My final speech as a radical feminist activist was delivered in June 1983, at the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Rally, where I addressed anti-Semitism in the women’s movement. While I had been writing and speaking about anti-Semitism in the women’s movement for several years, this particular speech was intended to serve as my “goodbye to all of that.” I had decided that I needed to “go home”; I was making a conscious decision to change my primary identity from “Jewish radical feminist” to “feminist Jew.” I declared that for me, confronting sexism within the Jewish community would be more life-affirming and productive than continuing to fight anti-Semitism from inside of the women’s movement, which was supposed to be committed to the liberation and safeguarding of all women. It was clear to me that even though the radical feminist community claimed to have disengaged politically from the male Left, it did not purge itself of the Left’s virulent and historical anti-Semitism. Dr. Phyllis Chesler, another veteran of the radical feminist movement, addresses this phenomenon brilliantly in her latest work, The New Anti-Semitism.
Gloria Z. Greenfield has served as director of the Adult Learning Collaborative: A Program of Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Hebrew College since 2001. One of the key programs in the Collaborative is the Jewish Women's Studies initiative, which brings the leading Jewish feminist scholars from North America, Europe, and Israel to Boston. Greenfield received her B.A. in Communications, with a minor in Women's Studies, from the State University of New York at Oswego in 1974. She also did graduate work in the History of Women in the U.S. at Goddard-Cambridge Graduate Program in Social Change, and in Jewish Studies at Hebrew College. During her undergraduate tenure, Gloria founded the Oswego Women's Center, Women for a New World, Alliance of Women Against Repressive Education at SUNY, We Are the Women Your Fathers Warned You Against, and the Red Rag Regime. In April 1976, she founded Persephone Press, a leading radical feminist book publishing company, which she ran until May 1983. In 1980, Greenfield was cited as a Ms. magazine “Woman to Watch” in the 80s. Other honors include the Keter Torah award of the Bureau of Jewish Education for her outstanding contribution to adult Jewish education (2005).
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