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Voting Rights

Ernestine Rose

Ernestine Rose’s extemporaneous speeches on religious freedom, public education, abolition, and women’s rights earned her the title “Queen of the Platform.”

Pauline Newman

Pauline Newman was a labor pioneer and a die-hard union loyalist once described by a colleague as “capable of smoking a cigar with the best of them.” The first woman ever appointed general organizer by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU), Newman continued to work for the ILGWU for more than seventy years—first as an organizer, then as a labor journalist, a health educator, and a liaison between the union and government officials.

Maud Nathan

Maud Nathan, social reformer and political activist, lived two distinct lives. She was born on October 20, 1862, into a distinguished old New York Sephardic family (she had relatives who fought in the American Revolution; one of her cousins was Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo; and another cousin was the poet emma lazarus) and had a privileged childhood.

Miriam Shomer Zunser

Miriam Shomer Zunser, journalist, playwright, and artist, was an important promoter of Jewish culture in America during the period before World War II.

Belle Winestine

Belle Winestine is best remembered as Jeannette Rankin’s legislative assistant, though she served in this capacity for only one year (1916–1917). Nonetheless, her work with Rankin served as an important apprenticeship that created a lasting friendship, profoundly influenced her understanding of the legislative process, and solidified what became her lifelong commitment to reform. For over seventy years, she devoted time, money, and energy to support and enforce legislation pertaining to women’s rights and children’s issues.

Rosalie Loew Whitney

In 1901, Rosalie (Rose) Loew became acting attorney in chief of the New York Legal Aid Society. She was the first woman to hold that post.

Welt-Straus, Rosa

In 1878, she received her medical degree and was one of the first women in Europe to practice medicine. Rosa Welt, together with one of her sisters, immigrated to the United States, where she worked for many years as an eye surgeon in New York in the eye hospital and also in the eye clinic at the Women’s Hospital. In addition to her professional work, Welt-Straus was active in the struggle for women’s suffrage in New York and a partner in forming the International Woman Suffrage Alliance founded by Carrie Chapman-Catt.

Louise Weiss

A brilliant French journalist and a lifelong champion of European union and women’s rights, Louise Weiss was an influential voice in French and international affairs from the 1920s until her death in 1983.

Gertrude Weil

Gertrude Weil’s life is a rare example of southern Jewish social activism during the first half of the twentieth century. She was the first Jewish woman to lead a statewide secular women's movement in North Carolina, beginning her activist career in 1915 fighting for woman suffrage and continuing through to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Roosje Vos

Today Roosje Vos is known as a socialist organizer and it is generally assumed that her socialism represented a break from her Judaism. One could well argue, however, that her life followed a pattern similar to that of many radical Jewish women in many parts of the world. From this perspective, her socialist radicalism forms part of a secular Jewish tradition.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Voting Rights." (Viewed on November 20, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/voting-rights>.

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