women Who Dared - Biography Madalyn Schenk." <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/bio.jsp?personID=pmschenk>.

For a footnote: Jewish Women's Archive, "JWA - Women Who Dared - Biography Madalyn Schenk," <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/bio.jsp?personID=pmschenk>.