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Labor

A Treasure Trove of Fiery Jewish Women Labor Activists

The directory of Jewish female labor activists is endless, from the better-known to the nearly invisible. [This] Labor Day, here is a list of Jewish female labor activists you never knew, or never knew were Jewish, or never knew said that, or never knew did that.

Alla Aberson

Alla Aberson is a Soviet Jew who grew up in a family that was critical of Communist Party rule. When she and her family were denied exit visas to emigrate, they became known as refuseniks.

Dispatches from the Jewish Solidarity Caucus

I assumed the labor movement had largely died, the efforts of Emma Goldman and Pauline Newman a relic of a different time. For these women, their identities as Jewish women were interwoven with their identities as radicals and reformers.

Barbara Penzner

Rabbi Barbara Penzner has been a moral force for her congregation, leading it in multiple actions to uphold human rights around the world and in the local community.

The Five Jewish Disruptive Patriots You Should Know

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.

Jenny Hirsch

Jenny Hirsch devoted years to a society for women’s employment, but when the organization ironically refused to pay her, she reinvented herself as a mystery writer.

Janet Jagan

As president of Guyana for two years, Janet Rosenberg Jagan was the first American-born woman to serve as president of any country. Jagan was a student at the Cook County Nursing School in Chicago when she met Cheddi Jagan, a dentistry student.

Writing a Revolutionary

Authors are often asked about the inspiration behind their books. Usually, that question is a tricky one to answer. But in the case of my historical novel for young adults, Audacity, it’s easy. The life of labor activist Clara Lemlich was all the inspiration I needed.

Women Who Fight for Us

In the late forties and early fifties, a time when many refused to listen to female voices, Polier made her voice heard. She was published in various legal journals and other opinion pieces, and never filtered her views so that others could digest them more easily. She didn’t mince words or walk on eggshells to sound more feminine. Her writing was unadulterated social criticism. 

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Labor." (Viewed on December 18, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/labor>.

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