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Lois Levin Roisman, 1938 - 2008

My mother, a leader in Jewish philanthropy and a Judaic poet and playwright, didn't believe in God. She was not interested in organized religion. But she was a deeply and inspirationally Jewish woman.

Grace Paley, 1922 - 2007

Growing up in New York, casting about for a way to become a Jewish woman I could be proud of, I was inspired again and again by Grace Paley. As an aspiring writer, I savored her remarkable stories – gems that captured and reflected the light, the humor, the heart, spirit and language of mid-20th century Jewish New York, a world that was fading even in my youth. I was deeply grateful to this writer I did not know for preserving in such vivid form that world I loved.

Emily Shain Mehlman, 1941 - 2006

Ours was an unlikely friendship. I, an outspoken New Yorker, my friend Emily Shain Mehlman, a proper Bostonian. I grew up in a Ladino-speaking household and thought everyone ate leek frittatas and had huevos haminados for Passover. Emily made the best brisket and kugel in the world, and her Yiddish always left me in awe. As active members of Temple Israel in Boston, we welcomed the Mehlman family to our midst, and Emily and I became fast friends.

Ruth Schachter Morgenthau, 1929 - 2006

Ruth Schachter Morgenthau was a wonderful friend; generous, thoughtful, witty and warm. Her achievements as an educator, an activist, and as a scholar of African politics deeply inspired those around her. After a brave struggle with a long and complicated illness, she died in Boston on November 4, 2006.

Sally Lilienthal, 1919 - 2006

There's no quick nor easy way to fathom the loss to the world of Sally Lilienthal's departure on October 24, 2006. She was a mover, a builder and a leader with many followers. She left the world a tangible legacy of visionary ideas that became local and global institutions.

Elizabeth Scharpf's DIY Aid project: keeping African girls in school with affordable pads

There was a really interesting article in The New York Times last week by Nicholas D. Kristof about individuals who are, in effect, creating foreign aid on their own. He writes about various people who, feeling passionately about helping the world, got up, changed their lives, and simply, did it. He tells a few stories, highlighting the fact that many of the members of the “Do-It-Yourself Foreign Aid Revolution” are women.

Moving Inward: bringing liberation movements into the Jewish community

Act out, through tableaux vivants, the ways Jews took what they had learned from the Civil Rights Movement and other liberation movements and used these insights to change the Jewish community.

Jewish Women International: 7 Years Later

When Jewish Women International opened the doors to its first International Conference on Domestic Abuse on July 20, 2003, there was optimism… there was ambition… but nobody knew for certain what would become of the work we were starting that day. Or rather, the work we were continuing – JWI had already been working in domestic violence (DV) for nearly a decade by then, since we had changed our name from B’nai B’rith Women to Jewish Women International, and focused our mission on aiding and empowering Jewish women and families – especially those suffering from abuse.

Power, Privilege, and Responsibility

Analyze how power and privilege shape our relationships and involvement in social justice and activism, using sources including clips from the film Driving Miss Daisy.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Activism." (Viewed on January 18, 2017) <>.


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