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Zionism

Gussie Edelman Wyner

Gussie Edelman Wyner was an early leader of the Boston Jewish community and a national leader of Hadassah who is credited with creating the idea of life memberships in women’s organizations and with establishing the first chapter of Junior Hadassah.

Sidonie Wronsky

Siddy Wronsky is among the pioneers of professional social work and one of the early social work educators. In spite of her remarkable accomplishments and contributions, particularly in the area of the developing social case work as one of the traditional practice methods, she has not received as much publicity as some others in similar roles. She began her career in Germany and was one of the founders of social work education in Palestine.

Women in the Yishuv Workforce

Some of the most important changes in the labor market in pre-state Israel occurred in the volume and structure of female work. Nevertheless, studies on women and employment during the pre-state era are few in number and rely little, if at all, on economic and quantitative sources. The findings imply that female employment in pre-statehood Israel replicated the general pattern established by developed countries, responding to higher levels of economic development with increased participation rates.

WIZO: Women's International Zionist Organization (1920-1970)

All WIZO’s activities have one thing in common: aid to immigrant women. The special needs of each wave of immigration and the economic situation of each period dictated the respective nature of actual activity. WIZO was characterized by a pioneering spirit, aspiring to create a civil society (i.e. the transfer of responsibility for certain areas to government institutions) and effective organization. In all these, it has been extremely successful. WIZO’s standing as a worldwide organization, combined with the focus of individual communities on specific projects, provided financial resources for its programs.

WIZO in Israel: 1970-2005

A review of WIZO’s achievements and contribution to building Israeli society reveals the number of areas in which the organization has been involved throughout its existence, investing great effort in them according to society’s changing needs: the status of women; child care from infancy to adolescence; care of the elderly; community work and immigrant absorption. Overall, the organization’s major activity is directed toward improving the status of women in all areas—family, work, society, political life and legal matters. A survey of women’s advancement in the country reveals the enormous changes that occurred and, together with them, flexibility and change within the organization in order to advance women in a more clearly feminist manner.

Louise Waterman Wise

Philanthropist and charity worker Louise Waterman Wise was likely the first American Jewish Woman to be awarded the Order of the British Empire, the equivalent of a knighthood. She was, without doubt, the first to decline the honor. How an ardent Zionist and outspoken critic of Britain’s “ruthless conduct” with respect to Jewish settlement in Palestine could, nevertheless, perform such outstanding service to the British people as to merit official praise, is just one aspect of the “legend of Louise.”

Widows in the North African Jewish Communities of Late Ottoman Palestine

During the nineteenth century approximately two-thirds of all adult Jews in the Holy Land were women. This significant majority—nearly two women for every one male—was due to the overwhelming number of widows in the country. The lives of widows who at some stage immigrated—as children with their families, as married women, or as widows—from North Africa to the Jewish communities of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Palestine, underwent changes, due to both immigration and widowhood.

Shoshana Werner

Shoshana Warner was appointed as the second commanding officer of the Women’s Corps (see “CHEN:” Women’s Corps of the Israel Defense Forces) in 1949. In 1942, after some years of membership in the Haganah, she was among the first sixty-six women who volunteered for the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) of the British Army.

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.

Vera Weizmann

A Zionist and a physician, Vera Weizmann was also Israel's first "First Lady."

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Zionism." (Viewed on September 19, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/zionism>.

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