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Community Organizing

Rose Pastor Stokes

In her autobiography as in her life, Stokes fused American values of self-improvement with immigrant and socialist ideals of community.

Spirituality in the United States

Spirituality can be defined as life lived in the presence of God. It embraces not only traditional and formal modes of religious expression, but also more informal individual and communal efforts to remain mindful of the sacred in all aspects of experience.

Flora Langerman Spiegelberg

A native of America, yet educated in Europe, Spiegelberg was a nineteenth-century settler of New Mexico and a twentieth-century progressive reformer in New York City.

Rosa Sonneschein

By founding and editing the American Jewess, Rosa Sonneschein not only provided support and space for the emerging national network of Jewish clubwomen and created a forum in which to publicize her then unconventional views on Zionism, but also pioneered a professional role in journalism for American Jewish women.

Socialism in the United States

Disproportionate numbers of Jewish immigrant women in America were associated with socialism in the first decades of the twentieth century. Their radicalism appears to have grown out of the same sources as male radicalism—the changes experienced by the Jewish community in late nineteenth-century Europe and America, including proletarianization and the secularization of Jewish religious values. But Jewish working women’s radical consciousness and their militant collective action in America emerged in the face of extraordinary obstacles.

Settlement Houses in the United States

Jewish women have played significant roles as benefactors, organizers, administrators, and participants in American settlement houses. Settlement houses, founded in the 1880s in impoverished urban neighborhoods, provided recreation, education, and medical and social service programs, primarily for immigrants.

Jennie Franklin Purvin

Jennie Franklin Purvin was one of a few Jewish women to become prominent in both civic and Jewish communal work in Progressive Era Chicago.

Rose Pesotta

Known primarily as one of the first female vice presidents of the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU), Pesotta saw her union organizing as an opportunity to fulfill the anarchist mandate “to be among the people and teach them our ideal in practice.”

Bertha Pappenheim

Bertha Pappenheim founded the Jewish feminist movement in 1904 and led it for twenty years, remaining on its board of directors until her death in 1936. She introduced German-Jewish women to beliefs and issues raised by feminism. She spoke openly of Jewish unwed mothers, illegitimate children and prostitutes, and she encouraged Jewish women to demand political, economic and social rights as well as commensurate responsibilities.

Pearl Bernstein Max

An administrator and civic activist, Pearl Bernstein Max was born in New York City on September 2, 1904, the daughter of a silk manufacturer, and grew up in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood at 116th Street and Seventh Avenue.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Community Organizing." (Viewed on December 13, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/community-organizing>.

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