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Clara Lemlich Shavelson

Dispatches from the Jewish Solidarity Caucus

I assumed the labor movement had largely died, the efforts of Emma Goldman and Pauline Newman a relic of a different time. For these women, their identities as Jewish women were interwoven with their identities as radicals and reformers.

Historical Silence Breakers

Here are just a few of the Jewish women throughout history who spoke out, breaking long-held silences about social issues and women’s disenfranchisement. Their stories remind us that change happens when women use their voices, loudly and together.

My Menstruation, Myself

We at JWA decided to have an informal group chat about menstruation, our bodies, and sex. There was chocolate, honesty, and lots of laughter. Although we represent different ages and family backgrounds, we found plenty in common around this very normal (and under-discussed) topic.

Radical activist Clara Lemlich Shavelson dies

July 12, 1982

Death of political activist and trade unionist Clara Lemlich Shavelson.

Clara Lemlich Shavelson

Clara Lemlich Shavelson pushed union leaders to recognize the importance of women in the labor movement and organized vital demonstrations for worker’s rights and cost-of-living issues.

Hanukkah: Ignite and Inspire - Online Learning Program for Jewish Educators

Build connections among Jewish values, trailblazing Jewish women, and the Hanukkah story. This program will provide a new lens for teaching your students about Hanukkah that goes beyond the Maccabees and the candle lighting blessings. JWA staff will model resources and activities that can be put to use as you celebrate the festival of lights.

Where's the Beef?

Today I googled the Wendy’s commercial of the early 1980s were an older woman uses the catchphrase “Where’s the beef?!”. This may—or may not—surprise you. What probably will surprise you was the fact that this search was not inspired by my Memorial Day plans of grilling, but because of my job here at the Jewish Women’s Archive.

While exploring our archives I came across a truly remarkable activist, Clara Lemlich Shavelson.  Born in 1886, Shavelson was a key player in the labor movement. She was also a suffragist, communist, community organizer, and peace activist. Read on to find out where the beef comes into play!

Remembering the Uprising of the 20,000

On a cold November morning onehundred years ago today, more than 20,000 immigrant workers--mostly young Jewishwomen--took to the streets of the lower east side of New York, kicking off aneleven-week general strike of the shirtwaist industry knows as the Uprising ofthe 20,000.

Activist Clara Shavelson leads butcher shop boycott

May 27, 1935

New York City women, led by activist Clara Shavelson, picketed Manhattan butcher shops to demand a reduction in the price of meat.

Uprising of 20,000 (1909)

On November 23, 1909, more than twenty thousand Yiddish-speaking immigrants, mostly young women in their teens and early twenties, launched an eleven-week general strike in New York’s shirtwaist industry. Dubbed the Uprising of the 20,000, it was the largest strike by women to date in American history.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Clara Lemlich Shavelson." (Viewed on March 20, 2018) <>.


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