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Politics and Government

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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

A well-known Social Democrat and Holocaust survivor committed to equal rights for women and sustained Jewish existence in Germany, Jeanette Wolff refused to compromise her socio-political beliefs. She was active in the SPD both before and after the war and served on the denazification committee in post-war Berlin .

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.

Turkey: Ottoman and Post Ottoman

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, far-reaching changes took place in the Ottoman Empire in the political, social and geopolitical spheres.

Shelamziyyon Alexandra

Shelamziyyon Alexandra, Hasmonean Queen (76–67 B.C.E.), wife and successor of King Alexander Yannai (Jannaeus) (c. 126–76 B.C.E.). Our knowledge of her is principally derived from the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, but she is also mentioned in rabbinic literature and in the Dead Sea scrolls.

Romania, Women and Jewish Education

The delay in opening schools for girls (both general and Jewish) illustrates one of the obvious ways in which the gender balance of power was slanted in favor of the male: women were restricted to the private sphere, excluded from the centers of power and achievement in Romanian society—the fields of finance, politics and the army—which required higher education. Such an approach was especially apparent in traditional, conservative societies such as Romania’s in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and until 1950.

Dalia Raz

Dalia Raz enlisted in the IDF in 1955, first serving in the Nahal (Fighting Pioneer Youth), where she was promoted to NCO before proceeding to officer training. In 1957, she was appointed head of personnel in the navy, becoming the only woman ever to serve in this position.

Deborah T. Poritz

Deborah T. Poritz was New Jersey’s first female attorney general and in July 1996, she was sworn in as the first woman chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. She served in that position until she reached the compulsory retirement age of seventy in 2006.

Politics in the Yishuv and Israel

Women’s status in Israeli political arena has been shaped by two major contradictory forces that operate simultaneously. On the one hand, women are defined as part of the collective and are recognized, treated, and organized as a social category, mainly on the basis of traditional roles as wives and mothers. On the other hand, the politics of identity has been restricted by marginalizing and denouncing social identity as a basis for political action, and thus excludes women.

Political Parties in the Yishuv and Israel

Women’s parties have played a major, though so far unacknowledged, role in the social and political history of Israel: they had a significant impact on women’s participation in power centers, political and others; they played a major part in the struggle for women’s right to vote and to be elected; they brought into focus the economic discrimination against women, who constitute half of the population in the labor market; they made feminist discourse about gender equality widely known and discussed.

Anita Pollitzer

Anita Pollitzer devoted her public life to feminist politics and artistic patronage.

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.

Shoshana Persitz

Shoshana Persitz developed a line of school books and the Zionist library, Ha-Noar (For Youth), which included monographs about Jewish cities, villages and kibbutzim in Palestine and on the Zionist history of the quest to establish a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. Throughout her years in the legislature she chaired the Knesset Education Committee and was instrumental in the passing of the State Education Law (1953), which replaced the schools, previously operated in accordance with various political ideologies, with one state general education system and one state-religious system.

Ana Pauker

Romanian Communist leader and Romania’s Foreign Minister from 1947 to 1952, the first woman in the modern world ever to hold so senior a ministerial postion.

Elinor Morgenthau

Elinor Morgenthau was an assimilationist German Jewish success story. Morgenthau achieved prominence by promoting the men around her and by camouflaging her Judaism. She was a product of her era and was adept at its political and social strategies.

Gill Marcus

Gill Marcus, who never married, was born in Johannesburg in 1949. Her grandparents were from Lithuania but her parents, Molly and Nathan, were born in South Africa. Both her parents were members of the South African Communist Party and from an early age Gill was made aware of the iniquities of apartheid; the Marcus home, open to people across the color line, was very different from that of the average white South African household.

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