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Organizations and Institutions

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Elena Kagan

One of the rare Supreme Court Justices who had never served as a lower court judge, Elena Kagan has made her mark on the court as a liberal Justice with a gift for engaging dissents that avoided legal jargon.

Beate Sirota Gordon

Through diplomacy and ingenuity, twenty-two-year-old Beate Sirota Gordon wrote unprecedented rights for women into Japan’s post-war constitution.

Tosia Altman

Tosia Altman volunteered as a courier and weapons smuggler, risking her life through some of the worst conflicts of the Jewish uprising during the Holocaust.

Gussie Edelman Wyner

Blending a businesswoman’s craft with an activist’s passion, Gussie Edelman Wyner created life memberships for Hadassah and other nonprofit organizations as a way to raise funds and cement commitment.

Deborah Waxman

In 2014, Rabbi Deborah Waxman became the first woman (and first lesbian) to simultaneously lead both a seminary and a congregational organization as head of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities.

Jane Evans

Although she never became a rabbi, Jane Evans, Executive Director of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, became a powerful voice for women’s ordination within the Reform Movement.

Julie Schonfeld

In 2009, Rabbi Julie Schonfeld became the first female leader of an American rabbinical organization, serving as executive vice president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly.

Pearl Willen

Pearl Willen’s term as president of the National Council of Jewish Women from 1963–1967 capped a long career of community organizing from the local to the international level.

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.

Constance Amberg Sporborg

For Constance Amberg Sporborg, knowledge was power: she spent decades educating women about their choices, from immigrants at Ellis Island to voters at the ballot boxes.

Virginia Snitow

Ahead of her time in the fight for both civil rights and women’s rights, Virginia Snitow was unafraid to take unpopular stances when fighting for others.

Carrie Obendorfer Simon

Carrie Obendorfer Simon helped shape the Reform movement as founder of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, which quickly became the largest Jewish women’s organization in America.

Stosh Cotler

An unconventional CEO with tattoos, a black belt, and a reputation as a radical social activist, Stosh Cotler has mobilized Jewish Americans to fight for immigration reform, racial equality, and workers’ rights.

Rebecca Schweitzer

Rebecca Schweitzer’s generosity helped underwrite early, important projects throughout Palestine and inspired others to give what they could.

Bertha Singer Schoolman

Bertha Singer Schoolman believed so strongly in the importance of Youth Aliyah that she risked her life under fire to help bring convoys to and from kibbutzim.

Therese Loeb Schiff

Therese Loeb Schiff used her wealth to address a wide range of needs in the Jewish community, from organizing a literary series for the wealthy to stopping sex trafficking of young immigrant women.

Faye Libby Schenk

Fay Libby Schenk turned down a promising career as a zoologist to devote herself to Hadassah and other Zionist organizations.

Gertrude Rosenblatt

Gertrude Rosenblatt earned praise for the many ways she helped build the State of Israel, from her role as one of the first directors of Hadassah to her direct service for the needy in the land itself.

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.

Freda Resnikoff

Freda Resnikoff helped found the group that would become Mizrachi Women (later called AMIT) and set an example of leadership for generations of women in her family.

Bertha Floersheim Rauh

A social reformer ahead of her time, Bertha Floersheim Rauh initiated dozens of vital services and completely overhauled Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Welfare.

Fredrica Wechsler, 1929 - 2014

My mother was no shrinking violet. After a few weeks at home following the wedding, she got a job at the Gary Welfare Department, where she went on home visits and discovered Gary’s devastatingly impoverished African-American community. I am sure that this was a pivotal moment for her—and she never turned back.

Sophie Rabinoff

Sophie Rabinoff used the skills she honed as a doctor in Palestine to improve health care in some of the worst slums in New York.

Jane Prince

As president of the Women’s League for Palestine (later called the Women’s League for Israel), Jane Prince helped provide housing and education for young refugee women.

Tamar De Sola Pool

Lifelong Zionist Tamar de Sola Pool found a myriad of ways to serve during WWII, from running Hadassah to rescuing Jewish children.
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