You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Environmentalism

We asked, you answered!

Last year in honor of Tu B'Shevat, we created a new page on jwa.org to feature Jewish women in environmental activism, and honored six women actively engaged in that work. After it “went live,” we were excited to find that several people submitted comments suggesting other Jewish women who deserved recognition. We heard those suggestions, and this year we brought the question to you—“who would you add to our list?” We asked, and you answered!  We have received the names of over 30 women in response to our call.

Submit your environmental activist before Tu B'Shevat!

Saturday is Tu B'Shevat, known as the "Jewish New Year for trees," the "Jewish Arbor Day," or the "Jewish birthday for trees." The holiday has an interesting history that, believe it or not, began with taxes.  Lenore Skenazy explains in The Forward:

Back about 2,000 years ago, Tu B’Shevat — literally the 15th day of the month of Shvat — was a tax deadline, of sorts. Any trees planted before Tu B’Shvat were considered to have been “born” the previous year. Those planted after Tu B’Shvat (or, perhaps those that started blooming after Tu B’Shvat) were part of the next year’s crop. As the amount of fruit you were required to tithe from each tree was determined by its age, this date was significant. And since the easiest way to remember a tree’s birthday was to plant it on that day, that’s what some folks did: planted.

Add an environmental activist to our list!

Beginning with the commandment for Adam and Eve to protect the Garden of Eden, Jewish tradition teaches that sustaining the health of the earth and all of its living things is a moral imperative.

Nita M. Lowey elected to House of Representatives

November 8, 1988

Nita M. Lowey was elected to the House of Representatives from New York.

Madeleine Kunin elected Governor of Vermont

November 7, 1984

Madeleine Kunin won election as governor of Vermont, becoming the first Jewish woman governor of an American state.

Bella Abzug elected to Congress

November 3, 1970

Elected to the U.S. Congress on this date, Bella Abzug claimed that she spent her days "figuring out how to beat the machine and knock the crap out of the political power structure."

Adlene Harrison becomes first Jewish female big-city mayor

February 11, 1976

Adlene Harrison became the first Jewish female mayor of a major American city when she was appointed mayor of Dallas.

Two Wendys Who Dared

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.

Dorothy Dinnerstein

Since its publication, Dorothy Dinnerstein’s The Mermaid and the Minotaur: Sexual Arrangements and Human Malaise (1976) has been recognized as one of the most important contributions to modern feminist thought. The book, translated into at least seven languages, is widely used in women’s studies courses and is an influential text outside academia as well. Comparing Dinnerstein’s book to Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, one reviewer declared that this seminal essay not only belongs in “every feminist library” but in the “library of every well-educated person.”

Aviva Cantor

The great synthesizer, bringing together Jewish feminism, Zionism, socialism, animal rights and concern for the environment, Aviva Cantor remains best known for her work as co-founder and editor of Lilith, the independent Jewish feminist magazine, her landmark Egalitarian Hagada, and her passionately analytical and theoretical volume Jewish Women/Jewish Men: The Legacy of Patriarchy in Jewish Life.

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Environmentalism." (Viewed on September 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/environmentalism>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs