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Civil Rights

Roberta Galler, 1936 - 2014

As a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) staff member, Roberta Galler was among hundreds arrested in Jackson, Mississippi in June 1965 protesting local attempts to subvert implementation of the new Voting Rights Act. After being thrown into the Hinds County Jail, Roberta first encountered the Jackson Jewish community in the form of Rabbi Perry Nussbaum. A quiet civil rights supporter against his congregation’s wishes, Nussbaum came into the cell housing Roberta and several other Jewish women.

Eugenia Goodkind Meyer

Eugenia Goodkind Meyer spent a lifetime working for civil rights on a local level as founder of an urban welfare league offering services to African Americans in White Plains, New York.

In the Mississippi River

In 1964, three civil rights activists disappeared at the start of Mississippi’s Freedom Summer. Assuming that James Chaney (who was black), Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner (who were both white) had almost certainly been killed for investigating a racist church bombing, the rivers in Mississippi were dredged to look for their bodies. What they found instead is described in the song “In the Mississippi River” written by Matthew Jones and sung here by the Freedom Singers: Dozens of black Americans who had been murdered, their hands and feet tied, and sunk in the river. It was understood that no one outside of their friends and family members would ever notice they were gone.

Keep Loving, Keep Fighting: Reflections after Thanksgiving

Sitting in my grandparents' house in Northridge, CA, on stolen land that was originally Barbareño and Chumash territory, I'm thinking a lot about how to foster space for gratitude without erasing the pain and violence in the paths that brought us to this place. Because rolled up in my story, in the events that led to me being in this place with my cherished family of origin, is a lot of pain and violence.

Nina Totenberg’s journalism ignites the Anita Hill hearings.

October 11, 1991

“The [Anita Hill] hearings ripped open the subject of sexual harassment like some sort of long-festering sore."

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.

Dorothy Parker, Hopeful Cynic

“This memorial garden is dedicated to her noble spirit, which celebrated the oneness of humankind, and to the bonds of everlasting friendship between black and Jewish people.”

If you had to guess who this epitaph belonged to, who would you choose?  Lillian Wald? Dorothy Height?

Geri M. Joseph

Geri M. Joseph distinguished herself both as a journalist covering vital stories and as US ambassador to the Netherlands during a diplomatic crisis.

Elizabeth Holtzman

The youngest woman ever elected to Congress at age 32, Elizabeth Holtzman focused her political career on human rights.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Civil Rights." (Viewed on December 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/civil-rights>.

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