Golda Meir

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Golda Meir, March 1, 1973

Badass Bubbee

Rachel Harris

She’s a confusing character in the feminist narrative. A pioneer in her field, yet so disappointingly anti-feminist. How do you label her? Should she be viewed as a hero, a villain, an accidental role model? The life and career of Goldie Myerson, or Golda Meir as she’s more commonly known, begs these questions.

Golda Meir, March 1, 1973

Meninists, Meir and Madeleine L'Engle

Ilana Goldberg

Recently I have become aware of Meninist Twitter, an account with thousands of followers. An account whose purposes, as far as I can tell, are to argue that true gender equality means fighting for men's rights, to claim that women have an agenda that involves disadvantaging men, and, of course, to ridicule feminism.

Topics: Feminism
Stav Shaffir

“Hatikvah” of Stav Shaffir

Eliza Bayroff

Often, when I see an article about Israel in a magazine or a newspaper, a gnawing sense of despair wells up in my chest. As the country’s political and class conflicts seems to stagnate and worsen, I have found it easier to avoid such news altogether. I don’t like feeling that way. I hate feeling that way. Though I may not always agree with the actions of the state, I am invested in Israel and want her to succeed and thrive. But as I grow older and more aware, my cynicism often diminishes my capacity for hope.

TIME will tell: The most powerful Jewesses of the past century

Kate Bigam

The venerable TIME Magazine, known in part for its "top" lists – everything from the best inventions to the best TV shows – just published a new list of particular interest. As its name indicates, "The 25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century" lists 25 powerhouse women from the U.S. and beyond, including three Jewish dynamos - four, if you count Madonna (though I'm never sure whether I should!). Here, an overview of the Jewesses who made TIME’s cut:

Topics: Journalism

"Only in America" poll results

Judith Rosenbaum

The results are in from the National Museum of American Jewish History's poll to select the 18 individuals to be featured in their "Only in America" Hall of Fame. The results are not too surprising.

Tovah Feldshuh stars in "Golda's Balcony"

October 15, 2003

Golda’s Balcony, starring Tovah Feldshuh, opened at Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre on October 15, 2003.

Golda Meir speech raises $50 million for Haganah

January 21, 1948

In January 1948, Israel's declaration of independence was imminent, and war with Arab states seemed inevitable.

Zionism in the United States

Jewish women constructed an approach to American Zionism that reflected their own unique position in American and Jewish society, employing the category of gender as a variable in the historical analysis of American Zionism. A complex interplay of gender, social class, and religio-ethnic culture shaped the ways in which women helped to direct the course of Zionism in America.

Television in the United States

Jewish women have had a long-standing, complex, often fraught relation to American television. They have had to battle a male-dominated production system and sexist stereotypes, but also have seen significant advances, in front of and behind the screen, resulting from the cable and streaming revolutions and third-wave feminist activism.  

Pioneer Women in the United States

Pioneer Women was created in The United States in 1925 to help the pioneer women’s cooperatives in Palestine through American-based philanthropic efforts. During its first convention in 1926 in New York City, the group articulated goals to help create a homeland in Palestine, to support Mo’ezet ha-Po’alot, and to educate American Jewish women to a more conscious role in American society.

Golda Meir

A direct, no-nonsense politician who participated in Israel’s governance from its independence onward, Golda Meir served as Israel’s first female Prime Minister through the turbulent period of the Yom Kippur War.

Histadrut

Histadrut (the General Federation of Workers) was founded in 1920 to bring together Jewish workers who had recently arrived in Palestine. Though the organization proclaimed equal treatment and opportunities for women and men workers, the reality was not so simple.

Barbara Jill Walters

Barbara Walters has probably interviewed more statesmen and stars than any other journalist in history. A list of her numerous and timely TV interviews, both on the weekly newsmagazine 20/20 and on The Barbara Walters Specials, reads like a "Who's Who" of newsmakers.

Politics in the Yishuv and Israel

Women’s status in the Israeli political arena has been shaped by traditional patriarchal structures. In Israel, a binary perception of the world subordinates women to traditional female roles. The patriarchal pattern is supported and replicated in the political and legislative arrangements in Israel, which do not separate religion and state.

Poland: Women Leaders in the Jewish Underground During the Holocaust

There were prominent female leaders in nearly every Jewish underground in the Polish ghettos during WWII. Women often took on the role of delegate to central leadership, moving between ghettos. Jewish fighting organizations relied on these delegates to deliver arms, forged documents, and military instructions between ghettos.

Ora Namir

Ora Namirwas an Israeli politician, diplomat, and “dove” whose efforts on behalf of women’s rights, education, and social justice are enjoyed today by all Israeli citizens.

Mo'ezet Ha-Po'alot (Council of Women Workers)

The Mo’ezet Ha-Poalot was founded in 1921 as the women’s branch of the Histadrut, the General Federation of Workers in mandatory Palestine. In the name of women workers, the organization struggled for many years for equality in the eyes of the Histadrut, though it ultimately came to represent more broadly the interests of Jewish women in Palestine and Israel, including immigrants and housewives.

Ada Maimon (Fishman)

One of the “spiritual mothers” of Jewish feminism in Israel, Ada Maimon founded the women's labor organization, Mo'ezet Ha-Po'a lot, and served in the first Knesset. In each of her many positions, she viewed her role as being a religious and spiritual one.

Leadership and Authority

The concepts of leadership and authority have evolved over time. From biblical leaders elected by God to contemporary makers of social change, women have been leading the Jewish people for centuries.

Francine Klagsbrun

Author of more than a dozen books and countless articles in national publications and a regular columnist in two Jewish publications, Francine Klagsbrun is a writer of protean interests who has made an impact on both American and American Jewish culture.

Rachel Kagan (Cohen)

One of two women to sign the Israeli Declaration of Independence, Rachel Kagan shaped women’s rights in the new state. She left a powerful legacy from her work in social welfare in addition to her time as a Knesset member.

Women’s Service in the Israel Defense Forces

The Israel Defense Forces is among the few armies in the world that conscript women into its ranks under a mandatory military draft law, although women make up only about 40% of conscript soldiers and 25% of the office corps. Women’s integration into the IDF has been shaped by the perception of the IDF as a people’s army, security needs, and social processes that contribute to or undermine gender equality.

Beba Idelson

Beba Idelson was an Israeli politician and dedicated Zionist activist. She served as a member of the Knesset for sixteen years and was instrumental in shaping the character of the State of Israel, especially as it pertained to women’s rights.

Rita Eleanor Hauser

Rita E. Hauser’s was a trailblazer for women in law, politics, and foreign affairs at a time when few women entered the legal profession or achieved top-level positions in business and politics. Her dual background in politics and international law led to her key role in persuading Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization to recognize Israel and renounce terrorism.

Feminism in Contemporary Israel

The first Israeli radical women’s movement was established in 1972. The 1973 Yom Kippur War then created an awareness of the meaning of the gendered role division between men and women, and soon after the war, a choir of voices, organizations, and movements began to fight for feminist causes. In the twenty-first century, the feminist landscape expanded, but the feminist field remained highly divided.

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