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Margaret Sanger and Fania Mindell on courthouse steps, 1917

Suffrage and the Fight for Reproductive Justice

Nina Henry

Many Jewish suffragists (and anti-suffragists) also belonged to the nascent birth control movement.

Rose Pastor Stokes

Called the “Cinderella of the sweatshops,” Rose Pastor Stokes made headlines when she married millionaire socialist James Graham Phelps Stokes.

Rose Pastor Stokes: Jewess with Attitude

Jewesses With Attitude

On April 5, 1905, J.Graham Phelps Stokes —Yale graduate, businessman, scion of one of New York’s “Four Hundred” families, social worker at the University Settlement on the Lower East Side, dabbler in progressive politics — announced his engagement to Rose Pastor — Russian Jewish immigrant, cigarmaker-turned-journalist, self-identified girl of the Jewish ghetto.

James Graham Phelps Stokes announces engagement to Rose Pastor

April 5, 1905

James Graham Phelps Stokes announced his engagement to Rose Pastor in a press conference on April 5, 1905.

Rose Pastor Stokes

In her autobiography as in her life, Stokes fused American values of self-improvement with immigrant and socialist ideals of community.

Settlement Houses in the United States

Jewish women have played significant roles as benefactors, organizers, administrators, and participants in American settlement houses. Settlement houses, founded in the 1880s in impoverished urban neighborhoods, provided recreation, education, and medical and social service programs, primarily for immigrants.

Feminism in the United States

Jewish women have played a significant role in all aspects of the American feminist movement.

Communism in the United States

From the 1920s into the 1950s, the Communist Party USA was the most dynamic sector of the American left, and Jewish women—especially Yiddish-speaking immigrants and their American-born daughters—were a major force within the party and its affiliated organizations. Their numbers included community organizers, labor activists, students, artists and intellectuals. When the communist movement faded in the 1950s, these women carried radical traditions into new movements for social justice and international cooperation.

Autobiography in the United States

Accounts of the immigrant experience, of feminist and/or activist involvement, of the changing role of women in Jewish and American life, as well as literary and political autobiographies, Holocaust survival narratives, and coming-of-age memoirs are all categories of autobiography to which American Jewish women have contributed copiously.

American Birth Control Movement

Jewish women from a range of social and economic backgrounds found common political cause in the American birth control movement and profoundly affected its successes in the early twentieth century.

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