Law

Content type
Collection

Frances Raday

The career of Frances Raday as a leading human rights and feminist academic and also as an influential human rights advocate and litigator has evolved on no less than three different continents: starting in England, passing through Africa and finally settling in Israel.

Erna Proskauer

At the age of sixty-five, Erna Proskauer took over her former husband’s general law office after his death in 1968. In this office she once again went into joint practice, working until the age of eighty-four.

Ayala Procaccia

From 1983 to 1984, Ayala Procaccia was the legal adviser to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Israel and in 1987 was appointed to the judiciary. After serving as a judge in the Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court until 1993 and in the Jerusalem District Court from 1993 to 2001, she was elected to the Supreme Court.

Deborah T. Poritz

With the exception of Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Deborah T. Poritz is the most visible woman in New Jersey politics. She was the first woman to serve as the state’s attorney general, and on July 10, 1996, she was sworn in as the first woman chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. She was nominated by Governor Whitman on June 13, 1996, and is the first Republican chief justice to serve in twenty-five years.

Nora Platiel

The Russian revolution of 1917 had made a convinced socialist of Nora Block and she soon realized that studying law would provide a better context for her ideas of the ideal society. Nora Block was interned with many other emigrants in the Vélodrome D’Hiver in Paris, under terrible conditions. Despite all the attempts to prevent both contact with the outside world and communication among the interned women in the camp, Nora Block managed to establish an office to help women who were unable to help themselves by translating letters and documents for them. She was appointed the first woman director of a German district court in 1951. In 1954 she ran for the Hessian State Parliament and was elected for three successive terms and served for six years as a deputy party whip.She was also a member of the Hessian Supreme Court, the committee for electing the judges and numerous other committees.

Harriet Fleischl Pilpel

Harriet Fleischl Pilpel was a prominent participant and strategist in women’s rights, birth control, and reproductive freedom litigation for over half a century.

Alice S. Petluck

Alice S. Petluck was one of the earliest women legal pioneers. An immigrant from Russia, she became one of the first women in the United States to attend law school and to practice in New York. She was a prominent New York social reformer, who, through her example, was able to open the door for generations of future female lawyers.

Vera Paktor

Vera Paktor, who contributed to United States maritime policy as a journalist, lawyer, and administrator, could well be called the “first lady” of the seaways; certainly, at many points in her career, she was the “first woman.”

New Zealand: Modern (Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries)

Jews in New Zealand have always been a tiny minority, and while their actual numbers grew in the last years of the nineteenth century, particularly through migration from South Africa and the countries of the former Soviet bloc, their percentage in the total population steadily shrinks.

Shoshana Netanyahu

From 1969 until 1974, Shoshana Netanyahu served as a judge on the Magistrates Court in Haifa and from 1974 to 1981 as a District Court judge in the city. In 1981 she was promoted to the Supreme Court, from which she retired in 1993.

Miriam Naor

Widely esteemed for her expertise in criminal law, Justice Miriam Naor was born in Jerusalem on October 26, 1947.

Margarete Muehsam-Edelheim

Margarete Meseritz’s thesis, on a criminal law topic related to press law, was supervised by Professor Dr. Allfeld. She received her diploma in February, 1914. The choice of the topic was itself an indication of her professional propensity, a marked inclination towards journalism.

Rebecca Pearl Lovenstein

In few states did the struggle for women’s right to practice law on original jurisdiction take longer than in Virginia. The effort lasted from 1890 until June 1920 and required a change in the state bar admission statutes. Rebecca Lovenstein, who had campaigned for the statutory change, was the first woman admitted to practice in the state. She took the oath in Richmond on June 28, 1920. Rebecca Pearl Greenberg Lovenstein was the third Jewish woman to open a state bar for women.

Frieda Lorber

Frieda Levin Lorber was born in New York City on May 7, 1899, to Sigmund Levin, a real estate developer, and Clara (Bergman) Levin. In her early years, Frieda was extremely interested in classical music. She studied voice at the Institute of Music and Art and sang with the chorus of the Metropolitan Opera. On December 7, 1924, she married Albert Lorber. The Lorbers, who divorced in the early 1940s, had one child, Mortimer, who became a doctor.

Ruth Lewinson

Ruth Lewinson, one of the earliest female Jewish lawyers in the United States, was born to Benno and Fanny (Berliner) Lewinson in New York City on July 1, 1895. She received her B.A. degree, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, from Hunter College in 1916, and a law degree from New York University in 1919. She then taught English to immigrants and gave lectures on practical law. In 1920, she was admitted to the New York bar and became a senior member of the firm established by her father. She worked with him until 1953, when she started her own private practice.

Melba Levin-Rubin

Melba Levin-Rubin, an accomplished lawyer, was born to Max and Kunia Levin on December 5, 1906, in Slonim, Russia. When her family arrived in the United States in 1914, they settled in Detroit, where she grew up and attended school. She received an LL.B. degree from the Detroit College of Law in 1925 and an LL.M. degree from the Detroit Law School in 1932. In 1933, she earned a B.S. from Wayne State University.

Law in the United States

The situation of the Jewish community in the United States is shaped fundamentally by the condition of political equality. This legal status is shared with all other citizens and is assumed as an essential baseline. Where there are violations of that status—when an individual otherwise of full legal capacity is treated as a member of a subordinated racial or religious group, and when group membership defines rights and duties—we discuss the problem under the heading “discrimination.”

Lawyers in Germany and Austria

Even more than medicine and other male-dominated professions, law was a notoriously difficult field for women to break into in Germany and Austria. Since women lawyers were admitted to German bar examinations only in 1922, they had very limited opportunities to establish themselves in legal careers before the Nazi era. Therefore, although a disproportionately high percentage of women law students in Germany and Austria were Jews, very few Jewish women actually practiced law. According to official census data, fifteen Jewish women made up forty percent of the women lawyers in Prussia in 1925 and thirty-two Jewish women comprised thirteen percent of all women lawyers in Germany in 1933.

Law in Israel

The socio-economic status of a profession determines the significance of women’s integration into the profession. The integration of women into professions is not always an indication of socio-economic flourishing. When a profession is undervalued and underpaid, the integration of women may represent exploitation rather than success. In contrast, the legal profession in Israel is sought after and elitist. Women have been prominent partners in the legal profession for some time and their successful integration reflects socio-economic success in a wider frame of social reference.

Ruth Lapidoth

Professor Ruth Lapidoth is a major expert in international law. As a young woman, she decided to specialize in this field, seeing it as a path towards dialogue and a means to solve the Arab-Israel conflict. She hoped that international law could prevent wars and promote peace. Lapidoth’s father, Dr. Oscar Asher Eschelbacher, was born and raised in Germany, where he studied dentistry. Her mother, Dr. Selma Sarah née Roer, was also a dentist. In 1925 their older daughter Chana was born, followed by Ruth five years later, in 1930. The family left Germany and immigrated to Palestine in 1938.

Anna Moscowitz Kross

Anna Moscowitz Kross—lawyer, judge, public official and advocate for women and the poor—was born in Neshves, Russia, on July 17, 1891. One of two surviving siblings out of nine, she was brought to New York City at age two by her immigrant parents, Maier and Esther (Drazen) Moscowitz.

Phyllis A. Kravitch

Appointed to the United States Court of Appeals by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, Phyllis A. Kravitch was the third woman to become a United States circuit judge. When her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, presented her with the James Wilson Award for service to the legal profession in 1992, Kravitch in her acceptance speech attributed her professional accomplishments to her father, attorney Aaron Kravitch.

Ida Klaus

Known by the press in the 1950s and 1960s as the woman “who thinks with a man’s brain,” Ida Klaus has distinguished herself in the area of labor law.

Carol Weiss King

Carol Weiss King was one of the outstanding practitioners of immigration law during the period bounded by the Palmer Raids and the McCarthy era. In her thirty-year career, she represented hundreds of foreign-born radicals threatened with deportation in administrative proceedings in the lower courts and in the Supreme Court.

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.

Subscribe to Law

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

Can We Talk?

listen now

Get JWA in your inbox