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Agriculture

Rahel Bluwstein

Rahel Bluwstein is rightfully considered the “founding mother” of modern Hebrew poetry by women. Rahel’s affiliation with the avant-garde group of Second Aliyah pioneers, her dedication to Zionist ideals and her agonizing death, made her a symbol in the eyes of the Israeli public—and her mythic status persists to this day.

Nehamah Pukhachewsky

Nehamah Pukhachewsky's protofeminist Hebrew writing provide a rationale for her lifelong activism on behalf of Jewish women.

Poland: Interwar

Like every other historical analysis of interwar Polish Jewry, the story of Jewish women is a story interrupted tragically by the destruction of Polish Jewry in the Holocaust. Many of the trends discussed above had just begun to make their mark on the nature of that three million strong community. Nevertheless, they are still deserving of scholarly attention. Unless and until the missing fifty-two percent of Polish Jews are factored into the historical narrative, that story will remain incomplete.

Ana Pauker

Romanian Communist leader and Romania’s Foreign Minister from 1947 to 1952, the first woman in the modern world ever to hold so senior a ministerial postion.

Moshavah

The moshavah, the Hebrew version of what is known world-wide as a village, was the pioneer settlement type of the Jews in Palestine. It was based on private ownership of the land, one-family based agricultural homesteads and free patterns of marketing, consuming and economic organization.

Mo'ezet Ha-Po'alot (Council of Women Workers)

Founded in 1921 following the establishment of the Histadrut (General Federation of Workers in Israel), the Mo’ezet ha-Po’alot (Council of Women Workers) was the elected apparatus of Histadrut women, subordinated to the Va’ad ha-Po’el, the executive committee of the Histadrut.

Sarah Malkhin

Sarah Malkhin, one of the first women agricultural laborers of the Second [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:293]Aliyah[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary] (1904–1914), died at the age of sixty-four in the first year of the State of Israel. Since she had been ill for many years, she was not even aware of the dramatic events transpiring all around her. Her death prompted many veteran Israelis to recall the achievements of the small group of trailblazing female laborers of the Second Aliyah, who had faced immense opposition and challenges in their lifetimes and whose influence would be felt only many years later.

Hannah Maisel-Shohat

Hannah Maisel was born on December 12, 1883 to an affluent family in the city of Grodno (Horodno, Belarus). Her father, Yitzchak Maisel, an exporter of wheat and furs to western Europe, emigrated to Palestine after World War I and died c. 1936–1937. Her mother, Reizel, a homemaker, died in 1927. Hannah was the fifth of their twelve children and the fourth daughter. Eight of the children ultimately emigrated to Palestine. One daughter, Rachel, committed suicide in Jaffa in 1910. Leah, who married on the same day as Hannah, was a teacher in Safed. She became one of the founders of the Hebrew Women’s Organization (Histadrut Nashim Ivriyyot) and later treasurer of Wizo. She was also a candidate for the [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:345]Knesset[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary]. Others who came to Palestine were David Misha Baruch, Liza and Dora. The latter committed suicide after losing two children in World War I. Sarah, who went to Switzerland to study medicine, also committed suicide. Two brothers, Gershon and Motke, emigrated to the United States, where Hannah visited them in the 1950s.

Ada Maimon (Fishman)

One of the “spiritual mothers” and historians of Jewish feminism in Israel, Ada Maimon was a teacher by profession and a member of Ha-Po’el ha-Za’ir from 1913 to 1920. She was also one of the founders of Mo’ezet Ha-Po’alot, the General Council of Women Workers in Israel, and its secretary-general from its founding in 1921 to 1926. When she completed her term of office she founded Ayanot, a women’s farm near Nes Ziyyonah. With the establishment of the state, she served as a Mapai party member of the first and second Knessets and was responsible for the legislation of various laws related to women’s equality. Her public activity, together with her role as historian of the feminist movement in Israel, were part of a long, determined struggle on behalf of Jewish women in Israeli society and, even more pronouncedly, in the Jewish religion. This struggle led to frequent conflicts between Maimon and the leaders of the Histadrut and the Labor Party, as well as to arguments with representatives of the religious parties and the Israeli Orthodox establishment.

Kibbutz Ha-Dati Movement (1929-1948)

Agricultural settlements based on the collective principles of the [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:342]kibbutz[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary] were among the outstanding enterprises of the Zionist movement. While agricultural settlement was an important value in religious Zionism as well, those members of the religious Zionist movement who joined collective settlements constituted a unique group.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Agriculture." (Viewed on February 8, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/agriculture>.

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