Labor Rights

Content type
Collection

Ida Klaus

Ida Klaus made great strides for labor rights as the architect of the first code of labor laws for New York City employees and as a consultant to presidents from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter.

Carol Weiss King

Carol Weiss King took up the family business of law but rejected her family’s upper-crust background to become a pioneer of labor rights.

Miriam Karpilove

Miriam Karpilove’s wildly popular Yiddish stories explored the tensions and frustrations Jewish women faced at the turn of the century—the desire for secular education, the hunger to participate in a wider culture, and the hardships of immigration.

Phyllis A. Kravitch

Phyllis A. Kravitch became the third woman circuit court judge in the US in 1979 and served her home state of Georgia for decades.

Lillian Herstein

Lillian Herstein came to labor activism by an unusual route for a woman of her time—not through factory work but through her career as a teacher.

Mary Belle Grossman

Mary Belle Grossman made history in 1918 as one of the first two women admitted to the American Bar Association, then dedicated her career to protecting women.

Selina Greenbaum

Seeing a need for young women to experience some freedom from the oppressive conditions of factory work, Selina Greenbaum created country resorts where women could take a much–needed vacation.

Pauline Goldmark

Pauline Goldmark’s talents as a researcher made her indispensable to labor rights initiatives, from investigating the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire to helping lead Columbia University’s School of Social Work.

Josephine Clara Goldmark

Josephine Goldmark laid the groundwork for transforming American labor laws by amassing data that forced lawmakers to confront the painful realities of factory work.

Ruth Gay

Through her writing, Ruth Glazer Gay captured an engaging view of the Jewish community, both past and present.

Helene Gans

A firm believer in the importance of government regulations in protecting citizens, Helene Gans advocated for minimum wage laws, consumer protection, and relief for victims of WWII.

Sophia Dubnow-Erlich

Sophia Dubnow-Erlich’s socialist views were reflected both in her acclaimed poetry and in her passionate activism.

Fannia M. Cohn

Fannia M. Cohn led one of the largest trade unions in the US, but clashed with male leadership for years over her belief in the importance of creating independent institutions to educate workers.

Dorothy Jacobs Bellanca

Dorothy Jacobs Bellanca made huge strides for worker’s rights as a union leader and through civil service.

Theresa Wolfson

Theresa Wolfson’s career led her down two parallel paths as a labor activist and as an educator of both college students and workers.

Sophie A. Udin

Sophie A. Udin fought for women's rights and equal pay, but she is best known for helping found the first libraries in Israel and creating important American archives about Zionism, helping preserve vital documents and make them accessible.

Clara Lemlich Shavelson

Clara Lemlich Shavelson pushed union leaders to recognize the importance of women in the labor movement and organized vital demonstrations for worker’s rights and cost-of-living issues.

Vivian Leburg Rothstein

Vivian Leburg Rothstein’s early experiences fighting for civil rights led her to a long career advocating for peace, women’s rights, and the labor movement.

Rose Schneiderman

The first woman elected to national office in a labor union and the only woman on FDR’s National Recovery Administration Labor Advisory Board, Rose Schneiderman transformed the lives of American workers.

Ethel Rosenberg

When Ethel Rosenberg was accused of treason alongside her husband and executed after one of the most controversial trials in American history, her guilt or innocence became secondary to what her treatment said about the position of Jews in America.

Pauline Newman

Pauline Newman made massive strides for workers’ rights, especially women workers, by building bridges between many different factions.

Golda Meir

A direct, no-nonsense politician who participated in Israel’s governance from its independence onward, Golda Meir served as Israel’s first female Prime Minister through the turbulent period of the Yom Kippur War.

Judith Malina

Judith Malina won acclaim as an actress, a director and a producer through the experimental Living Theatre she cofounded with her husband, Julian Beck, in 1948.

Sadie Loewith

Sadie Loewith was thirty years old before she was allowed to vote, but took on leadership roles in business and local government and fought to ensure other women could do the same.

Bessie Abramowitz Hillman

Bessie Abramowitz devoted her life to unions, organizing her first strike at fifteen, announcing her engagement on a picket line, and continuing her efforts for workers’ rights until her death.
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