Activism

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Emma Goldman released from jail and then reimprisoned

September 27, 1919

Emma Goldman was released from a two-year prison term, on September 27, 1919, only to be immediately reimprisoned.

Radical activist Clara Lemlich Shavelson dies

July 12, 1982

Born in 1886, Clara Lemlich Shavelson was already a confirmed radical when she arrived in New York City in 1905.

Emma Goldman's "What I Believe"

July 19, 1908

"It is too bad that we no longer live in the times when witches were burned at the stake or tortured to drive the evil spirit out of them. For, indeed, Emma Goldman is a witch!

Launch of Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community (AWP)

April 12, 2001

Reflecting frustration with the Jewish communal world's persistent glass ceiling, Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community (AWP) launched its first efforts on April 12, 2001.

Passage of NY widows' pension bill advocated by Hannah Bachman Einstein

April 7, 1915

On April 7, 1915, New York's Governor Charles S. Whitman signed the Widowed Mothers Pension Act into law.

Suffragist and anti-slavery activist Ernestine Rose addresses annual Thomas Paine dinner

January 29, 1848

For more than 20 years, Ernestine Rose, born in Poland in 1810, worked as a leading pro-suffrage, anti-slavery orator in the United States.

Live Webcast of Today's Ann Arbor Symposium ... with Women We Love!

by  Jordan Namerow

In case you thought New York was the ‘be all, end all' of Jewish life, think again. Step aside, Upper West Side, because Ann Arbor, Michigan is where the action's at today.

Topics: Activism

Women's History Month Podcast Feature #3

by  Jordan Namerow

The third and final feature in JWA’s Women’s History Month podcast series, Jewish Women and Political Leadership, is now live! Listen to four political activists reflect on their journeys in shaking up the political “boy’s club” and tipping the gender scales -- from confronting miniscule quotas for women in law school, to pushing women’s health legislation in Congress, to becoming the first Jewish woman elected to the Maryland State Senate.

Ernestine Rose

Ernestine Rose’s extemporaneous speeches on religious freedom, public education, abolition, and women’s rights earned her the title “Queen of the Platform.”

Lilly Rivlin

An activist Jewish writer and film maker, Lilly Rivlin has, from her earliest adult years, been engaged in the various political and social struggles that have shaped and been shaped by the people of her generation. She is that rare figure, a passionate individualist with an activist social conscience.

Cecilia Razovsky

Cecilia Razovsky was a remarkably active woman who spent her life striving to assist immigrants in adapting to life in the United States and other countries.

Puah: Midrash and Aggadah

Puah was one of the two Hebrew midwives (Shiphrah and Puah) who delivered the children of the Israelites during the Egyptian servitude. The Torah chronicles (Ex. 1:15–21) that they disobeyed Pharaoh’s command and did not kill the Israelite male newborn. Apart from this brave act, the midwives are not mentioned elsewhere in the Exodus narratives, nor in the entire Bible. The Rabbis identify the midwives with various Biblical heroines, thereby transforming them from secondary characters to central, fully developed figures whose annals spread over additional chapters of the Torah.

Project Kesher

Project Kesher is a feminist Jewish organization empowering women in the Independent States of the former Soviet Union (FSU) to build a society in which inclusive Jewish life can flourish, and where women are the instruments of peaceful change.

Puah: Bible

The first chapter of Exodus relates that, as the Israelites in Egypt begin to proliferate following the death of Joseph, the Egyptian king seeks to curb the Israelite population lest its numbers threaten the security of Egypt in time of war. When enslavement of the Israelites fails to achieve Pharaoh’s goal, he commands the Hebrew midwives, of whom only two are known by name—Shiphrah and Puah—to kill at birth all the male Hebrews, but to permit the females to live. Since, however, the midwives stand in awe of God, they violate Pharaoh’s command and permit the boys to live.

Peace Movement in the United States

Throughout the twentieth century, Jewish women have played a major role in American peace organizations and movements.

Belle Moskowitz

Belle Moskowitz’s career is unique in American politics. After two decades as a settlement worker, social and civic reformer, and labor mediator, in the early 1920s she became one of New York governor Alfred E. Smith’s closest advisers.

Alice Davis Menken

Alice Davis Menken stood at the forefront of what her New York Times obituary calls “the evolution of penology from an attitude of sentimentality and punishment to the broader conception of mercy and rehabilitation.” Her many published works argued that therapy, not punishment, was the most effective treatment for young offenders.

Lenore Guinzburg Marshall

Lenore Guinzburg Marshall, novelist, poet, and activist, was born in New York City on September 7, 1897. She was the daughter of Harry and Leonie (Kleinert) Guinzburg. A student at Barnard College, class of 1919, where she was an editor of the monthly literary magazine The Bear, and a member of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, Lenore was described in her class yearbook with the following verse: “Our manner toward her’s friendly / and even rather gracious, / For no one slings / Such odes and things / As does our lauriger Horatius.”

Lillian Hellman

Lillian Hellman was born on June 20, 1905, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her parents, Max and Julia (Newhouse) Hellman, were both German-American Jews. Her mother’s family was wealthy and later became the models (though stripped of Jewish identity) for Hellman’s most famous creations, the Hubbards, in her two plays The Little Foxes and Another Part of the Forest. Max Hellman’s sisters Hannah and Jenny were similarly the basis for the central characters in one of Hellman’s last plays, Toys in the Attic.

Dame Miriam Rothschild

Born on August 5, 1908 in Ashton, Northamptonshire, Miriam Louisa Rothschild was the first child of the Honorable (Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild (1877–1923) and Roszika von Werthemstein (1870–1940). Dame Miriam was a world authority on fleas, a pioneer of the organic movement and an ardent campaigner for the protection of animals and wildlife conservation.

Esther Leah Medalie Ritz

A civic leader par excellence, Esther Leah Ritz directed and supported numerous local, national and international organizations and causes, ranging from the Milwaukee Jewish Federation to the Democratic Party to Middle East peace efforts, and including hundreds of programs to protect the rights of the disenfranchised.

Luise Rainer

Luise Rainer— whose ninety-five years have spanned everything from Jewish refugee to glamorous Hollywood star—is an inspiring reminder that it’s never too late to return for the “second act.”

Peace Movements in Israel

After twenty years of activity, the women’s peace movement in Israeli has expanded and become a major actor in the Israeli public sphere.

Dorothy Rothschild Parker

Dorothy Rothschild Parker became a staff writer at Vanity Fair magazine, and quickly distinguished herself there with her cutting and well-turned humor.Parker’s stories, like her poetry, resonate with heartache and disenchantment, and reflect her obsessions: incessant alcohol consumption, spoiled romance, social injustice, and the follies of the rich.

Yocheved [Judith] Herschlag Muffs

During much of her tenure (1964–1990) at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Judith Herschlag Muffs worked with major book publishers to correct inaccuracies in their accounts of Jews and Judaism. Stressing accuracy and objectivity, she succeeded in modifying dozens of textbooks and reference books.

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