The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Roberta Galler

d. February 12, 2014

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Roberta Galler until we are able to commission a full entry.

Roberta Galler and Ralph Nichols at the office of New University Thought, 1962.
Courtesy of Roberta Galler

Roberta Galler’s work for the Congressional Challenge marked a landmark civil rights effort, using six hundred depositions that Black people had been prevented from voting in the 1964 congressional election as evidence that the election was unconstitutional. Galler managed the civil rights student journal New University Thought and helped form Chicago Friends of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) while on leave from the University of Chicago in 1961. She helped open the first statewide Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party office in 1964 and helped take depositions from Black voters across the state who had been threatened and blocked from voting. After working around the clock for months organizing the Congressional Challenge, Galler joked that she went to jail in Jackson in 1965 to rest. She continued her activism in various venues including fundraising, working with the antiwar movement, and helping set up the Center for Constitutional Rights in the early 1970s. She later became a psychoanalyst, running a private practice in Manhattan while also working with the Center for Independence for the Disabled.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Roberta Galler." (Viewed on October 5, 2022) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/galler-roberta>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox