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Labor

Rose Finkelstein marries in true union style

December 25, 1921

Union organizer Rose Finkelstein Norwood said, "When I saw a detective coming, I’d hide in the coats."

Meredith Tax

Meredith Tax was born in Wisconsin and graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in English. While studying in London, she became involved in the anti-war movement and decided she wanted to be an activist. Returning to the U.S. in 1968, she continued her anti-war work and was one of the initiators of Bread and Roses, an early socialist-feminist organization in Boston.

Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz

Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz has been an activist since the early 1960s civil rights movement in Harlem. She served as co-chair of the New Jewish Agenda Task Force on Anti-Semitism and Racism, and was the first director of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice in New York City (1992-95).

50 Years On: 5 Things I Learned About the March on Washington

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the March tomorrow, I would like to share 5 things I have learned about the March on Washington that you may not already know—one for each decade. I hope you’ll take this opportunity to check your assumptions and look more closely at this monumental, game-changing event.

Birth of Vera Weisbord, Radical

August 19, 1895

Birth of Vera Weisbord, Radical

Elissa Froman, 1983 - 2013

There are so many stories about Elissa Froman.

One of her closest friends, Emily Goodstein, tells of the time she and Froman were walking down a street in Washington, D.C., where they both lived. A homeless man who sat asking for change in front of a restaurant stopped them, addressing Elissa by name. He thanked her for making an appointment for him at a local healthcare clinic.

A favorite one that her mother, Gloria, relates: When Elissa was four years old, she asked, “Are we really alive, or is G-d dreaming us?”

Still Fighting for Bread & Roses

It’s been two weeks since our New York Educator’s Workshop, and I am still amazed at the places we visited and all that was taught by Etta, Ellen, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, and all the participants and presenters in attendance. It occurred to me recently how connected I feel to the labor rights movement, which we discussed as we stood in the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side. Of course there’s the Jewish connection: Jews made up a large percentage of the population of advocates and protesters in the fight for labor rights in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in America. Jewish teachings and Yiddish phrases were often incorporated into the battle cries of the rioters. For me personally, there is much more to it than that.

Tragedy in Bangladesh

Although the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire took place in 1911, sweatshops and unsafe conditions are not a thing of the past. 

"We Have Found You Wanting:" Labor Activism and Communal Responsibility

A Jewish immigrant activist and a lifelong advocate for the rights of workers and of women, Rose Schneiderman shaped the American labor movement. Known as a powerful orator, Schneiderman used her speeches—such as the one she delivered in April, 1911 to protest the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire—to galvanize leaders and ordinary citizens to action on behalf of workers, immigrants, and other disadvantaged members of society. This Go & Learn guide uses Schneiderman's speech and life example to explore our communal and individual responsibilities for the well being of others in our midst.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Labor." (Viewed on October 1, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/labor>.

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