Joanne Alter

Content type

Joanne Alter

Women Who Dared

Deborah Michaud interviewed Joanne Alter on February 22, 2004, in Chicago, Illinois, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Alter reflects on her upbringing in a Christian suburb of Chicago, her early activism fostered by wartime experiences, her involvement in political organizations in college, her efforts in foreign relations and women empowerment, her successful political career, philanthropic work, and the influence of her Jewish identity on her activism.

Joanne Alter

When she challenged Chicago politicians to put a woman’s name on the ballot, Joanne Alter never expected the name would be her own.
Democratic National Committee (DNC) Logo

Jewish women and the Democratic National Committee

Leah Berkenwald

Yesterday, President Obama chose Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the new chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), making her the second Jewish woman to hold this position after Debra DeLee in 1994. After doing a little research at, however, I realized that even though Wasserman Schultz may be the only the second Jewish woman to chair the DNC, she is actually joining a long tradition of Jewish women who have been active in the organization.


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