Sandra Feldman

Sandra Feldman dedicated her career to protecting the rights of educators as the first woman president of both New York City’s Union Federation of Teachers (UFT) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Feldman’s political activism began at Brooklyn College, where she became involved with the civil rights movement, helping organize the March on Washington and getting arrested for working to integrate restaurants in Maryland. She taught elementary school in New York and helped organize the teaching staff of her school into the new teacher’s union, eventually becoming the first woman president of the UFT in in 1986. In 1997, she became president of the national AFT as well, serving as head of both the local and national organizations simultaneously for a year before focusing her attention on the AFT. As president, she worked to reduce class sizes, increase teachers’ salaries, and improve preschool programs. She also worked with other groups throughout her career, including UNICEF, The Coalition of Labor Union Women, the New York chapter of the NAACP, and the Jewish Labor Committee.


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Sandra Feldman became the first woman president of New York City’s Union Federation of Teachers (UFT) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) . Photograph by Jon Richard Fleming.
Courtesy of New York State United Teachers, NYSUT: A Union of Professionals
Date of Birth

New York, NY
United States

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Sandra Feldman." (Viewed on August 7, 2020) <>.


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