Business & Economics: Economics

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Charlene Barshevsky

Charlene Barshefsky

During one of the most intense periods of conflict over international trade in American history, Charlene Barshefsky rose to prominence as arguably the nation’s chief advocate of free trade. The Cabinet-level United States Trade Representative from 1997 to 2001, Barshefsky played a crucial role in forging a new era of economic globalization under the leadership of President Bill Clinton.

Timeline Showing the Major Organizations of Jews in Germany, 1893-1943

Cora Berliner

Cora Berliner was an economist and social scientist who held leadership positions in several major Jewish organizations in Germany between 1910 and 1942. These organizations included the Association of Jewish Youth Organizations in Germany, the Reich Representation of German Jews, and the League of Jewish Women.

Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer is currently one of the most influential liberal political figures in the country, having served in the United States Senate since 1992. Her visibility especially flows out of her vocal commitment to feminist causes.

Tombstone of Hannah de Leon

Caribbean Islands and the Guianas

Women were among the earliest settles in the Dutch and English Caribbean. Early Caribbean Jewish women, despite living in patriarchal societies, still managed to engage in public pursuits. As Caribbean Jewish communities became increasingly racially blended over time, women of color became some of the most definitive architects of distinctly Creole Caribbean Jewry.

Ruth Louisa Cohen

Ruth Cohen, Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, from 1954 until 1972, was the first Jewish principal of an Oxbridge College, a distinguished agricultural economist, and, after her retirement from college life, a dedicated local councillor.

Ruth Dreifuss

Ruth Dreifuss

An outspoken and strong feminist, Switzerland’s first Jewish member of the Federal Government and first woman president Ruth Dreifuss was born in St. Gall in Eastern Switzerland on January 9, 1940. Her father Sigi Dreifuss (1899–1956) was from Endingen (Canton of Aargau), one of the two villages of old Switzerland in which Jews could live before the emancipation in 1866. The Dreifuss family was among the oldest in Switzerland. Her mother’s family left Alsace (near Colmar) after the German annexation in 1871 and Ruth’s mother Jeanne Dreifuss-Bicard (1905–1962) was born in St. Gall. Ruth’s brother, Jean Jacques, born in 1936, was a professor of physiology in the faculty of medicine at the University of Geneva.

Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein

Political pioneer, tough leader, crime fighter, reformer: These are some of the words that describe Dianne Feinstein, former mayor of San Francisco and United States senator from California since 1992.

Genizah – Miriam to Maimonides

Genizah

The world of Jewish women in the Islamic middle ages is revealed to us through a treasure trove of primary source material found in Cairo at the end of the nineteenth century. A genizah is a storage room for discarded books and written materials. Jews do not destroy anything with God’s name written on it; such pieces of parchment and paper are usually buried. In medieval Cairo, this custom was extended to anything written in Hebrew, but instead of being buried, such items were stored in a genizah in the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fostat (Old Cairo), where most of the Jews lived; the arid conditions preserved them.

Lina Morgenstern

Germany: 1750-1945

The Jewish Reform movement did not liberate women from their subordinate religious status, and the nineteenth-century bourgeois German family ideal with its rigid gender roles soon eclipsed the fluid structure of premodern Jewish families. Jewish women were expected to transmit German bourgeois values while also shaping their children’s Jewish identity.

A print of an Ashkenazi Dutch wedding ceremony.

Halakhic Decisions on Family Matters in Medieval Jewish Society

Across the medieval Jewish world, rabbis used takkanot (rabbinic decrees) to address urgent needs in family life among their Jewish communities. These takkanot are key historical sources for understanding the changing roles of women in the medieval Jewish world.

Deborah Lipstadt

Historians in the United States

American Jewish women have been prominent within the historical profession. Indeed, many have been on the cutting edge of historical scholarship since the 1960s. In particular, Jewish women were at the forefront of developments within social history and in the creation of women’s history. While women generally, and Jewish women in particular, rarely made careers as historians in the first half of the twentieth century, Jewish women represented a significant proportion of academic historians both in American and European history as discrimination against Jews and prejudice against women lessened in the decades after World War II. Perhaps because of their sensitivity to the situation of powerless groups, most of them focused their attention not on traditional power elites but rather on those social groups traditionally ignored by academic historians: ordinary people, workers, peasants, minority groups, Jews, and especially women. They helped create, and were influenced by, new trends in historical scholarship that favored the study of such groups.

Kibbutz

As a secular and democratic community, the kibbutz—first founded in 1910—strove to implement egalitarian principles as expressed in the slogan: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” In addition, from the 1920s on, due to A voluntary collective community, mainly agricultural, in which there is no private wealth and which is responsible for all the needs of its members and their families.kibbutz women’s collective action, gender equality became part and parcel of the kibbutz movement’s normative discourse, a kind of “self-understood symbol of this classless society” (Bernstein, 1992; Fogiel-Bijaoui, 1992; Izraeli, 1992; Near, 1992; Reinharz, 1992).

A smiling woman stands behind a planter box watering flowers

Kibbutz Ha-Dati Movement (1929-1948)

Agricultural settlements based on the collective principles of the A voluntary collective community, mainly agricultural, in which there is no private wealth and which is responsible for all the needs of its members and their families.kibbutz were among the outstanding enterprises of the Zionist movement. While agricultural settlement was an important value in religious Zionism as well, those members of the religious Zionist movement who joined collective settlements constituted a unique group.

A flock of white doves settle in a tree.

Kinnim (Tractate)

Tractate Kinnim (“nest” or “birds in a nest”), the last tractate in Order Kodashim, deals with the smallest type of sacrifice, a pair of turtledoves or young pigeons—one nest, hence the title. Scripture terms this type of sacrifice a bird offering, and it is divided into obligatory and voluntary offerings.

Sara Landau

Sara Landau was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 4, 1890, to Morris (Fred) and Frieda (Shapiro) Landau, who had married in Poland before coming to America in the early 1880s. Sara was the first surviving child of the Landaus, who later had two other daughters, Minnie and Mathilda. She spent part of her early life in Louisiana, graduating from high school in Crowley in 1906, attending Southwest Industrial Institute in Lafayette, and teaching business courses for several years. Around 1914, she and her family moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where her father operated a boys’ clothing factory until the Depression of the 1930s.

Esther Lowenthal

Esther Lowenthal

Esther Lowenthal’s long career teaching economics at Smith explored subjects from government spending and taxation to the theories of socialist economists.

Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg was a socialist revolutionary known for her critical perspective. Born in Poland, Luxemburg had become an important figure in the world socialist movement by 1913. She argued against Lenin’s hierarchal conception of party organization, and against revisionism. Luxemburg was internationalist in orientation and unflinchingly dedicated to a radical democratic vision.

Mizrahi Feminism in Israel

The phrase “Mizrahi feminism” has been increasingly used to refer to the academic discipline and literature, as well as the practices, which seek to extend the liberal Israeli feminist discourse into a multicultural context—specifically, to include women originating in Arab/Muslim countries.

Sylvia Ostry

Sylvia Ostry

Sylvia Ostry, born in Winnipeg, Canada, was a distinguished economist, academic, and government leader. She taught at universities across Canada, served in numerous government posts, and authored over eighty publications, mostly on policy analysis.

Jessica Blanche Peixotto

Jessica Blanche Peixotto defied convention and her family to become a respected authority in the field of economics. Through her education, professorship, and departmental leadership at the University of California at Berkeley, she broke down barriers for women in education.
Sylvia Porter

Sylvia Field Porter

As the first woman on the financial desk of a big-city newspaper and the first woman to break into the world of writing about finance, Sylvia Field Porter, economist, columnist, and best-selling author, was a pioneer for over half a century in educating the American consumer about money matters.

Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush

Following in the footsteps of her famous father, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush became an expert on labor legislation in the United States and one of its strongest defenders.

Russian Immigrants in Israel

Like their male counterparts, over sixty percent of Soviet Jewish women were highly educated and employed as professionals or white-collar workers. Before emigration, over ninety-five percent of these women combined full-time employment with motherhood and family roles (Tolts, 1997; Buckley, 1997). Beside the need, common to both sexes, for economic and psychosocial adjustment in the new country immigrant women faced specific challenges that reflect cultural differences in sexuality, fertility and family life.

Alice Salomon, 1920

Alice Salomon

Alice Salomon was an educator, feminist, economist, and international activist who was one of the pioneers of the emerging field of professional social work in Germany in the early 20th century. In 1925 she was among the founders of the German Academy for Women’s Social and Educational Work, and she later served as the first president of the International Committee of Schools of Social Work.

Dominique Schnapper

Dominique Schnapper

Dominique Schnapper is a French sociologist who has devoted an important part of her work to an analysis of French Jews and Judaism, in particular in connection with the French model of citizenship, nation, and the republic.

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