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Activism

Helen Abrahams Blum

Helen Abrahams Blum earned a reputation as a talented painter before discovering a passion for all aspects of theater, from set design to directing.

Patricia Barr

Patricia Barr turned her personal struggles into a national cause as an advocate for breast cancer research and treatment.

Sophie Tucker

“The Last of the Red-Hot Mamas,” Sophie Tucker defied conventions about gender, age, weight, and ethnicity with her saucy comic banter and music.

Death of Sadie Loewith, Bridgeport activist

January 26, 1956

Sadie Loewith exemplified the adage that “all politics is local.”

JOFA: Beyond Belief - Part 1

Today we are excited to publish the first installment of a three-part series on JOFA and Orthodox Feminism, posting weekly. After covering the JOFA conference for the Jewish Week, Susan Reimer-Torn found she had many timely questions to explore about the state and vision of Orthodox Feminism today. Her conversations with author and JOFA executive director Elana Sztokman confirmed that much needs to be shared about the conflicts, values, tensions, and goals of Orthodox Feminism. Elana's views, both as a thought leader and an organizational executive, illuminate dark corners and sound an inclusive note for all Jewish women interested in innovation and inclusiveness, regardless of religious affiliation.

Queen Esther and Bella Abzug: Costumes, Leadership, and Identity

Throughout history, activists have chosen different costumes and personas as strategic tools to help them stand up against injustice. Examine how the biblical figure Esther and the historical figure Bella Abzug fought for justice and liberation by adopting personas that helped them to achieve their goals. JWA staff will demonstrate ways to use the stories of these women in your classrooms as you prepare for Purim.

Ruth Emmerman Peizer, 1923 - 2013

Ruth Emmerman Peizer passed away peacefully on October 23, 2013. Ms. Peizer left an indelible mark on the Jewish community as a Yiddish authority in Seattle. She shared her passion and expertise in literary Yiddish by teaching classes at the University of Washington, Jewish Education Council, Hebrew High School, and Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.

Taking on Fat Shaming

This week I learned about a blog that had taken up the mantle of “fat-shaming week.” For a week, this blog posted shaming and demeaning content about fat women. The stated reason behind fat-shaming week is that the fat-acceptance movement is attempting to change beauty standards, and that shouldn’t be allowed to happen. They believe that shame will get people to lose weight, and that will ultimately make people healthier and benefit society. Here are some titles of posts they published:

  • 5 Reasons Fat Girls Don’t Deserve Love
  • Always Take Photos of Fat Women
  • 5 Ways to Bully Fat Sluts on a Date

I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

Handcuffs to Synagogue: A New Year, A Recommitment to Action

Orginally published by ZEEK Magazine.

Tonight at Kol Nidre services, I will chant the prayer that absolves me from all oaths taken the previous year. The thing is — just yesterday I took an oath, alongside 119 women on a very hot day in the shadow of the US Capitol building, an oath that I (with the organization I represent, the National Council of Jewish Women) plan to keep. In part, we promised to:

"create a House United for fair immigration reform, a House United through my family, my community and my place of work, a House United for justice and equality for all and especially for the women and children who make up three-quarters of all immigrants but whose needs are woefully ignored by our failed system."

And we put our bodies on the line to reinforce our commitment to this promise.

Take Back the Bar

It’s one thing to swap stories (the guy who didn’t understand personal space on the subway, the guy who wouldn’t stop talking to you despite the headphones in your ears and your nose in the book, the guy who shouted something about what you were wearing) and, well, it’s another thing to take action. While great resources exist online—like hollaback, an app that exists in 64 cities across 22 countries—support can feel hard to come by. Harassment can feel isolating.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Activism." (Viewed on January 18, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/activism>.

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