Politics and Government

Content type
Collection

Gertrude Himmelfarb and the Politics of Morality

by  Alma Heckman

Historian Gertrude Himmelfarb celebrated her 88th birthday yesterday, August 8, while Congress took its first week of summer recess. In the months between now and November’s midterm elections, much will be made of liberal and conservative values, culture wars, and their derivate potential laws. We can safely anticipate advertisements of the basest ilk, making clear heroes and still clearer villains out of political adversaries.

Justice Elena Kagan Confirmed, Jewish Women Rock the Bench!

by  Leah Berkenwald

Mazel tov to Elena Kagan, newest Supreme Court Justice! 

Unit 3, Lesson 5 - Civil Rights and Social Justice Today

Consider what contemporary civil rights and social justice issues matter to us today, and how Jews and African Americans determine their priorities and responsibilities to effect social change.

Mazel Tov, Heather Booth!

by  Leah Berkenwald

Yesterday Heather Booth, Director of Americans for Financial Reform, wrote a piece in the Huffington Post called V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!!! lauding Congress for passing the most significant financial reform legislation since the Great Depression.

Outraged: Linda Lingle vetoes Civil Unions bill and compares gay marriage to incest

by  Leah Berkenwald

Earlier this week, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle vetoed the state's Civil Union bill designed to give all couples access to the economic and legal benefits of marriage. I suppose this is not too surprising, considering the fact that she is a Republican. Still, her explanation as to why she vetoed the bill makes me pretty upset.

Elena Kagan's chutzpah (and Jewishness) on display

by  Emily Kadar

Yesterday marked the final day of Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearings are regarded by some as a useful tool for gauging a nominee’s judicial philosophy and by others as a farcical display of senatorial bluster and skilled evasiveness.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz tells it like it is

by  Leah Berkenwald

Last week, victories by several women in primaries led the media machine to suggest that 2010 is the "Year of the Women." NPR's Ken Rudin describes the phrase as "a hackneyed phrase that gets regurgitated at convenient times, and by now it often results in a rolling of the eyes" and reminds us that 1984 and 1992 were also dubbed "Year of the Women." In 1984, all 9 of the women candidates lost to male candidates.

If Elena Kagan were a man, would we be questioning her sexuality?

by  Leah Berkenwald

It’s common knowledge that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is Jewish, and except for some handwringing over the fact that her appointment would mean the Court would be made up entirely of Jews and Catholics, her Jewish identity is a non-issue. Unlike the debates over Justice Sotomayor’s ethnicity, no one is worried that Kagan’s status as a “wise Jewess” will color her judgment. Her sexual orientation, however, is another story.

The Supreme Court and the Single Gal

by  Deborah Kolben

This was originally posted at The Sisterhood

It’s hard not to get excited about the nomination of Elena Kagan to replace Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. If seated, she would bring the number of women on the Supreme Court to three, the number of Jewish women to two, and the total number of Jews on the bench to three. On paper, Kagan’s a great choice. An Upper West Side girl who went to public school and then off to Princeton and Harvard Law School, where she became the first woman to be named the Dean of the Law School. And then she became the first woman to serve as Solicitor General of the United States.

Our first Jewish Congresswoman

by  Emily Kadar

Eighty-five years ago today, Florence Prag Kahn became the first Jewish woman elected to the United States Congress, and only the fifth woman to ever serve in that body.

Where was gender in the Brown/Coakley race?

by  Leah Berkenwald

The Jewish Women's Archive offices are located in Masachusetts, and as you might imagine, morale was pretty low in the office yesterday.  On Tuesday, we witnessed one of the greatest defeats for the Democratic party as Republican Scott Brown was elected to represent our traditionally "blue" state.  Gender was never really a part of Martha Coakley's campaign, nor the rhetoric surrounding the race in the weeks and months leading up to the election.

The Belle of the (political) party

by  Judith Rosenbaum
By Elisabeth Israels Perry

On June 16, 2009, the National Jewish Democratic Council, a political advocacy group based in Washington, DC, is awarding its first "Belle Moskowitz" award to Ann F. Lewis, Hillary Clinton's Communications Director during her recent presidential campaign. As one of Moskowitz's seven grandchildren, but more particularly as a historian who wrote her biography, I was thrilled to find this out.

Emma Goldman released from jail and then reimprisoned

September 27, 1919

Emma Goldman was released from a two-year prison term, on September 27, 1919, only to be immediately reimprisoned.

Rose Schneiderman named officer of NY State Labor Party

July 16, 1936

At a meeting in the Hotel New Yorker on July 16, 1936, Rose Schneiderman was elected vice chairman of the New York State Labor Party.

Passage of NY widows' pension bill advocated by Hannah Bachman Einstein

April 7, 1915

On April 7, 1915, New York's Governor Charles S. Whitman signed the Widowed Mothers Pension Act into law.

Caroline Klein Simon sworn in as NY Secretary of State

January 1, 1959

On January 1, 1959, following Governor Nelson Rockefeller's inaugural address, his government appointees were sworn into office in a modest ceremony in the executive chamber of the New York Sta

Belle Moskowitz

Belle Moskowitz’s career is unique in American politics. After two decades as a settlement worker, social and civic reformer, and labor mediator, in the early 1920s she became one of New York governor Alfred E. Smith’s closest advisers.

Nita M. Lowey

As cochair of the Bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey made women’s health issues a priority. In the fiscal year of 1995, when the National Institutes of Health received only a three percent increase in funding, Lowey secured a seventeen percent increase in funding for breast cancer research. As a member of the Committee on Homeland Security, she works to achieve safety from terrorism for all Americans. Also serving on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Lowey is a staunch supporter of the State of Israel.

Rosalind Wiener Wyman

Rosalind Wiener Wyman was, in her words, “born a Democrat.” She was the youngest person ever elected to the Los Angeles City Council and one of the youngest elected officials of a major United States city.

Frieda Wunderlich

Frieda Wunderlich, a prominent economist and politician in Germany, became the only woman faculty member of the New School for Social Research in New York when it was established in 1933 as a haven for academic refugees from Nazism. She achieved international recognition for her research and publications on labor and social policy, including women’s work.

Women Members of Knesset

A list of women who have served in the Knesset.

Jeanette Wolff

One of the best-known German Jewish women in post-war Germany, she was an activist in three fields: as a Social Democrat and labor unionist; as one committed to equal rights for women, and as a worker for the Jewish cause before and after World War II.

Louise Weiss

A brilliant French journalist and a lifelong champion of European union and women’s rights, Louise Weiss was an influential voice in French and international affairs from the 1920s until her death in 1983.

Simone Veil

Simone Veil is arguably the one person most responsible for advancing women’s legal rights in France during the twentieth century. As her country's first female Minister of Health, Veil fought against great opposition to have a woman's right to an abortion enshrined in French law. She went on to become the first woman—and the first Holocaust survivor—to be appointed president of the European Parliament.

Subscribe to Politics and Government

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

Can We Talk?

listen now

Get JWA in your inbox