Activism: Effecting Social Change

Baltimore Jewish women have played a critical role in the pursuit of justice and social change in their communities and beyond. Over the past century they have participated in and led social movements that have reshaped American society. Through Jewish and secular organizations, they have worked on behalf of civil rights, feminism, Zionism, and reproductive rights. They protested the Vietnam War and worked to end domestic violence within the Jewish community. Some began as "professional volunteers" and went on to assume paid positions or undertook further professional training. Their lives are extraordinary examples of the difference that individuals with strong ethical values and high energy can make in the world.

Artist's Statement

Leslie Golomb Hartman
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"Freedom of the press is only for those who own one" (H. L. Mencken). In our patriarchal society, with media access controlled by those in power, the traditional platform for challengers to the system has been the humble soapbox set up in the public square.

These six women are unique individuals: each stands proudly and "opens her mouth with wisdom" (Proverbs 31:26), resulting in positive social change in the world.

Collectively they represent the "other," speaking up for inclusion.


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Leslie Golomb Hartman's work, She Opens Her Mouth With Wisdom, Silkscreen on wood, 6 boxes, 22" x 22" x 30". Art work partially funded by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Printed and fabricated at Artist Image Resource, Pittsburgh, PA

Photo: Peter Goldberg

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Activism: Effecting Social Change." (Viewed on September 20, 2020) <>.


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