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Activism

Pauline Steinem Letter 1 (1910)

I Learned it in the Archives: Women’s Rights Activism Runs in Steinem Family

One file of suffrage correspondence held many items on letterhead from the Ohio Woman’s Suffrage Association, of which Harriet Taylor Upton was president for many years. The letterhead listed the names of all the officers, and one name in particular caught my attention.

The woman’s name was Pauline Steinem.

Girl Speak Event

Pressing “Post” on Speaking Up

Last winter, I created Girl Speak, an event-based organization built to foster education and action on issues affecting teenage girls as an answer to the calling I’d felt for years. When I first started labeling myself a feminist in middle school, I began searching for a way to become more engaged in social justice work and start making more of an impact on the world.

Topics: Feminism
Man and Woman Talking, Question Marks

Let’s Talk about the C-Word

While I can understand why some feminists want to reclaim this word, I personally believe it’s one of the vilest things you can say to or about someone. It’s indicative of our society’s contempt and disgust for the female sex.

Topics: Feminism
"Judith Slaying Holofernes" by Artemisia Gentileschi, circa 1614-20 (cropped).

Loving Judith

Gentileschi’s rendition of Judith is a self-portrait—allowing her to wield a sword and take revenge, if only in fantasy. Judith Slaying Holofernes was the first piece of feminist art that really moved me. Even now, I get chills when I view it. I thought a lot about Judith this week, after dusting off my menorah and dutifully buying candles and gelt.

Ruth Zakarin and her mother crop

My Mom Used To Say...

It was her go-to statement whenever she was cajoling me into doing something she considered a mitzvah, especially when I wasn’t exactly jumping at the opportunity. She would look at me with that, you know, mom look, and say, “Do good things and tell people you’re Jewish.”

Emily Axelrod at L'Taken

Stirred and Spurred to Action

Judaism never seemed to offer anything that stoked my social justice fire. I didn’t hear many calls to action in services; partly because I wasn’t looking, and partly because services felt mundane to me.

The Personal is Political

Politically Personal: Personally Political

To me, being a feminist means working to achieve equity for all members of society, confronting personal bias, alleviating institutional sexism, and prompting others to do the same. There are so many ways feminism manifests itself in my life, but until freshman English class, I didn’t even think to consider one of the most significant ways that I’m involved in political feminism.

Topics: Feminism, Schools
Judith and daughter at the 2017 Women’s March in Cambridge

Ten Thoughts About Antisemitism and the Women’s March

Judith Rosenbaum, Executive Director of JWA, shares her thoughts on the Women's March leaders and their associations with Louis Farrakhan. She writes, "I don’t have any easy or solid answers, but here are 10 brief thoughts to add to the conversation."

Zioness Movement

Don’t Fence Me In

I feel proud of my Jewish and feminist beliefs as separate and intersecting parts of my identity and yet, especially after what happened at the march, I shy away from labeling myself a “Zionist.” Maybe it’s because I’m really not a Zionist, or maybe it’s because I’m afraid of the consequences that come with such a label.

Topics: Feminism, Israel
Mirabel Sandler at her Bat Mitzvah

My Big Fat Feminist Bat Mitzvah

The very idea that I would have to proudly chant and accept this story, this version of Judaism that so obviously conflicted with my feminist sensibility, forced me to question my Jewish identity in a very real way, and for the first time.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Activism." (Viewed on December 11, 2018) <https://jwa.org/blog/activism>.

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