Civil Rights

Content type
Collection
Parade of Suffragists, July 4, 1910

The Five Jewish Disruptive Patriots You Should Know

Emily Cataneo

Let’s be honest: the Fourth of July is a fun holiday, what with the hamburgers, the watermelons, the fireworks, and the summer camps, but I’m guessing that many of us are not super enthused about celebrating the land of the free and the home of the brave this year, given the current garbage fire of American politics and the dark truths that said garbage fire has revealed about the priorities and mores of our nation.

Carrie Goldberg

By helping victims of “revenge porn” get justice in court, and working to prevent such cases from occurring in the first place, Carrie Goldberg is creating important safeguards for an era in which people live more and more of their personal and professional lives online.

Nadine Gordimer

When Nadine Gordimer’s depictions of apartheid earned her the Nobel Prize for Literature, she used her fame to fund HIV prevention and treatment in her native South Africa.
Angela Peoples: Don't Forget White Women Voted for Trump

Black History Month: A Time to Share or Shut Up?

Emily Cataneo

In the wake of the Women’s March on Washington, many participants and from-afar admirers celebrated the success of a watershed political moment: a coming together of millions of women all over the world to voice opposition to the new American president and his stance on a variety of political and social issues.

Topics: Civil Rights
"The only hope is shoulder to shoulder" Women's March sign

All The Mornings After

Lisa Batya Feld

The march had originally anticipated 25,000 participants, and by Friday, more than 105,000 had registered. Most people there, like me, had not, so the crowd was mind-bogglingly huge.

Bella Abzug at a Women Strike for Peace Protest

#JWAmegaphone: Voices of Power and Protest

Judith Rosenbaum

At JWA, we believe that history is not only about the past, but also about the present—it’s unfolding every day.

Ruth First

Though her investigative journalism, Ruth First exposed the horrors of apartheid.
Lea Rubel, An Advocate for Senior Rights in Detroit

From the Archives: The Power of a Voice

Robbie Terman

‘Tis the season, once again, when we are asked to make our voices heard. With 200 million people registered to vote in 2016, some voters wonder if an individual can really effect change. Lea Rubel would tell you that just one voice can make all the difference. She spearheaded a community-led campaign for low-cost senior housing in Detroit in 1965. This is one of the many letters she wrote to Jewish leaders.

Topics: Civil Rights

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

Discover how two remarkable Jewish women: The biblical figure, Esther, and the historical figure, Bella Abzug, both fought for justice and liberation by adopting personas that helped them achieve their goals.

The American Jewess on Liberation and Freedom

Investigate what it means for American Jews to celebrate Passover and the Fourth of July in the context of religious and national freedom, by reading an editorial from the April 1897 issue of The American Jewess.

Sing a New Song: Jews, Music, and the Civil Rights Movement

Using the letter of a Jewish civil rights activist and several freedom songs, explore how music is able to cross racial and religious boundaries and build community.

Ethel Baskin Schwartz

From Depression-era protests to twenty-first century marches, Ethel Baskin Schwartz dedicated her life to organizing and fighting for unions and civil rights.

Myra Wolfgang

Hailed by local newspapers as “the battling belle of Detroit,” Myra Wolfgang went from staging sit-ins to becoming International Vice President of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union.

Golda Ginsburg Krolik

Golda Ginsburg Krolik fought to improve human rights thoughout the twentieth century, from helping the poor to rescuing Holocaust survivors to offering equal opportunities to African Americans.
Teen Vogue Cover, July 2016

Black Lives Matter, and Get Thoughtful Coverage, At Teen Vogue

Mitali Desai

After last week’s murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police officers, America’s cities erupted in protest. A tragic and incendiary week became even more violent when a gunman opened fire on a Dallas protest, murdering five police officers. The resulting media frenzy was, overall, disheartening. Some of the worst journalism of the week included CNN’s decision to invite Congressman Joe Walsh to defend a tweet in which he declared war on Obama and Black Lives Matter, the Washington Post’s misleading conflation of BLM protestors with Black Panthers, and The Blaze’s Tomi Lahren calling BLM the “new KKK.” Less overtly offensive articles and talk show segments were speculatory, lukewarm, or sensational.

Topics: Civil Rights
Between the World and Me

One Weird Trick for Being an Ally on the Internet

Lisa Batya Feld

When my allies speak up, their voices can reach people who don’t want to listen to me, but who are willing to listen to someone more like themselves. And more than that, when my allies speak out, they make it clear that my issues matter to them, that I matter to them. I want to pass that on.

Heather Booth / Alicia Garza

Organizers

Organizing for Equality

Alicia Garza

After her impassioned plea that black lives matter ignited the internet, Alicia Garza helped lead the movement that has transformed the modern struggle for civil rights.
Rising Voices Fellow Maya Frank's Aunt, Susan Penn

Rising Above

Maya Franks

Susan Penn is my Dad’s sister and my aunt, and she is very close to me and valued in my life. Driven by a desire to enhance the lives around her, Susan doesn't believe in any kind of discrimination or intolerance. I’m overjoyed that I get to have someone in my life who is such a strong role model, mentor, and friend. 

Jill Jacobs

Jill Jacobs, the executive director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, has pushed for Jews to take an active role in social justice, from supporting health care and environmental reform to condemning torture and human rights violations.
Waveland by Simone Zelitch

Book Review: Waveland

Etta King Heisler

It seems fitting that as I sit down to write this review, I am receiving Facebook updates from the #FordHall2015 group at my alma mater, Brandeis University. For nearly two weeks this group of Black students and allies occupied the administrative building on campus to demand that the university rededicate itself to racial justice and equality. 

Topics: Civil Rights

Barbara Brenner, 1951 - 2013

It had all the elements of a Barbara Brenner project: edgy humor, indignation, broad appeal, and an educational component that emphasized how profiteering was taking hold of the breast cancer advocacy movement.

Sarah Barasch-Hagans Preparing for Protest

One Year Since Ferguson: An Interview with Activist Sarah Barasch-Hagans

Tara Metal

Sarah Barasch-Hagans is a rabbinical student and activist who has been deeply involved in the fight for justice for Black Americans in Ferguson, Missouri. Her new venture, Fargesn Media, seeks to give a voice to the people of Ferguson and empower them to tell their own story. Sarah spoke to JWA about Jewish activism, her experiences in Ferguson since last August, and where we as a community should go from here.

Shirley Siegel

The only woman in the Yale Law School class of 1941, Shirley Adelson Siegel became a trailblazer as head of the New York State Attorney’s first Civil Rights Bureau in 1959.
Odetta Holmes

Odetta Holmes, Singing for the Voiceless

Eliana Melmed

Through her blues music, Holmes inspired people all over America to take a stand for black equality. She performed at numerous rallies, advocating for civil rights for all; in fact, her music is often called the “soundtrack of the Civil Rights movement.” 

Topics: Civil Rights, Music
Subscribe to Civil Rights

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox