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Social Policy

Reinventing Rituals: June, a month of Pride and same-sex marriages

June is full of irony: not only is June Pride month, but it is also the unofficial start to wedding season. So many are still fighting for equal marriage. As I write this, lawmakers in Albany are struggling to garner enough votes to make same-sex marriage legal in New York state (see resources to get involved at the end of this post).

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum stands up for gay marriage in the face of Jewish prejudice

Yesterday a scuffle broke out between a group of Rockland Hassidic men and Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. The incident occurred during a protest outside the New York state senate where a gay marriage bill is currently under debate.

Arizona's first Jewish Congresswoman with attitude

The lead story in the first edition of the New York Times yesterday began this way: “Unusual is a relative term in American political life, but Representative Gabrielle Giffords fits the bill: avid equestrian and motorcycle enthusiast, repository of arcane health care data, successful Democrat elected three times in a Republican Congressional district, French horn player and wife of an astronaut.” Only near the end of the article did the Times mention another unusual fact about Gabrielle Giffords: that she was the state’s first Jewish congresswoman.

Evelyn Dubrow, 1911 - 2006

The following remarks were delivered at Evelyn Dubrow's memorial service.

by Susan Scanlan

How Evy would have hated to miss this occasion!

Not because of these well earned tributes, but because of all the important arms she could be twisting on behalf of America’s workers.

I’m sure most of us can close our eyes and recall that joyous picture of President Clinton presenting Evy the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House in 1999.

Reality check: Wage gap for Jewish professionals worse than national average

Much to the dismay of a number of Jewish organizations, the Senate neglected to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act last month, effectively shelving it for the foreseeable future. The bill, which would have augmented current civil rights law to protect against sex-based pay discrimination, had received broad support from civil rights and women’s rights groups but faced opposition from business organizations, whose members said it would be both difficult and expensive to enforce.

Elsie Frank, 1912 - 2005

My mother Elsie Frank was 70 when she began her career as an advocate. She continued for the next 23 years, going on to become a leader and then President of the Massachusetts Association for Older Americans, and a familiar figure in progressive coalitions. I have her picture above my desk at home, standing before a crowd, mike in one hand, the other holding the hand of Ed Cooper, President of the National Caucus of Black Aged.

Isabelle Charlotte Weinstein Goldenson, 1921 - 2005

I am profoundly grateful to the Israel Cancer Research Fund for honoring my mother, Isabelle Charlotte Weinstein Goldenson, as a Woman of Action. She would have been beyond grateful because, quite frankly, she never received credit during her lifetime for all that she accomplished. She was constantly eclipsed by my father's visibility (although he never sought recognition himself). Theirs was a partnership of sixty years. He was a business visionary; she was an eleemosynary visionary. He convinced the motion picture industry to produce television.

Sylvia Siegel, 1918 - 2007

Legendary consumer activist Sylvia Siegel died peacefully in her sleep on August 18, 2007. Siegel, who was 89, was always reticent about revealing her age. In a profile for CBS's 60 Minutes in 1984, Harry Reasoner asked her how old she was, prompting a sharp response. "That's none of your damn business," Siegel snapped.

Clara Fox, 1917 - 2007

Clara Fox, a social visionary and a consummate professional, died on November 9, 2007, at the age of 90. She began her career as a director of programs for young people with mental illnesses. She then went on to become an expert in early childhood programs and was asked by the Lindsay Administration to organize the first Head Start Program for New York City. Her work in early childhood education led to an awareness of the housing problems that were prevalent in New York.

Community Organizing II: Wednesdays in Mississippi

Encounter a little known story of women collaborating across geographic, racial, and religious boundaries through documentary clips of Wednesdays in Mississippi activists.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Social Policy." (Viewed on February 22, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/social-policy>.

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