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This Week in History: Events in October

Anita Diamant

Anita Diamant publishes "The Red Tent"

October 1, 1997

Anita Diamant’s imaginative engagement with the world of biblical women emerged with the publication of "The Red Tent."

Annie Leibovitz

Birth of photographer Annie Leibovitz

October 2, 1949

Annie Leibovitz, known for her photographic portraits of celebrities, was born.

Walters, Barbara - still image [media]

Barbara Walters becomes highest-paid journalist

October 4, 1976

When she joined the ABC evening news as a co-anchor, Barbara Walters became the highest paid journalist, male or female, up to that time.

Aviel Barclay becomes first female Torah scribe

October 6, 2003

Aviel Barclay became the first certified female Torah scribe.

Opening of Barnard College

October 7, 1889

Driven by the passionate lobbying efforts of activist Annie Nathan Meyer, Barnard College opened its doors in a rented Madison Avenue brownstone.

Julie Seltzer

Torah scribe Julie Seltzer begins work on a Sefer Torah

October 8, 2009

Julie Seltzer, a soferet (female Torah scribe), was part of a living exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, portraying the painstaking process of writing the 304,805 Hebrew Letters of the Torah.

Frances Wisebart Jacobs

Construction begins on Denver hospital inspired by Frances Wisebart Jacobs

October 9, 1892

Thanks to the work of Frances Jacobs, Colorado's "Mother of Charity," construction begins on a Denver hospital dedicated to the care of tuberculosis patients.

Hawn, Goldie - still image [media]

Opening of Goldie Hawn's "Private Benjamin"

October 10, 1980

Actress and producer Goldie Hawn had one of her biggest successes with the opening of the movie "Private Benjamin."

Nina Totenberg

Nina Totenberg’s journalism ignites the Anita Hill hearings.

October 11, 1991

“The [Anita Hill] hearings ripped open the subject of sexual harassment like some sort of long-festering sore."

Founding of Women's American ORT

October 12, 1927

Women's American ORT was founded in a Brooklyn kitchen.

Birth of Judge Jennie Loitman Barron

October 13, 1891

Judge Jennie Loitman Barron, the first woman to serve on the Massachusetts Superior Court, was born.

Rita Levi-Montalcini at 100

Rita Levi-Montalcini wins the Nobel Prize

October 13, 1986

Rita Levi-Montalcini's pioneering work on nerve growth earned her the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Golda's Balcony poster

Tovah Feldshuh stars in "Golda's Balcony"

October 15, 2003

"Golda's Balcony" opened on Broadway, starring Tovah Feldshuh in a one-woman play about Golda Meir.

Esther Lederer becomes Ann Landers

October 16, 1955

Esther Lederer, better known as "Ann Landers," published her first advice column.

Soferet

First Torah commissioned to be scribed entirely by women is read in Seattle

October 16, 2010

The Kadima Reconstructionist Jewish Community in Seattle read from the first Torah ever commissioned to be written by women, and the first ever to be written by a group of women, known as the Women's Torah Project.

Gertrude Elion

Gertrude Elion wins Nobel Prize

October 17, 1988

The announcement that chemist Gertrude Elion had won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine represented the culmination of an unlikely career.

Berg, Gertrude 2 - still image [media]

Molly Goldberg makes her television debut

October 18, 1948

Gertrude Berg, star and producer of the popular radio comedy "The Goldbergs," made her television debut as Molly Goldberg.

Celebrating 350 years of Jewish women in America

October 18, 2004

The Jewish Women's Archive joined with National Women's Philanthropy for an historic celebration of 350 years of Jewish women in America at the International Lion of Judah conference.

Ernestine L. Rose

Ernestine Rose presides over national women's rights convention

October 19, 1854

Ernestine Rose, a leading early American advocate for women's rights, presided over the Fifth National Woman's Rights Convention in Philadelphia.

Irena Sendler

Irena Sendler saves Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto

October 20, 1943

Irena Sendler Saves Jewish Children from the Warsaw Ghetto

The U.S. Army Hospital Ship Frances Y. Slanger

Army nurse Frances Y. Slanger killed by German artillery

October 21, 1944

Frances Y. Slanger, R.N. became the first American nurse killed in Europe after D-Day.

Ethel Stark is first woman to conduct at Carnegie Hall

October 22, 1947

Ethel Stark is first woman to conduct at Carnegie Hall

Sally Priesand photo - image [media]

Rabbi Sally J. Priesand blesses U.S. Congress

October 23, 1973

Rabbi Sally J. Priesand offered the opening prayer in the United States House of Representatives, at the invitation of Congresswoman Bella Abzug.

JTS Faculty Senate votes to admit women

October 24, 1983

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) faculty senate voted to allow women admission to the JTS Rabbinical School.

Beate Sirota Gordon

Birth of Beate Sirota Gordon, who wrote equality into the postwar Japanese constitution

October 25, 1923

"Colonel Kades said, 'Miss Sirota has her heart set on the women's rights clause, so why don't we pass it?'"

Fania Mindell

Fania Mindell arrested for distributing birth control material.

October 26, 1916

Fania Mindell, Margaret Sanger, and Ethel Byrne opened the first birth control clinic in the United States in Brooklyn in 1916.

Judith R. Shapiro inaugurated president of Barnard College

October 27, 1994

Judith R. Shapiro was inaugurated as president of Barnard College.

Brothers, Joyce - still image [media]

Dr. Joyce Brothers wins $64,000 for boxing expertise

October 27, 1957

Psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers put her boxing trivia to the test and came away with $64,000.

Jan Schakowsky

Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act becomes Law

October 28, 2000

The Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act introduced by Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky became law.

Rosenberg, Anna 2 - still image [media]

Anna Rosenberg, first woman to receive Medal of Freedom

October 29, 1945

Anna Rosenberg became the first woman to receive the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award given by the United States.

Irma Lindheim index

Irma Lindheim became a member of Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek

October 30, 1933

After trading New York City for Northern Israel’s Jezreel Valley, Lindheim became an ardent proponent of the kibbutz movement.

Bette Midler

Bette Midler owns her own voice

October 31, 1989

US Court of Appeals says Bette Midler's voice is distinctive.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "This Week in History: Events in October." (Viewed on December 19, 2014) <http://jwa.org/thisweek/oct>.

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