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Shulamit Aloni

Shulamit Aloni, the first Israeli woman to successfully found a political party, brought her zeal for education and empowerment to her career in the Knesset, helping generations of Israelis learn—and fight for—their rights. Aloni studied at the Beit ha-Kerem Teacher’s Training College and served in the Palmah from 1947–1948. She founded a school for immigrant children in Ramle, then taught high school in Tel Aviv, introducing citizenship classes and writing the standard textbook, The Citizen and His Country, in 1958. She earned her LLB from Hebrew University in 1955 and created a citizen’s rights radio program, Outside Office Hours, in 1957. She also wrote columns on legal affairs for several newspapers. Aloni served the Labor party in the Knesset from 1966–1970, during which time she founded and chaired the Consumer Council. After a four-year hiatus in which she created the Bureau for Civil Rights, Aloni became founder and leader of the human-rights-centric Ratz Party (renamed Meretz in 1992), which she ran from 1973–1996, speaking out in the Knesset for the rights of women and minorities and criticizing the treatment of Palestinians. Even after her retirement, she continued to campaign for human rights until her death.

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Shulamit Aloni, 2001
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Passionate, principled, provocative, and above all path breaking, Shulamit Aloni (shown here in 2001) has dedicated her life to transforming Israel into an open, just and liberal society based on human dignity, tolerance for diversity and equality. Since the 1950s, she has been a major player in the struggle for progressive stances on human rights, civil rights, religious pluralism, the status of women and Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Photographer: Yizhak Elhadar, "Scoop 80"

Institution: Shulamit Aloni

Date of Birth
November 29, 1928
Place of Birth
Tel Aviv
Date of Death
January 24, 2014

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Shulamit Aloni." (Viewed on December 15, 2017) <https://jwa.org/people/aloni-shulamit>.

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