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Women's Rights

Henriette Goldschmidt

Together with Auguste Schmidt (1833–1902) and Louise Otto Peters (1819–1895), she organized the First Conference of German Women, at which they established the General Association of German Women (Allgemeiner Deutscher Frauenverein), whose major goal was the emancipation of women.

Pauline Goldmark

Pauline Goldmark was a social worker and activist, part of a group of women seeking the vote and reforms of the urban and industrial excesses of the early twentieth century. A major method of social reformers was to investigate, accumulate facts, present these to the public and lawmakers, and assume that, once educated, the public and legislators would enact the desired changes. Goldmark pioneered in methods of social research central to these reform efforts.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the first Jewish woman (and only the second woman) appointed to the United States Supreme Court.

Adele Ginzberg

Known as “Mama G.” by generations of admirers, Adele Ginzberg was an influential figure in the Conservative Movement as wife of the famed Louis Ginzberg, professor of Talmud at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and was an active member of National Women’s League. Ginzberg was a role model and inspiration to rabbinical students and women leaders and an early supporter of equal rights for women in synagogue rituals.

Susan Brandeis Gilbert

On June 5, 1916, Susan Brandeis, a University of Chicago Law School student, watched her father, Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856–1941)—a Harvard Law School graduate, millionaire, socially conscious Boston lawyer—take the oath of office as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. He was the first Jewish associate justice of the Court, and Susan would soon be the first woman lawyer whose parent sat on that bench.

Rosa Ginossar

Rosa Ginossar is known today largely for paving the path for women to serve as lawyers in Israel. Ginossar served as the second president of World WIZO (Women’s International Zionist Organization) and held a long list of important positions.

Germany: 1750-1945

To view German Jewish history from the Enlightenment through the Holocaust from a gender perspective deepens our understanding of history in general and provides us with a richer, more complex and more inclusive picture of the Jewish past.

Betty Friedan

Considered by many as the “mother” of the second wave of modern feminism, activist and writer Betty Friedan was one of the most influential feminist leaders of the second half of the twentieth century, a co-founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and its first president. She served on the boards of leading women’s organizations, fought for legislation to ensure women’s equality and wrote books analyzing women’s role in society and the women’s movement.

Ida Weis Friend

Ida Weis Friend’s life of activism began when, at age fifteen, she raised money for a hospital fountain. Her community service, representative of women’s club work during the Progressive Era and beyond, encompassed religious organizations, the woman suffrage movement, mainstream politics, public health, child welfare, and cultural philanthropy.

Henrietta Franklin

A leading advocate for advanced education for women, she supported the rise of women in professional life, even employing an Anglo-Jewish woman surgeon. Furious at the educational, civic and political limitations imposed upon women, Henrietta Franklin became active in the British suffrage movement. She and her sister Lily Montagu also joined the extended Franklin family and friends in helping to create and lead the Jewish League for Woman Suffrage (founded November 3, 1912), an organization dedicated to attaining suffrage in Britain and equal religious and communal rights for women in the Anglo-Jewish community.

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How to cite this page

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

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