Law

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Collection

Judith S. Kaye

Judith S. Kaye was the first woman to serve as chief judge of the state of New York and chief judge of the Court of Appeals of the state of New York.

Yehudit Karp

Yehudit Karp is widely acknowledged for her determined pursuit of truth and justice. Throughout her career as a lawyer, she has acted with grit in the Israeli and international spheres, to preserve moral standards and to ensure human rights in general and women’s, children’s, and victim’s rights in particular.

Régine Karlin-Orfinger

Régine Karlin’s resistance activities would alone have warranted esteem and recognition, but she did not desist from further work. Totally bilingual in French and Dutch and even polyglot, since she was also proficient in both English and Russian, she had a brilliant career as a lawyer, characterized by her militant and unwavering support of causes that she considered just.

Aline Kaplan

As executive director of Hadassah, Aline Kaplan credited the organization’s success to the commitment of its volunteers, whose numbers grew to a staggering 370,000 during her tenure. In addition to her impact at Hadassah, she was also a board member in several Zionist organizations and a delegate to the World Zionist Congress.

Rachel Kagan (Cohen)

One of two women to sign the Israeli Declaration of Independence, Rachel Kagan shaped women’s rights in the new state. She left a powerful legacy from her work in social welfare in addition to her time as a Knesset member.

Geneviève Janssen-Pevtschin

Geneviève Janssen-Pevtschin was an accomplished lawyer, magistrate, and human rights activist in Belgium. She was active in resistance movements during World War II and is remembered for her passion, respect for human liberty, and dignity.

Women’s Service in the Israel Defense Forces

The Israel Defense Forces is among the few armies in the world that conscript women into its ranks under a mandatory military draft law, although women make up only about 40% of conscript soldiers and 25% of the office corps. Women’s integration into the IDF has been shaped by the perception of the IDF as a people’s army, security needs, and social processes that contribute to or undermine gender equality.

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.

Anna Weiner Hochfelder

Anna Weiner Hochfelder used her legal expertise to help women’s groups serve their members more effectively. Unusual for the time, she continued her law career while her husband raised their children.

Frieda Barkin Hennock

In 1948, Frieda Barkin Hennock became the first woman appointed to serve on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) , where she became the champion of noncommercial educational television.

Hattie Leah Henenberg

Hattie Leah Henenberg was a pioneering female jurist in Texas. In 1925, she became a member of the first all-female state Supreme Court.

Rita Eleanor Hauser

Rita E. Hauser’s was a trailblazer for women in law, politics, and foreign affairs at a time when few women entered the legal profession or achieved top-level positions in business and politics. Her dual background in politics and international law led to her key role in persuading Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization to recognize Israel and renounce terrorism.

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.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a unique figure in the history of American law, and indeed, of the twentieth-century women’s rights movement. The founder of the American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Rights Project in 1972, she was confirmed for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in 1980 and became the first Jewish woman on the Supreme Court in 1993.

Rosa Ginossar

Rosa Ginossar’s determined lobbying of the British Authority in Palestine won women the right to practice law in Israel.

Susan Brandeis Gilbert

The daughter of Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Susan Brandeis Gilbert became one of the first women attorneys to argue a case before the Supreme Court.

Ruth Gavison

Ruth Gavison was an Israeli human rights expert and law professor. In addition to her academic work as a lecturer and researcher and her work in social organizations, Gavison has also been a member of various committees. Her work has been amply recognized and awarded.

Marta Friedländer-Garelik

Just the third Austrian woman to establish a legal practice, Marta Friedländer-Garelik’s law career was cut short by the 1938 Anschluss. She was able to escape Vienna through passage to Ireland, where she discovered her talent for handicrafts. After immigrating to Texas in 1941, Friedländer-Garelik started her own very successful knitwear factory.

Magdalen Flexner

A distinguished lawyer and foreign service officer, Magdalen Flexner succeeded in crossing gender barriers to assume professional positions traditionally reserved for men. Living in a time of social restriction and limited opportunity for women, she defined herself as an independent woman, unfazed by the mold society dictated.

Edith Fisch

With great courage and dogged determination, Edith Lond Fisch became a lawyer, legal writer, and law professor despite severe physical limitations, educational prejudices, and sexual discrimination. Edith Fisch wrote an important book on evidence which became regularly cited by judges and used in law schools throughout New York.

Blanche Goldman Etra

Blanche Goldman Etra opened doors to independence and education for other women by founding women’s divisions of medical schools and women’s seminars on financial planning. A woman of high intelligence and great energy, characterized by a strong sense of integrity and morality, Etra set out to use her considerable talents for the betterment of the Jewish and general communities.

Equality, Religion and Gender in Israel

Although the principles of equality for women under the Declaration of Independence and the Women’s Equal Rights Law were not endowed with constitutional force, and the 1992 Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty does not expressly include the principle of equality, these laws have been interpreted by the courts as securing the principle of gender equality as a basic principle of the legal system.

Dalia Dorner

Israeli Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner was known for citing non-legal sources in her decisions to illustrate the just society she aspired to live in. With landmark cases impacting gender equality, the right to education for all, and the right to live in dignity, Justice Dorner’s legal and social legacy is deeply rooted in human rights.

Divorce: The Halakhic Perspective

Many scholars claim that Jewish marriage is a matter of contract between two willing parties and as a result they, not the state, can decide to get divorced, in the same way that they decided to marry. However, more critically inclined scholars, and especially feminist scholars, take issue with those who complacently remark on the “progressive, and contractual” ease with which Jewish divorce takes place.

Rita Charmatz Davidson

Rita Charmatz Davidson’s career in the Maryland court system was a series of hard-earned firsts, leading to her 1979 appointment as the first woman on the Maryland Court of Appeals, the highest judicial body in the state.

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