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Civil Service

10 Things You Should Know About Lillian Wald

Lillian Wald was born in Cincinnati, OH in 1867. Like many German Jews, her parents had emigrated from Europe soon after the revolutions of 1848. Her father, an optical goods dealer, moved his family to Rochester, NY in 1878. The Walds valued culture as well as formal education. Lillian remembered her parents’ home as a place overflowing with books. She went to a school in Rochester that taught in French as well as English.

10 Things You Should Know About Pauline Newman

Born in Kovno, Lithuania, in 1890, Pauline Newman was barred from the local public school because she was Jewish. As a girl, her opportunities for a Jewish education were limited. Her father tutored well-to-do boys in Talmud; he eventually allowed her to attend Sunday classes, where she learned to read and write both Yiddish and Hebrew. The obstacles she faced in getting an education motivated her to fight for gender equality later in her life.

10 Things You Should Know About Belle Moskowitz

Born in Harlem in 1877, Belle Moskowitz (née Lindner) enjoyed a successful career as a reformer, settlement worker, and labor mediator before becoming a force in Democratic politics in the 1920s. A close advisor to New York governor and presidential candidate Alfred E. Smith, by the 1928 elections she was the most powerful woman in the Democratic Party.

10 Things You Should Know About Rose Schneiderman

Born in 1882 into a devout Jewish family in Saven, Poland, Rose Schneiderman was raised from an early age to believe she was capable of doing anything a man could do. Her parents enrolled her in a Jewish school at the age of four. Two years later, the family moved to the city of Chelm so that Rose could attend a Russian public school and receive an excellent secular education.

The personal is political: Rep. Jackie Speier tells her abortion story

Being pro-choice means a lot of things: Above all else, it means supporting a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body during pregnancy, abortion included. But because the stigma surrounding abortion is still so, well, stigmatized, “being pro-choice” is often just an amorphous concept (albeit a powerful one) without real faces or stories behind the crusade to ensure women’s rights.

Update: Rep. Giffords opens her eyes, sees strong women friends and mentors

In what is one of the most heartwarming moments of this whole tragedy, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords opened her eyes for the first time yesterday. The first thing she saw was her husband and two strong women -- her friends and mentors, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. They had been sitting with her, holding her hands, and encouraging her.

Arizona's first Jewish Congresswoman with attitude

The lead story in the first edition of the New York Times yesterday began this way: “Unusual is a relative term in American political life, but Representative Gabrielle Giffords fits the bill: avid equestrian and motorcycle enthusiast, repository of arcane health care data, successful Democrat elected three times in a Republican Congressional district, French horn player and wife of an astronaut.” Only near the end of the article did the Times mention another unusual fact about Gabrielle Giffords: that she was the state’s first Jewish congresswoman.

Amanda Simpson became first transgender presidential appointee

December 31, 2009

Amanda Simpson, appointed by President Obama to the Department of Commerce, is believed to be the first transgender presidential appointee.

Anne Wexler, 1930 - 2009

Anne Wexler, who died on August 7, 2009, at the age of 79, was at once a Washington insider, a respected political operator, and a pioneer for women's leadership.

Miriam Friedlander, 1914 - 2009

My mother's parents emigrated around 1900 from the Jewish Pale of what is now Belarus and settled in Pittsburgh, PA. Her father David Sigel (Sigelovytch) was an office worker, insurance salesman, and political activist in the immigrant foreign language clubs. Her mother Hannah Lipman (Goldotsky) was fluent in Russian, Hebrew, Yiddish, and English. She was active in the clubs and worked as a secretary and translator.

In 1919, the family moved to New York where mom graduated from Evander Childs High School in 1931 and New York University College of Education in 1935.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Civil Service." (Viewed on July 1, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/civil-service>.

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