Follow the timeline from the resurgence of the feminist movement in the 1960s through the end of the 20th century. Travel through four decades of feminism's Second Wave, during which Jewish feminists worked to transform American society and Jewish life in America. Learn about historic moments and events in the feminist revolution from the personal artifacts and stories of key activists.

 

1963

Betty Friedan publishes The Feminine Mystique

 

1964

Passage of Civil Rights Act creates EEOC

 

1964

Civil rights volunteers go to Mississippi for Freedom Summer and bring home strategies for social change

 

1965

Heather Booth

Jane abortion service is founded

 

1966

Sonia Pressman Fuentes

Founding of NOW

 

1967

First women’s liberation groups - The Westside Group and New York Radical Women - form in Chicago and New York

 

1967

New York Radical Women develop analytic method they call “consciousness-raising

 

1968

Young feminists protest the Miss America Pageant’s objectification of women

 

1969

Gloria Steinem

First “speak out” on abortion

 

1969

Barbara Seaman

Barbara Seaman writes letter to Senator Gaylord Nelson about dangers of birth control pill, leads to Senate hearings in 1970

 

1970

Alix Kates Shulman

Alix Kates Shulman publishes a feminist “Marriage Agreement”

 

1970

Naomi Weisstein

Founding of Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band

 

1970

Phyllis Chesler

Phyllis Chesler demands reparations for women from American Psychological Association

 

1970

Nancy Miriam Hawley

First printing of Women and Their Bodies (later editions become Our Bodies, Ourselves)

 

1972

Paula Hyman

Ezrat Nashim calls for change from the Conservative Movement

 

1972

Congress passes Equal Rights Amendment and sends it to states for ratification

 

1972

Florence Howe

Feminist Press issues its first women’s literature reprint

 

1972

Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Founding of Ms. magazine

 

1972

Congress passes Title IX of the Education Amendment.

 

1972

Sally Priesand

Sally Priesand is ordained as first woman rabbi in America

 

1972

Debbie Friedman

Debbie Friedman releases her first album, Sing Unto God

 

1973

Supreme Court legalizes abortion in the Roe v. Wade decision

 

1973

Sheryl Baron Nestel

First National Conference on Jewish Women held in New York City

 

1973

Rachel Adler

Response: A Contemporary Jewish Review publishes issue on Jewish feminism

 

1974

Cheryl Moch

National Conference on Jewish Women and Men held in New York City

 

1975

Susan Brownmiller

Susan Brownmiller publishes Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape

 

1975

UN holds first World Conference on Women in Mexico City

 

1976

Gloria Greenfield

“Through the Looking Glass” women’s spirituality conference brings 1500 women to Boston

 

1976

Susan Weidman Schneider

Lilith Magazine is founded

 

1976

Joan Nestle

Lesbian Herstory Archives opens

 

1976

E.M. Broner

“Seder Sisters” hold their first feminist seder in New York City

 

1977

Francine Klagsbrun

Jewish Theological Seminary convenes Commission on the Ordination of Women as Rabbis

 

1977

Diana Mara Henry

National Women’s Conference is held in Houston

 

1979

Founding of Drisha Institute, first center for women’s advanced study of classical Jewish texts

 

1980

Gerda Lerner

First celebration of National Women’s History Week

 

1980

Blu Greenberg publishes On Women and Judaism: A View from Tradition

 

1981

Judith Plaskow

Founding of B’not Esh Jewish Feminist Spirituality Collective

 

1982

Ellen DuBois

Barnard holds controversial conference “Toward a Politics of Sexuality”

 

1982

Meredith Tax

Meredith Tax captures Jewish women’s labor activism in her novel, Rivington Street

 

1982

Ratification period for ERA ends and the ERA expires, three states short of ratification

 

1982

Deena Metzger

Deena Metzger and Hella Hamid celebrate the beauty of a one-breasted woman in the “Warrior” photograph

 

1983

Susannah Heschel

Susannah Heschel publishes On Being a Jewish Feminist

 

1984

Merle Feld

Merle Feld writes poem imagining women’s experience at Sinai

 

1984

Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago imagines the birth experience in the Birth Project

 

1984

Marcia Falk

Marcia Falk rewrites Hebrew prayers to reflect feminist images of God

 

1985

Madeleine Kunin

Madeleine Kunin becomes the first Jewish woman governor in America

 

1985

Amy Eilberg

Amy Eilberg is ordained as the first female Conservative rabbi

 

1985

Evelyn Fox Keller

Evelyn Fox Keller publishes Reflections on Gender and Science

 

1986

Savina Teubal

Savina Teubal creates Simchat Hochmah, a Jewish women’s eldering ceremony

 

1987

Marcia Cohn Spiegel

Marcia Cohn Spiegel gives a keynote lecture on “The Changing Jewish Family” at New Jewish Agenda conference

 

1988

Rivka Haut

Agunah, Inc. and GET founded in Brooklyn, NY

 

1990

Sue Levi Elwell

Founding of LA Jewish Feminist Center

 

1990

Clare Kinberg

First issue of BRIDGES: A Journal for Jewish Feminists and our Friends is published

 

1990

Judith Plaskow

Judith Plaskow publishes Standing Again at Sinai, first book on Jewish feminist theology

 

1991

Nina Totenberg

Reporter Nina Totenberg breaks story of Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas, sparking three days of Senate hearings

 

1992

Ophira Edut

Founding of HUES (Hear Us Emerging Sisters)

 

1992

Sharon Kleinbaum

Sharon Kleinbaum becomes Senior Rabbi of New York City’s Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, the world’s largest gay and lesbian synagogue

 

1993

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg becomes the first Jewish woman to be appointed to the US Supreme Court

 

1995

Dianne Cohler-Esses

Dianne Cohler-Esses becomes the first woman rabbi from Syrian community

 

1995

Barbara Dobkin

Conference on Jewish women’s philanthropy held by Ma’yan: The Jewish Women’s Project of the JCC in Manhattan

 

1995

Joan Roth

UN Conference on Women held in Beijing

 

1995

Joan Snyder

Joan Snyder creates the lithograph “Our Foremothers” for The Jewish Museum’s annual New Year’s graphic

 

1996

Founding of Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance

 

1996

Helène Aylon

Helène Aylon calls attention to human interpretations of God in her art installation “The Liberation of G-d

 

1997

Eve Ensler

Eve Ensler wins an Obie award for The Vagina Monologues

 

1997

Ruth Messinger

Ruth Messinger runs for Mayor of New York City

 

1998

Tamara Cohen

Ma’yan’s Miriam’s cup exhibit opens in New York City

 

1999

Marge Piercy

Marge Piercy publishes The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme