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National Organization for Women (NOW)

Betty Friedan

For her acclaimed book, The Feminine Mystique, and her presidency of the National Organization for Women, Betty Friedan is hailed as the mother of second wave feminism.

Savina Teubal

Savina Teubal was an accomplished biblical scholar and the founding president of Sarah’s Tent: Sheltering Creative Jewish Spirituality. Sarah’s Tent is an organization that offers Shabbat dinners, retreats, classes, and holiday festivities such as Pesach seders and Rosh Chodesh gatherings.

Phyllis Chesler

Dr. Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies, a psychotherapist, and an expert courtroom witness. She has lectured and organized political, legal, religious, and human rights campaigns in the United States and in Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East.

Doris B. Gold, 1919 - 2011

Doris Gold was a very dear and consummately loyal friend, a sage adviser, and an overflowing font of information from her encyclopedic mind on a wide range and diversity of areas.  And she didn’t stop with just expressing her ideas; she implemented them. And she happily and enthusiastically shared her ideas and information, her advice and criticism with anyone who needed it.

Meetings held to plan National Organization for Women

June 30, 1966

The foundation for the National Organization for Women was laid at a meeting in Betty Friedan's hotel room in Washington, DC.

Publication of "The Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan

February 17, 1963

Publication of "The Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan; the book is credited with sparking the modern feminist movement.

Doris Bauman Gold

Doris Bauman Gold was motivated by her long participation in Jewish organizational life to found Biblio Press, dedicated to educating Jewish women about their own history and accomplishments. Through Biblio Press, Gold has published more than twenty-seven general audience books that address and illuminate the culture, history, experiences, and spiritual yearnings of Jewish women.

Betty Friedan

Considered by many as the “mother” of the second wave of modern feminism, activist and writer Betty Friedan was one of the most influential feminist leaders of the second half of the twentieth century, a co-founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and its first president. She served on the boards of leading women’s organizations, fought for legislation to ensure women’s equality and wrote books analyzing women’s role in society and the women’s movement.

Assimilation in the United States: Twentieth Century

Jewish women began to assimilate into American society and culture as soon as they stepped off the boat. Some started even earlier, with reports and dreams of the goldene medine, the golden land of liberty and opportunity. Very few resisted adapting to the language and mores of the United States; those who did often returned to Europe. Well over ninety percent stayed, even those who cursed Columbus’s voyage and subsequent European settlement in North America.

Happy Birthday, NOW!

Forty years ago today, the National Organization for Women (NOW), was founded in Betty Friedan’s hotel room in Washington, DC. Friedan and the 26 other founders were frustrated by the unwillingness of the National Conference of Commissions on the Status of Women to take any meaningful action against the well-documented widespread discrimination against women.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "National Organization for Women (NOW)." (Viewed on September 16, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/national-organization-for-women-now>.

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