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Labor

Lillian Herstein

The history of Jewish women in the American labor movement tends to focus on those whose careers unfolded in the needle trades. Such was not the case with Lillian Herstein, who was a teacher and a nationally known labor leader. Ethel Lillian Herstein, the youngest of six children, was born on April 12, 1886, in Chicago. Her parents, Wolf and Cipe Belle, emigrated from Vilkovishk, Lithuania, shortly after the U.S. Civil War, not only for economic reasons but because of Wolf’s admiration for Abraham Lincoln and his ideals.

Rose Wortis

Rose Wortis was an active union organizer and member of the Communist Party in the first half of the 20th century. She was an elected official of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, the Trade Union Unity League, and the New York District Communist Party.

Working Women's Education in the United States

This article discusses the many types of education Jewish working women received, focusing on the 1910s through the 1930s, the height of the workers’ education movement in the United States.

Helen Rosen Woodward

Helen Rosen Woodward is best known for her contribution to the world of advertising and is generally believed to be the first female account executive in the United States.

Theresa Wolfson

Theresa Wolfson, economist and educator, taught at Brooklyn College from 1929 until her retirement in 1967. A prolific writer, she published in the fields of labor economics and industrial relations. As early as 1916, Wolfson studied barriers to the advancement of women in the workplace and the unequal treatment of women within trade unions.

Pearl Willen

Pearl Willen was a social and human welfare activist and communal leader with a love for Jewish heritage. She had a lifelong record of service for such causes as civil rights, women’s rights, and the rights of workers.

Barbara Mayer Wertheimer

Barbara Mayer Wertheimer’s guiding passion in life was to empower workers, especially union women. She recognized the barriers that union women face from management and from male-dominated union structures. As a result, she built a remarkable environment of support, encouragement, learning, and skill training at Cornell University’s New York State School of Industrial-Labor Relations by establishing the Institute for Women and Work and trade union women’s studies programs.

Gertrude Weil

Gertrude Weil’s life is a rare example of southern Jewish social activism during the first half of the twentieth century. She was the first Jewish woman to lead a statewide secular women's movement in North Carolina, beginning her activist career in 1915 fighting for woman suffrage and continuing through to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Anna Strunsky Walling

Anna Strunsky Walling, author, lecturer, and socialist activist, was born in Russia on March 21, 1879.

Roosje Vos

Today Roosje Vos is known as a socialist organizer and it is generally assumed that her socialism represented a break from her Judaism. One could well argue, however, that her life followed a pattern similar to that of many radical Jewish women in many parts of the world. From this perspective, her socialist radicalism forms part of a secular Jewish tradition.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Labor." (Viewed on September 20, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/labor>.

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