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Boycotts

Clara Lemlich Shavelson

Clara Lemlich Shavelson pushed union leaders to recognize the importance of women in the labor movement and organized vital demonstrations for worker’s rights and cost-of-living issues.

Hannah Jukovsky

Hannah Jukovsky made headlines when she organized a boycott of standardized testing to draw attention to class and race inequities in Massachusetts public schools.

Where's the Beef?

Today I googled the Wendy’s commercial of the early 1980s were an older woman uses the catchphrase “Where’s the beef?!”. This may—or may not—surprise you. What probably will surprise you was the fact that this search was not inspired by my Memorial Day plans of grilling, but because of my job here at the Jewish Women’s Archive.

While exploring our archives I came across a truly remarkable activist, Clara Lemlich Shavelson.  Born in 1886, Shavelson was a key player in the labor movement. She was also a suffragist, communist, community organizer, and peace activist. Read on to find out where the beef comes into play!

Butchers, Babushkas, and Consumer Activism

The webinar was held on Tuesday, November 13, 2013 at 1pm and 8pm.

In the Name of Allah: What a Young Afghani Woman Has Taught Me

Tell someone a story, and you don’t know what will happen next.

Last summer I was lucky to study at the Jewish Women’s Archive’s Institute for Educators. We spent five intense days learning the Living the Legacy curriculum with top scholars in social activism, Jewish feminism and history. In the coming months, I will be using Living the Legacy to teach a series of social justice workshops to teens in western Massachusetts.

But something else happened because of what I learned at the Jewish Women’s Archive.

Overturn the World

On July 2, 1965 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) began its work for women's equality, enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which among other things prohibited employment discrimination within labor unions. This week, we take a glimpse even farther back, to the turn of the century, to the roots of women organizing for fair prices.

Jewish women protested kosher meat prices on Lower East Side

May 15, 1902

In 1902, Jewish women on the Lower East Side organized a massive boycott of the kosher beef industry, demanding lower prices.

Activist Clara Shavelson leads butcher shop boycott

May 27, 1935

New York City women, led by activist Clara Shavelson, picketed Manhattan butcher shops to demand a reduction in the price of meat.

Uprising of 20,000 (1909)

On November 23, 1909, more than twenty thousand Yiddish-speaking immigrants, mostly young women in their teens and early twenties, launched an eleven-week general strike in New York’s shirtwaist industry. Dubbed the Uprising of the 20,000, it was the largest strike by women to date in American history.

Socialism in the United States

Disproportionate numbers of Jewish immigrant women in America were associated with socialism in the first decades of the twentieth century. Their radicalism appears to have grown out of the same sources as male radicalism—the changes experienced by the Jewish community in late nineteenth-century Europe and America, including proletarianization and the secularization of Jewish religious values. But Jewish working women’s radical consciousness and their militant collective action in America emerged in the face of extraordinary obstacles.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Boycotts." (Viewed on July 23, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/boycotts>.

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