Agriculture

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Collection

Jewish Environmentalism

Women have been central to the development of Jewish environmentalism in the United States. They founded organizations, wrote books, educated their communities, grew food, and advocated for better policies. These women saw their environmental ideals as directly connected to their Judaism and realized that our future may depend on this work in the face of the climate crisis.

Frances Rosenthal Kallison

Frances Elaine Rosenthal Kallison was a horsewoman and historian, a cofounder of the Texas Jewish Historical Society, and the only Jewish woman in the National Museum and Cowgirl Hall of Fame.  A regional leader of the National Council of Jewish Women, she lobbied to end the poll tax and open pre-natal clinics for the poor. The exhibit she curated on Texas Jewry for the 1968 World’s Fair in San Antonio has been continually updated.

Rachel Calof

Rachel Calof’s memoir of life as a mail-order bride in Devils Lake, North Dakota vividly depicts the hardships of life as a western pioneer through the unique lens of a Jewish woman’s experience.

Sivan Borowich-Ya'ari

Using Israeli innovations in solar technology, Sivan Borowich-Ya’ari created Innovation: Africa to bring more reliable electricity to developing communities throughout Africa.

Gertrude Wishnick Dubrovsky, 1926 - 2012

To the credit of the nuns, my Jewish search was encouraged, my questions were never cut short, and a patient effort was made consistently to answer me.

Linda Lingle elected Governor of Hawaii

November 5, 2002

After over 20 years in elected public life, Linda Lingle was elected as Hawaii's first female and first Jewish governor on November 5, 2002.

Founding of Women's American ORT

October 12, 1927

In a Brooklyn kitchen on October 12, 1927, Anna Boudin, Mrs.

Rahel Bluwstein

The "founding mother" of modern Hebrew poetry by women, Rahel Bluwstein achieved in death the status of a national cultural icon. Rahel’s affiliation with the avant-garde group of Second Aliyah pioneers to pre-state Palestine, her dedication to Zionist ideals, and her agonizing death made her a beloved pioneering figure in Israel.

Nehamah Pukhachewsky

Nehamah Pukhachewsky’s writings advocated for Jewish women with a feminist confidence that resonates with readers to this day. Pukhachewsky immigrated from Lithuania to Palestine in 1889, actively participating in agriculture and women’s rights movements along with writing articles for Hebrew journals. She is remembered as one of the first modern Hebrew women prose writers.

Poland: Interwar

A minority habitually ignored by scholars, Polish-Jewish women played important roles in the changing cultural and political framework of the interwar years.

Ana Pauker

Born to an impoverished Orthodox family in Bucharest, Ana Pauker joined the Romanian communist movement in 1915. She rose through the ranks, becoming one of the most powerful Communist leaders in Romania after World War II and, according to Time magazine, “the most powerful woman alive.”

Moshavah

Women played important roles in the moshavot (villages), the pioneer settlement form created by the Jews in Palestine at its formative period 1882-1914. Various types of women in the moshava had significant roles in creating the “new Jew” of the second generation and in establishing and consolidating the moshavot.

Mo'ezet Ha-Po'alot (Council of Women Workers)

The Mo’ezet Ha-Poalot was founded in 1921 as the women’s branch of the Histadrut, the General Federation of Workers in mandatory Palestine. In the name of women workers, the organization struggled for many years for equality in the eyes of the Histadrut, though it ultimately came to represent more broadly the interests of Jewish women in Palestine and Israel, including immigrants and housewives.

Sarah Malkhin

Sarah Malkhin was among the first women agricultural laborers to arrive in Palestine during the the Second Aliyah. Through efforts to establish new kinds of agricultural settlements founded on ideals of emancipation and independence, Malkhin and her colleagues clashed with veteran settlers of the Old Yishuv.

Hannah Maisel-Shohat

Combining her zeal for the Zionist movement and her extensive education in agriculture, Hannah Maisel-Shohat dedicated herself to the establishment of women’s farms and agriculture education programs in Palestine in the 1920s.

Ada Maimon (Fishman)

One of the “spiritual mothers” of Jewish feminism in Israel, Ada Maimon founded the women's labor organization, Mo'ezet Ha-Po'a lot, and served in the first Knesset. In each of her many positions, she viewed her role as being a religious and spiritual one.

Kibbutz Ha-Dati Movement (1929-1948)

Beginning in 1929, the religious kibbutz (Kibbutz Ha-Dati) movement represented the confluence of progressive ideals of equality and collectivism and traditional customs of Judaism. As a result, women in the movement lived at a crossroads.

Kibbutz

Although the kibbutz was intended as an equalitarian, democratic utopia, attempts to achieve gender equality have been limited by traditional masculinities and male-controlled spheres and gender inequalities have persisted.

Roza Shoshana Joffe

Roza Shoshana Joffe was a teacher who made Aliyah from the Ukraine, determined to establish a school for girls in Palestine. After many years teaching in Jaffa, she left the city for a village near the Sea of Galilee, where she bought and operated her own farm and hoped to open a school for farmers’ daughters.

Amelia Greenwald

American nurse Amelia Greenwald focused her career in public health nursing on training other nurses and creating infrastructure in war-ravaged Europe.

Bessie Goldstein Gotsfeld

Bessie Goldstein Gotsfeld helped organize American Mizrachi Women, pushed for its independence from men’s groups, and made aiding children in Israel a major goal of the organization.

Shira Gorshman

A multi-faceted Yiddish writer, Shira Gorshman embodied the vision and struggles of Jewish socialism throughout her long and productive life. Her work encompassed the shtetl of Lithuania, pioneering Palestine, the Soviet experiment, the Holocaust, and finally the return to modern Israel. In all these journeys her characters, many of whom are women, are revealed in their full humanity and individuality.

Shulamit Goldstein

A member of the underground militant group Irgun Zeva'i Le'ummi, Shulamit Goldstein became Israel’s first female pilot in the 1930s. Later in life, she also became a nursery school teacher, a poultry farmer, and a fiberglass manufacturer.

Ruth Louisa Cohen

Ruth Cohen, Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, from 1954 until 1972, was the first Jewish principal of an Oxbridge College, a distinguished agricultural economist, and, after her retirement from college life, a dedicated local councillor.

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