Agriculture

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Collection

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

Rahel Bluwstein is rightfully considered the “founding mother” of modern Hebrew poetry by women. Rahel’s affiliation with the avant-garde group of Second Aliyah pioneers, her dedication to Zionist ideals and her agonizing death, made her a symbol in the eyes of the Israeli public—and her mythic status persists to this day.

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” and historians of Jewish feminism in Israel, Ada Maimon was a teacher by profession and a member of Ha-Po’el ha-Za’ir from 1913 to 1920. She was also one of the founders of Mo’ezet Ha-Po’alot, the General Council of Women Workers in Israel, and its secretary-general from its founding in 1921 to 1926. When she completed her term of office she founded Ayanot, a women’s farm near Nes Ziyyonah. With the establishment of the state, she served as a Mapai party member of the first and second Knessets and was responsible for the legislation of various laws related to women’s equality. Her public activity, together with her role as historian of the feminist movement in Israel, were part of a long, determined struggle on behalf of Jewish women in Israeli society and, even more pronouncedly, in the Jewish religion. This struggle led to frequent conflicts between Maimon and the leaders of the Histadrut and the Labor Party, as well as to arguments with representatives of the religious parties and the Israeli Orthodox establishment.

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

As a secular and democratic community, the kibbutz—first founded in 1910—strove to implement egalitarian principles as expressed in the slogan: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” In addition, from the 1920s on, due to A voluntary collective community, mainly agricultural, in which there is no private wealth and which is responsible for all the needs of its members and their families.kibbutz women

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

As an international public health nurse during World War I and between the wars, Amelia Greenwald was a leader in the field of public health. She was born in Gainesville, Alabama, on March 1, 1881, to Joseph Greenwald (a grain dealer and mayor) and Elisha (Elise Haas) Greenwald, German Jewish immigrants who married in Memphis, Tennessee. She was the youngest of eight children: Isaac, Carrie, Jake, Morris, Sylvester, Julian, and Isadore. On her father’s knee, Greenwald listened to stories of the Confederate nurses during the Civil War and knew that she wanted to became a trained nurse.

Bessie Goldstein Gotsfeld

Bessie Goldstein Gotsfeld’s name is synonymous with American Mizrachi Women (known today as Amit), the religious organization she helped to form. For thirty years, Gotsfeld was the Palestine (later Israel) representative for the organization. She supervised the establishment of vocational schools, children’s villages, and farms for religious youth, and forged a connection between women in the United States and children in Israel.

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.

Hannah Chizhik

Hannah Chizhik was an advocate for women’s emancipation and she was committed to the women workers movement. She became an expert in vegetable farming, agricultural work, and domestic labor for the groups of women pioneers. In 1926 she established a women’s smallholding in Tel Aviv, which became an important center for pioneer youth.

Caribbean Islands and the Guianas

Women were among the earliest settles in the Dutch and English Caribbean. Early Caribbean Jewish women, despite living in patriarchal societies, still managed to engage in public pursuits. As Caribbean Jewish communities became increasingly racially blended over time, women of color became some of the most definitive architects of distinctly Creole Caribbean Jewry.

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