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Community Organizing

Bela Szapiro

Before World War II, Lublin was one of the largest Jewish communities in Poland. Bela Szapiro’s activities contributed to making it the vibrant cultural and political center of Polish Jewry that it was.

Suburbanization in the United States

Few Jews participated in the first wave of suburbanization during the final decades of the nineteenth century. Today, suburbs are the popular residential choice of most Americans. Despite their increasing diversity, they still lack the population density, poverty, and public culture of urban centers.

Rahel Straus

Rahel Goitein Straus, one of the pioneering women medical doctors trained in Germany, can serve as a model precursor to the “New Jewish Women” of the twentieth century. Successfully combining a career as a physician with marriage and motherhood, she adhered to traditional Jewish values, while also embracing feminist and Zionist ideals.

Dorothy Straus

Over the course of her life, Dorothy Straus was active as a lawyer, college lecturer, Democrat, member of the League of Women Voters, and member of several municipal and state government committees. In her writings, public statements, and activities, she demonstrated a commitment to efficient, socially active government policies, especially regarding the protection and advancement of women.

Mollie Steimer

Mollie Steimer, a leading anarchist and advocate for the rights of political prisoners, was a codefendant in one of the most publicized antiradical trials in American history.

Hannah Marks Solomons

Hannah Marks Solomons was an influential San Francisco educator and civic worker, as well as the wife of a leading member of the Jewish community.

Lillian Rock

Lillian Rock had great energy, enthusiasm, creativity, and willingness to give money and time to the causes that concerned her: equality for women, advancement of the poor, and Jewish organizations.

Roza Robota

A member of the Jewish underground in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, Roza Robota was one of the organizers of an operation to smuggle explosives for use by members of the Sonderkommando (Jewish forced-labor unit of concentration camp prisoners) in the October 7, 1944 revolt at the camp.

Hortense Powdermaker

Hortense Powdermaker explored the balance of involvement and detachment necessary for participant-observer fieldwork in cultural anthropology, stressing the ability to “step in and out of society.” Her secular Jewish identity was apparently a factor in learning this skill, exemplified in an academic career that included thirty years of college teaching and the writing of five major books based on widely diverse fieldwork studies.

Madeleine May Kunin

The specifics of Madeleine May Kunin’s life, as she herself states in her autobiography, Living a Political Life (1994), hardly suggest a typical governor of Vermont: “As a feminist, an immigrant, and a Jew, I was perhaps too different from the average Vermont voter, yet it was this identity that inspired me to enter public life and shaped my values.”


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Community Organizing." (Viewed on March 19, 2018) <>.


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