Letty Cottin Pogrebin
I started working on this article in the fall of 1980, in response to the anti-Semitic incidents that had besmirched the United Nations conference in Copenhagen. I wanted to discover whether those outbursts were peculiar to women operating in an international context, or whether some comparable form of anti-Semitism existed among feminists in the United States. So I spent 18 months doing in-depth interviews with more than 80 women from all parts of the country and writing the piece entitled “Anti-Semitism in the Women’s Movement” that eventually appeared in the June 1982 issue of Ms.
Letty Cottin Pogrebin earned her B.A. from Brandeis University and became a writer and strong advocate for women’s rights in the early 1970s. In 1971, she was one of the founding editors of Ms. magazine, where she worked for 17 years, and a co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus. She was also a consultant on Free To Be You And Me, an album of non-sexist children’s stories and songs, and edited Stories for Free Children. When the United Nations International Women’s Decade Conference equated Zionism with Racism in 1975, Pogrebin was provoked to combat anti-Semitism within the women’s movement just as she fought sexism within Judaism. Over the last three decades, Pogrebin has been a fixture in feminist, Jewish, and Jewish-feminist causes, as well as an outspoken political activist on issues including hunger, the Israel-Palestine conflict, and Black-Jewish relations. She is a prolific author whose publications include Getting Yours: How to Make the System Work for the Working Woman; Growing Up Free: Raising Your Child in the 80s; Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America; and Three Daughters.
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Ms. magazine, June 1982.
Credit: © 1982 Ms. Foundation for Education and Communication.