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Pauline Newman

Pauline Newman

Pauline Newman made massive strides for workers’ rights, especially women workers, by building bridges between many different factions.

Labor Day and Leisure

Labor Day. In America, this holiday is more often associated with barbeques, sales, and the farewell to summer and white linen than with the contributions of workers. By design, it’s a less overtly political holiday than the workers’ holidays in Europe—the U.S. intentionally picked a day other than the International Workers’ Day of May 1st to avoid any whiff of radicalism.

10 Things You Should Know About Pauline Newman

Born in Kovno, Lithuania, in 1890, Pauline Newman was barred from the local public school because she was Jewish. As a girl, her opportunities for a Jewish education were limited. Her father tutored well-to-do boys in Talmud; he eventually allowed her to attend Sunday classes, where she learned to read and write both Yiddish and Hebrew. The obstacles she faced in getting an education motivated her to fight for gender equality later in her life.

The Top 10 Jewish Women in Labor History

Though we at JWA celebrate women’s history all year round, March brings us the great opportunity of Women’s History Month.

Remembering the Uprising of the 20,000

On a cold November morning onehundred years ago today, more than 20,000 immigrant workers--mostly young Jewishwomen--took to the streets of the lower east side of New York, kicking off aneleven-week general strike of the shirtwaist industry knows as the Uprising ofthe 20,000.

Pauline Newman organizes influential New York rent strike

December 26, 1907

16-year-old Pauline Newman kicks off start of the largest rent strike New York City had ever seen; the strike helped lead to the eventual establishment of rent control in New York.

Clara Lemlich sparks "Uprising of the 20,000"

November 22, 1909

Clara Lemlich's passionate words sparked the "Uprising of the 20,000," a general strike of New York garment workers that marked a turning point in U.S. labor activism.

Uprising of 20,000 (1909)

On November 23, 1909, more than twenty thousand Yiddish-speaking immigrants, mostly young women in their teens and early twenties, launched an eleven-week general strike in New York’s shirtwaist industry. Dubbed the Uprising of the 20,000, it was the largest strike by women to date in American history.

Socialism in the United States

Disproportionate numbers of Jewish immigrant women in America were associated with socialism in the first decades of the twentieth century. Their radicalism appears to have grown out of the same sources as male radicalism—the changes experienced by the Jewish community in late nineteenth-century Europe and America, including proletarianization and the secularization of Jewish religious values. But Jewish working women’s radical consciousness and their militant collective action in America emerged in the face of extraordinary obstacles.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Pauline Newman." (Viewed on December 24, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/10181>.

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