Law

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Shulamit Aloni

Shulamit Aloni, the first Israeli woman to successfully found a political party, brought her zeal for education and empowerment to her career in the Knesset, helping generations of Israelis learn—and fight for—their rights.

Elga Ruth Wasserman

Having experienced the sexism rampant in higher education herself, Elga Ruth Wasserman guided Yale through the difficult process of becoming a co-ed university.

Justine Wise Polier gives passionate speech on justice at Christ Church.

October 14, 1952
"I saw the vast chasms between our rhetoric of freedom, equality and charity, and what we were doing to, or not doing for poor people, especially children.” - Justine Wise Polier

Stephanie Pollack Named MA’s First Female Secretary of Transportation

January 13, 2015

"I saw the law as one tool that could be used to improve the world, what we Jews call tikkun olam." - Stephanie Pollack

Lani Guinier

Lani Guinier’s groundbreaking work in law and civil rights theory led to her becoming the first woman of color granted tenure at Harvard Law School.

Lillian Rock

Lillian Rock fought for the advancement of women both as a lawyer and as the founder of the League for a Woman President and Vice President.

Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush

Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush followed in the footsteps of her famous father, Louis Brandeis, by becoming a leader in labor legislation and helping lay the groundwork for the New Deal.

Sada Jacobson

Sada Jacobson won the bronze medal for sabre fencing at the 2004 Olympics (the first Olympics where women were allowed to compete in sabre), then did one better in 2008, bringing home both a silver and another bronze medal.

Ayala Procaccia

During her years on the bench as a judge and a Supreme Court Justice, Ayala Procaccia shaped Israeli law to support equality for all, regardless of gender or religious practice.

Deborah T. Poritz

As New Jersey’s first woman attorney general and first state Supreme Court chief justice, Deborah T. Poritz influenced every major public issue in the state for over a decade.

Harriet Fleischl Pilpel

As general counsel to both Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, Harriet Fleischl Pilpel helped shape the arguments for reproductive rights in the years leading up to Roe v. Wade.

Alice S. Petluck

Alice S. Petluck used her position as one of the first women lawyers to advocate for women and children.

Vera Paktor

In her too-short life, Vera Paktor reached unprecedented heights for a woman in maritime law, forging regulations for new developments in the shipping industry.

Margarete Muehsam-Edelheim

When Margarete Muehsam–Edelheim’s efforts to secure women’s rights to practice law in Germany failed, she turned her talents to journalism, editing periodicals ranging from the legal section of a Berlin newspaper to the Leo Baeck Institute’s newsletter.
2014 Fireworks

Top Ten Moments For Jewish Women In 2014

by  Judith Rosenbaum

I’ve already expressed my feelings on the whole “year of the Jewish woman” thing, but that’s not to say we shouldn’t celebrate the many great moments for Jewish women in 2014. Here, in no particular order, are a few of our favorites at JWA.

Rebecca Pearl Lovenstein

Rebecca Pearl Lovenstein became the first woman lawyer allowed to practice in Virginia in 1920 and went on to create a state bar association for women.

Frieda Lorber

Frieda Levin Lorber made a name for herself as a prominent lawyer and helped other women rise in the profession in New York and worldwide.

Ruth Lewinson

Ruth Lewinson, one of the first female Jewish lawyers in America, both worked in private practice and gave public lectures on practical law to help people better navigate the legal system.

Melba Levin-Rubin

Unusual in every respect for her time, Melba Levin–Rubin juggled a high–profile career as assistant attorney general of Michigan with raising four children.

Sonya Levien

Sonya Levien was one of the most prolific screenwriters of her day, crafting over seventy films ranging from the 1939 version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame to the screen adaptations of Oklahoma! and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

Birth of Beate Sirota Gordon, who wrote equality into the postwar Japanese constitution

October 25, 1923

"Colonel Kades said, 'Miss Sirota has her heart set on the women's rights clause, so why don't we pass it?'"

Birth of Harriet Fleischl Pilpel, pioneer for the right to privacy and free speech

December 2, 1911

Lawyer Harriet Fleischl Pilpel provides the historical link between birth control activist Margaret Sanger and feminist Betty Friedan.

Martine Rothblatt

CEO Martine Rothblatt’s fascination with interconnectivity led her to found both GeoStar and Sirius Radio, but it was her drive to save her daughter’s life that led her to create biotech company United Therapeutics Corporation.

Harriet Lowenstein

Harriet Lowenstein gave the Joint Distribution Committee its name and led many of the organization’s efforts to aid those trapped in Europe during both World Wars.

Anna Moscowitz Kross

Anna Moscowitz Kross helped reform the New York prison system by curbing abuses and offering felons chances to train in new skills.
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