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Activism

Mining the Archive: Emma and Immigration

Long before Emma Lazarus’ words were immortalized on that great copper statue, she was a young Jewish American girl growing up in New York. Throughout her life she produced numerous poems, essays, letters, translations, and even a novel.  

Birth of Harriet Fleischl Pilpel, pioneer for the right to privacy and free speech

December 2, 1911

Lawyer Harriet Fleischl Pilpel provides the historical link between birth control activist Margaret Sanger and feminist Betty Friedan.

Jan Schakowsky

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky has earned a reputation as a liberal progressive for her stances on issues ranging from health care to marijuana legalization.

Susan Davis

Congresswoman Susan Davis, the first Democrat in more than fifty years to serve more than one term for California’s 53rd district, has repeatedly fought for women’s health issues on both a state and local level.

Deborah Wasserman Schultz

An outspoken Democrat, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was entrusted with great responsibility for the party both in the US House of Representatives and as chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Gabrielle Giffords

A “Blue Dog” (conservative) Democrat with a gift for cultivating friendships and alliances on both sides of the aisle, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords fought to recover from a 2011 shooting and became a gun control activist.

Adele Lewisohn Lehman

Adele Lewisohn Lehman’s career as a philanthropist and organizational leader spanned both the Jewish community and the secular world.

Finding Sisterhood at Services

I knew I was getting older when my mom stopped letting me bring Archie comics and Crayola crayons with me to services. These kept me entertained, even if it meant hiding my comics behind the prayer books, peeking over them periodically to see if anyone had noticed the offending material.

Not Just A Jew, Not Just A Feminist

In March 2014, I went to Israel for two weeks with my entire grade. On our first Shabbat there, we were given the choice to attend three different services: Sephardic Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform. As a member of the “only goes to services on High Holidays and doesn’t keep Shabbat” school of observance, I would usually go directly to the Reform service but I thought to myself, “I’m in Israel, I should live a little!” I had heard Sephardic services were full of music and dancing, so that’s where I decided to go.

Where Do I Stand?

My mother is Jewish and my father is not. As a very active member of the Jewish community who just begun her twelfth year of formal Jewish education, I do not consider myself interfaith. I am Jewish through and through. As confident as I am about my identity as a Jew and my place in the Jewish community, I am insecure about my role in the feminist community.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Activism." (Viewed on March 30, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/activism>.

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