Community Organizing

Content type

Juedischer Frauenbund (The League of Jewish Women)

Founded in 1904, The League of Jewish Women pursued secular German feminist goals while maintaining a strong sense of Jewish identity. The League supported vulnerable women through practical social reforms while fighting for political power within the German Jewish community. It saw employment opportunities as essential to women’s economic, psychological, and emotional independence.

JWRC: Eleanor Leff Jewish Women's Resource Center

The Eleanor Leff Jewish Women’s Resource Center (JWRC) of the National Council of Jewish Women, New York Section, maintains an extensive collection of materials by and about Jewish women and creates Jewish programming with a feminist focus. The JWRC was founded in 1976 to document and advance the modern Jewish women’s movement.

Senta Josephthal

Senta Josephthal was German-born Zionist activist who was particularly influential in the kibbutz movement. She trained and recruited young Germans to the movement and represented the kibbutz movement in national organizations and political arenas after emigrating to Palestine.

Jewish Feminism in Post-Holocaust Germany

Jewish feminism in Germany today is an expression of a wide-reaching renewal of Judaism occurring in many European countries since the early 1990s. German Jewish feminists built on the historical tradition of the Jewish women’s movement in pre-Holocaust Germany and has since taken many paths.

Jewish Feminism in the United States

Challenging all varieties of American Judaism, feminism has been a powerful force for popular Jewish religious revival. The accomplishments of Jewish feminists have transformed American Jewish life, even as the ultimate goal of gender equity and shared power has yet to be fully realized.

Israel Women's Network

The Israel Women’s Network (IWN) was founded in 1984 and is responsible for many of the feminist breakthroughs in Israel. Though the success of IWN led to an undesirable degree of politicization, it remains an active agent in Israeli feminism.

Irgun Zeva'i Le'ummi (I.Z.L.)

The Irgun Zeva’i Le’ummi was a Jewish underground armed organization formed in 1931 to fight British mandatory forces and Palestinian Arabs and their allies in the effort to form a Jewish state. Women were involved in all parts of the organization, from propaganda production and distribution to combat.

International Ladies Garment Workers Union

The International Ladies Garment Workers Union was founded in 1900 by eleven Jewish men who represented seven local East Coast unions with heavy Jewish immigrant populations. Initially excluded from the union, women began organizing and eventually developed bargaining power after the Uprising of the 20,000 in 1909.

Beba Idelson

Beba Idelson was an Israeli politician and dedicated Zionist activist. She served as a member of the Knesset for sixteen years and was instrumental in shaping the character of the State of Israel, especially as it pertained to women’s rights.

Adele Bluthenthal Heiman

Adele Bluthenthal Heiman spent her life in Arkansas, helping create and lead the state’s close-knit Jewish community. In her various leadership positions, she made strides in helping not only Jewish women, but the Jewish community as a whole.

Bela Ya’ari Hazan

On the outbreak of World War II, Bela Hazan escaped her hometown of Rozyszcze, Poland, for Vilna, where she worked as a smuggler for the Dror movement. She was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942 and sent to Auschwitz, where she served as a nurse, then to Ravensbruck, and finally to Leipzig, from which she was liberated. She immigrated to Israel, where she died in 2004.

Hasidic Women in the United States

Hasidic women belong to various sects of Judaism’s most religiously observant and traditional communities. Postwar Hasidism took root and thrived in many U.S. cities; while women remain dedicated to domestic responsibilities, with large family sizes and a high birth rate, many also work outside the home and/or are college-educated religious activists. .

Reina Hartmann

Reina Goldstein Hartmann focused her career on improving the lives of Jewish women in her native Chicago, serving as the leader of the Mothers Aid of the Chicago Lying-In Hospital and Dispensary as well as other organizations.

Marjorie Guthrie

First a dancer, then a teacher, Marjorie Guthrie founded the Woody Guthrie Children’s Fund and Archive in 1956 to preserve her husband’s works for future audiences. By the end of her life, she was a national activist for Huntington’s Disease and other genetic and neurological diseases.

Mary Belle Grossman

In 1918, Mary Belle Grossman became one of the first two women admitted to membership in the American Bar Association. After the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, she became one of Cleveland’s most successful political activists.

Rose Gruening

Rose Gruening created a number of social assistance organizations to aid immigrant families, offering practical help that included childcare, funding for college educations, and even a summer camp.

Rivka Guber

Through her work as a soldier, writer, teacher, and volunteer supporting immigrants, Rivka Guber exhibited selflessness for her neighbors and for the young State of Israel as a whole, earning her the title “Mother of the Sons” and the respect of the nation.

Elinor Guggenheimer

Elinor Guggenheimer first toured New York City day nurseries as a member of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies during the 1930s. Horrified by what she saw, Guggenheimer began a lifelong crusade for improved and standardized child care facilities across the country, in addition to her work promoting women in public office.

Florence Shloss Guggenheim

A lifelong philanthropist and cofounder of the Guggenheim Foundation, Florence Shloss Guggenheim supported arts and music, including free concerts in Central Park.

Greek Resistance During World War II

Sephardi and Romaniote women during the resistance movements in Greece and in Auschwitz Birkenau have been rarely mentioned in the literature on World War II, but they made varied contributions to the movement.

Haika Grosman

Politically active from a young age, Haika Grosman played a key role in the underground resistance to Nazi occupation and the Holocaust and put her safety on the line in the name of the movement.

Emma Leon Gottheil

As a translator, Emma Leon Gottheil helped spread the ideals of Zionism across America, but as founder of the Women’s League for Palestine, she turned those ideals into reality.

Elizabeth Glaser

Elizabeth Glaser’s fight to save her HIV-positive children led to her creation of the Pediatric AIDS Foundation to save children worldwide from the devastation of AIDS.

German Immigrant Period in the United States

Among nineteenth-century German Jewish immigrants to the United States, married women often made their own sources of incomes. However, high rates of poverty in large cities motivated women to create benevolent societies. As women participated more in the public sphere, the traditionally strict dichotomy between male and female roles changed in immigrant communities.

Jane Friedenwald

Jane Ahlborn Friedenwald used her position as a member of one of the most prominent Jewish families in Baltimore to support and promote vital Jewish causes and institutions. 


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