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Organizations and Institutions

Conservative Judaism in the United States

Women have played a pivotal role in Conservative Judaism throughout the twentieth century and have been instrumental on both the grass-roots and national levels in propelling the Conservative Movement to confront essential issues including Jewish education, gender equality and religious leadership. The Conservative Movement’s attention over the decades to issues such as the religious education of Jewish girls, the status of the ]agunah (deserted wife), equal participation of women in ritual and the ordination of women has helped to shape the self-definition of Conservative Judaism and its maturation as a distinct denomination.

College Students in the United States

While Jews have traditionally placed a great deal of emphasis on education and learning, in the past they reserved the privilege of education primarily for their sons. Religious and cultural ideals assigning women’s place to the home and family combined with societal sexism and antisemitism to make the course charted by Jewish women in pursuit of a college education rocky and in many cases inaccessible. In the last two decades of the twentieth century, Jewish women in America achieved parity with their male counterparts on college campuses, but only after many decades of struggle. Indeed, the obstacles facing all American women who sought to enroll in college institutions in the decades surrounding the turn of the last century proved numerous, imposing, and at times, defeating. For Jewish women, antisemitism posed an added challenge that they had to conquer in order to receive the college education they sought.

Selma Jeanne Cohen

It was Selma Jeanne Cohen’s mission in life to make dance scholarship a respected field, taking its place with the study of the other arts both in society and, particularly, the university. As a writer, editor, and teacher, she was a leader in transforming dance history, aesthetics, and criticism into respected disciplines. She encouraged and often trained those who are now working in these vital fields, so that dance is no longer viewed as mere entertainment, but is studied as a rich art on many levels, from the most elite to varieties of popular and folk expression, illuminating society in new and valuable ways. She was an internationalist, her Jewish heritage playing little part in her life or her approach to dance in the world. However, when being inducted into the Dance Library of Israel Hall of Fame in 2001, she spoke eloquently of her love of Israel and what it meant to her.

Felice Cohn

Felice Cohn was one of Nevada’s first women lawyers, an author of suffragist legislation in Nevada, and one of the first women admitted to the United States Supreme Court.

Natalie Cohen

Because Natalie Cohen’s life met the very essence of the definition of the “Georgia Women Sports Trailblazers,” she was elected a charter member in 1996. Already a Hall of Famer, this crowning honor is only one of many received throughout her life recognizing Natalie Cohen as a woman who has made significant contributions to sports, forging paths for others to follow.

Naomi W. Cohen

A prolific author and noted educator and academic, Naomi W. Cohen has achieved prominence as a historian of the United States and Jewish Americans.

Jessica Cohen

Jessica (Jessie) Cohen devoted the majority of her adult life to the Jewish press. Following an early career in the Cleveland, Ohio, public school system, she moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where she became the associate editor of that city’s Jewish Spectator. She remained in that position for five years. Cohen left Tennessee to return to Cleveland as the editor of the Jewish Review and Observer. She remained as its editor until forced to retire due to ill health. Until her death, Cohen served as editor emeritus.

Nina Morais Cohen

Nina Morais Cohen distinguished herself as a writer, teacher, and community leader of her adopted home of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The daughter of a scholar and community leader, her life and work exemplified the ideals of her father, the longtime rabbi of Philadelphia’s [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:358]Mikveh[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary] Israel and a founder and first president of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Rosalie Cohen

I have lived through most of this century and observed all the -isms: Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Nazism, Zionism … only Zionism survives. It has been a great privilege to devote my life to Zionism, the millennial dream of the Jewish people.

Club Movement in the United States

Jewish clubwomen emerged in America between 1880 and 1920 as part of a comprehensive social transition. Jews—women as well as men—evolved from a series of scattered ethnic enclaves primarily of German origin into a more cohesive and politically active portion of a decidedly American middle class.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Organizations and Institutions." (Viewed on December 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/organizations-and-institutions>.

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