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Activism

Hayuta Busel

As a widowed pioneer and young mother, Hayuta Busel fought to expand options for women in Palestine.

Naomi Weisstein, 1939 - 2015

“Papa don’t lay that shit on me, I ain’t your groovy chick.
Papa don’t lay that shit on me, it’s just about to make me sick.”

—Naomi Weisstein in the Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band

Naomi Weisstein was a fierce warrior for justice. She was a passionate disrupter of the existing order. She was a brilliant scientist. She was a fighter for women’s liberation. She was hysterically funny. She had biting insights. She was my beloved friend.

Lisa Edelstein

An actress with a long history of activism, House star Lisa Edelstein organized her first protest at age sixteen as a cheerleader for Donald Trump’s New Jersey Generals, outraged that the cheerleaders were forced to flirt in bars.

Melissa Gilbert

After a highly successful decade as the lead on Little House on the Prairie, Melissa Gilbert defied the odds for child actors by becoming a Hollywood power-broker as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001–2005.

Judith Light

In her four decades as an Emmy- and Tony-winning actress, Judith Light has repeatedly taken on challenging and unconventional roles, from a housewife-turned-prostitute on One Life to Live to ex-wife of a transgender woman on the acclaimed Transparent.

Hemdah Ben-Yehuda

Hemdah Ben-Yehuda collaborated with her husband, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, to revive ancient Hebrew and make it a truly functional living language.

Netiva Ben Yehuda

Although she began her writing career very late in life, Netiva Ben Yehuda transformed the Israeli literary scene with her explosive Palmah trilogy.

Ruth Ben Israel

A renowned expert in Israeli labor law, Ruth Ben Israel drafted the legislation for Israel’s minimum wage and equal opportunity laws.

Odetta Holmes, Singing for the Voiceless

Through her blues music, Holmes inspired people all over America to take a stand for black equality. She performed at numerous rallies, advocating for civil rights for all; in fact, her music is often called the “soundtrack of the Civil Rights movement.” 

#Blacklivesmatter Matters

2014 was a year when police brutality against black men was brought to the forefront of the American consciousness. The police killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice, along with no legal sentences for the perpetrators, arranged themselves into a pattern that was difficult for the public to miss. Among the responses were protests, riots, classroom discussions, and the swift rise of the hashtag “#blacklivesmatter.”

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Activism." (Viewed on September 3, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/activism>.

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