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Elizabeth SladeHirschfeld

Elizabeth Slade Hirschfeld’s search for a way to make a difference led her first to become a Freedom Rider and then a public school teacher. After graduating from Cornell University in 1958, Hirschfeld worked in a genetics lab, an atomic energy lab on campus, and Cornell’s veterinary school, but felt aimless until responding to a call for Freedom Riders from the Congress of Racial Equality. She was arrested with the rest of her group and sent first to jail and then Parchman Prison for several weeks. Hirschfeld went on to fundraise for civil rights groups and lobby for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party’s Congressional Challenge. She later worked with the Farmworker’s Movement and Citizen Action Group, which lobbied for issues like health care and the environment. She became active in lesbian and Jewish communal groups in the 1980s, forming a women’s havurah. As of 2014, she lives in California, where she teaches middle school and high school.


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Date of Birth

Detroit, MI
United States

Activist, Biologist, Educator

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Elizabeth Slade Hirschfeld." (Viewed on June 26, 2019) <>.


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