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Raising My Hand

At sixteen years old, I’m entering that phase of my life in which I have to state my personal qualities fairly often, whether in a personal essay for school or in a conversation at a Yom Kippur break-fast. Depending on whom I am speaking to, my answer varies, but it almost always includes a few basic attributes: I am a reader, a writer, an athlete … and I’m a feminist Jew.

Icons for the New Year: Maud Nathan

In Maud Nathan’s second life as an activist, she became president of the New York Consumers League, vice president of the Woman’s Municipal League of New York, and chair of the industrial committee of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. Her husband, once her companion at parties and fundraisers, began marching beside her at suffrage parades.

Anya Cherneff

A longtime opponent of human trafficking, Anya Cherneff found a new way to literally empower women in Nepal by founding Empower Generation to teach women and girls to become clean energy entrepreneurs.

Tamar Eshel

A lifelong diplomat with a strong record of defending women’s rights and human rights, Tamar Eshel capped her career with two terms as a member of the Knesset from 1977–1984.

Ruth Dreifuss

In Switzerland, where women did not get the right to vote until 1971, Ruth Dreifuss made history when she became the country’s first woman president in 1999.

Gusta Dawidson Draenger

Defiant to the end, Gusta Dawidson Draenger wrote Justina’s Diary, her account of the partisan struggles against the Nazis, on toilet paper in a Gestapo prison and inspired others to persevere when all hope seemed lost.

Kindness Wins: An Interview with Galit Breen

Galit Breen is a writer who works to combat body-shaming and create safe conversation spaces on the Internet. We chatted about cyberbullying, her new book, and how Judaism informs her activism. 

New Orleans “Normal”: An Interview With Julie Wise Oreck

In Katrina’s Jewish Voices, JWA’s collection of video interviews with New Orleans women in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Julie Wise Oreck discussed the extraordinary collaboration of the Jewish community to rebuild the city. In 10 years, she predicted then, “we’ll look back and say we could have done it better.

This Women’s Equality Day, Let’s Celebrate the Women Who Got Us Here

As we approach yet another election year, American voters may be drawing nearer to an enormous landmark: electing a woman president. With Hillary Rodham Clinton polling as the top Democratic contender, it’s never felt more possible.

Frances Kroll Ring, 1916 - 2015

“Grandma, was F. Scott Fitzgerald anti-Semitic?”

“Of course not. Not when I knew him, at least.”

Grandma, known to the rest of the world as Frances Kroll Ring, was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last secretary and personal assistant before he died. She knew a lot about Fitzgerald, but she knew a lot about many things by the time she died. She was 99 years old. 


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Activism." (Viewed on October 4, 2015) <>.


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