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Activism

Lauren Bacall, 1924 - 2014

Growing up in Canada, a favorite game my family and friends played involved trying to identify all the famous Jewish stars in Hollywood who had changed their names.  What else are you going to do in Winnipeg when it’s twenty below? “You know he/she is Jewish,” or “I bet he/she is Jewish,” was a common comment at any gathering.

Rivka Haut, 1942 - 2014

I came to know Rivka over forty years ago, through the learned book that her husband, Rabbi Irwin Haut, wrote about the agunah problem. Whether she influenced him to write or whether his work inducted her into the world of agunah activism, I do not know, but she became increasingly passionate about helping agunot, hands on as well as dealing with the theoretical-halakhic issues.

Shulamit Aloni, 1928 - 2014

When Shulamit Aloni, one of Israel’s first feminist leaders, presented a bill protecting women from domestic violence, some of her male fellow MKs mocked her. “Go back to the kitchen and get me a cup of coffee,” some of the men said, laughing, as they dismissed the seriousness of her work.

Leslie Feinberg, 1949 - 2014

I was in an alleyway in Chicago the first time someone told me about Stone Butch Blues. “You’ve got to read this book,” she said. “Stone Butch Blues.” The “she” in question was an older Femme (they always were), and the name of the book got right under my skin. I can remember the feeling: My ears perked up, head tilted back, eyes focused. Stone Butch Blues, I thought. Ok. I was sixteen years old, had been out since I was fourteen, and had been a tomboy all my life.

Roberta Galler, 1936 - 2014

As a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) staff member, Roberta Galler was among hundreds arrested in Jackson, Mississippi in June 1965 protesting local attempts to subvert implementation of the new Voting Rights Act. After being thrown into the Hinds County Jail, Roberta first encountered the Jackson Jewish community in the form of Rabbi Perry Nussbaum. A quiet civil rights supporter against his congregation’s wishes, Nussbaum came into the cell housing Roberta and several other Jewish women.

Birth of Victorian painter Rebecca Solomon

September 26, 1832

"That Rebecca Solomon was among the first Jewish women artists, if not the first, makes her career and artwork even more important.”

Leslea Newman

A proud lesbian feminist writer, Leséa Newman made history in 1989 with her controversial children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies.

Ellen Moers

While early critics attacked Ellen Moers’s 1976 book Literary Women for its exclusive focus on women writers, her analysis of Mary Shelley and other women writers reshaped our understanding of their work.

Abigail Minis

Remarkable in every sense for her time, Abigail Minis ran multiple successful businesses while supplying rebel troops during the American Revolution.

Eugenia Goodkind Meyer

Eugenia Goodkind Meyer spent a lifetime working for civil rights on a local level as founder of an urban welfare league offering services to African Americans in White Plains, New York.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Activism." (Viewed on December 20, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/activism>.

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