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Reproductive Rights

Rose Pastor Stokes

In her autobiography as in her life, Stokes fused American values of self-improvement with immigrant and socialist ideals of community.

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem, who exemplifies the Second Wave of American Feminism, began her career as a journalist writing under a man's name. She went on to co-found Ms., the first feminist periodical with a national readership. An advocacy journalist, she writes passionately about issues of women's empowerment and gender, racial and economic equality.

Caroline Klein Simon

Attorney Caroline Klein Simon’s long career included state office and judicial posts and lifelong efforts in partisan and nonpartisan politics and Jewish philanthropy.

Rosika Schwimmer

Rosika Schwimmer was a leader in the international pacifist and feminist movements, a passionate and forceful advocate of pacifism in a time of war. Schwimmer’s career soared during the early twentieth century, but, by the 1920s, she was caught in the backlash of antifeminism and antisemitism that swept the United States.

National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods

In 1913, the women of Reform Judaism, who were organized in independent, local synagogue sisterhoods founded in the 1890s and 1900s, united to create a national organization of women dedicated to religion. Reform Jewish women joined the American women of the era who established a host of voluntary associations to further various social and communal agendas.

National Council of Jewish Women

When the National Council of Jewish Women was founded in 1893, it was the first national organization in history to unite Jewish women to promote the Jewish religion. That its commitment to preserve Jewish heritage in a quickly modernizing America would be fraught with contradictions was not readily apparent in the optimistic surroundings of the World Parliament of Religions, convened as part of the Chicago World Exposition.

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.

Elizabeth Holtzman

A member of the generation that came of age in the 1960s, Elizabeth Holtzman has pursued a public career epitomizing some of the most important trends in postwar American and Jewish life. In her successive roles as a congresswoman, Brooklyn district attorney, and comptroller of New York City, she emerged as an effective and activist public servant, a forceful campaigner, and a champion of liberal and feminist causes. Her career illustrates the recent empowerment of ambitious, highly motivated, professional young women and the increasing role of Jewish figures in electoral politics. In addition, she has been a dedicated Jew, with a highly regarded record of communal commitment and achievement.

Health Activism, American Feminist

American women have been the “perennial health care reformers.” According to Carol Weisman, professor of Health Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health: “Activism around women’s health has tended to occur in waves and to coincide with other social reform movements, including peaks in the women’s rights movements.” At all of those pivotal moments, Jewish women have played central roles.

Jane Harman

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Smith College in 1966, Jane Harman graduated from Harvard Law School in 1969 and became a member of the bar in the District of Columbia. She has two children, Brian Frank and Hilary Frank, from her nine-year first marriage to Richard Frank. She also has two younger children, Daniel Geier Harman and Justine Leigh Harman, with her husband Sidney Harman, an audio equipment manufacturer, whom she married in 1980.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Reproductive Rights." (Viewed on January 21, 2019) <https://jwa.org/topics/reproductive-rights>.

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