Socialism

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Evelyne Serfaty

Evelyne Serfaty was one of the most active women in the Moroccan Community Party. Through her activities with the party, she militated for Moroccan independence from French and Spanish colonial rule. She was kidnapped and tortured for her brother’s political activities in the early 1970s under Morocco’s post-independence authoritarian state.

Esther Luria

Esther Luria was a freelance journalist whose work appeared in many politically left-of-center Yiddish publications in the early twentieth-century United States. A socialist, a feminist, and a political activist, she was also an educator. She used her columns not only to advocate for the ideas in which she believed, but also to provide her mainly east European immigrant readers with a better understanding of their new environment.

Irena Klepfisz

Irena Klepfisz is a poet whose legacy is key to the history of Jewish, American and lesbian literature. Klepfisz is also a pioneer of the recovery of Jewish and Yiddish women’s writing, to which she has dedicated translations, research, teaching, and activism.

Berta Gerchunoff

Berta Wainstein de Gerchunoff was an Argentine socialist, feminist, and later Zionist leader. As President of the Argentine branch of WIZO, she led an exponential growth of women’s Zionist commitments all over Latin America.

Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg and My Anticapitalist Politics

Ari Fogel

I believed that my anticapitalist views clashed with my other identities until I read the works of Rosa Luxemburg.

Topics: Activism, Socialism
Ask Emma February 2019 Crop

Ask Emma: Finding Love and Anti-Capitalist Reads

Emma G.

My friends have encouraged me to try online dating, but I tried it and went on a few dates and I keep on meeting people who just aren’t as fired up about political change as I am.

Death of Soviet spy Ursula Kuczynski (Ruth Werner)

July 7, 2000

"I fought against fascism.  Whatever else, I can hold my head up high because of that." - Ruth Werner, Soviet spy

Anna Palevsky Shomsky

Remembering the Triangle fire: The picnic that saved my grandmother's life

Emily Danies

My grandmother, Anna Palevsky Shomsky, was born in Kobrin, the great, great granddaughter of the Kobriner Rebbi. Her family was well educated, wealthy and religious.

Top 10 Jewish Women in Labor History

10 Things You Should Know About Pauline Newman

Leah Berkenwald

Born in Kovno, Lithuania, in 1890, Pauline Newman was barred from the local public school because she was Jewish. As a girl, her opportunities for a Jewish education were limited. Her father tutored well-to-do boys in Talmud; he eventually allowed her to attend Sunday classes, where she learned to read and write both Yiddish and Hebrew. The obstacles she faced in getting an education motivated her to fight for gender equality later in her life.

Top 10 Jewish Women in Labor History

10 Things You Should Know About Rose Schneiderman

Leah Berkenwald

Born in 1882 into a devout Jewish family in Saven, Poland, Rose Schneiderman was raised from an early age to believe she was capable of doing anything a man could do. Her parents enrolled her in a Jewish school at the age of four. Two years later, the family moved to the city of Chelm so that Rose could attend a Russian public school and receive an excellent secular education.

Sophie Gerson, 1910 - 2006

In her later years, Sophie was a tireless activist with the National Council of Senior Citizens, fighting for universal health care and defense of Social Security. A woman of charm and passion, she developed ties with a range of local activists, including nuns and other local Catholics.

Pauline Newman organizes influential New York rent strike

December 26, 1907

On December 26, 1907, months of organizing work by 16-year-old Pauline Newman culminated in the start of the largest rent strike New York City had

James Graham Phelps Stokes announces engagement to Rose Pastor

April 5, 1905

James Graham Phelps Stokes announced his engagement to Rose Pastor in a press conference on April 5, 1905.

Summer Camping in the United States

The Jewish summer camp movement shaped ethnic-American identity and Jewish childhood throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first century. A means to fight anti-Semitism by showcasing patriotism and developing the camper’s physical fitness, it was also a safe space to explore, question and craft religious traditions and rituals, novel ideas about girlhood, and the possibilities of womanhood.

Rose Pastor Stokes

Rose Pastor Stokes was called the “Cinderella of the sweatshops” when, as a young reporter, she met and married millionaire James Graham Phelps Stokes. Stokes became increasingly radical, adopting antiwar and pro-abortion stands, becoming a union organizer, and joining the Communist Party.

Socialism in the United States

Disproportionate numbers of Jewish immigrant women in America were associated with socialism in the first decades of the twentieth century. Their ideological commitment was expressed mainly in activism in left-leaning garment workers' unions. Their radicalism grew out of the same sources as male radicalism (changes experienced in late 19th century Europe and America, including proletarianization and secularization), but Jewish working women's radical consciousness and collective action emerged in the face of additional and different obstacles.

Rose Schneiderman

For nearly half a century, Rose Schneiderman worked tirelessly to improve wages, hours, and safety standards for American working women. She saw those things as “bread,” the very basic human rights to which working women were entitled. But she also worked for such “roses” as schools, recreational facilities, and professional networks for trade union women, because she believed that working women deserved much more than a grim subsistence.

Pauline Newman

Pauline Newman played an essential role in galvanizing the early twentieth-century tenant, labor, socialist, and working-class suffrage movements. The first woman ever appointed general organizer by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU), Newman continued to work for the ILGWU for more than seventy years—first as an organizer, then as a labor journalist, a health educator, and a liaison between the union and government officials.

Anna Braude Heller

A brilliant pediatrician used to working in difficult circumstances, Anna Braude Heller struggled to keep children’s hospitals open through both World War I and World War II, even as the Nazis occupied Poland and placed Jews in ghettos. Although she evaded deportation in 1943, she was killed shortly afterwards when German soldiers raided the Warsaw Ghetto.

Rose Wortis

Rose Wortis was an active union organizer and member of the Communist Party in the first half of the 20th century. She was an elected official of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, the Trade Union Unity League, and the New York District Communist Party.

Rosi Wolfstein-Fröhlich

Rosi Wolfstein’s life constituted a battle against war, racism, and social injustice. She worked with other socialist political figures such as Rosa Luxemburg, helped found the Independent Social Democratic Party, and was a representative for the German Communist Party. Despite having to flee to the United Stattes during World War II, Wolfstein returned to Germany and remained active in party and workplace politics until her death.

Anna Strunsky Walling

Anna Strunsky Walling was a Russian-born author, journalist, lecturer, and social activist. She produced several novels and memoirs and was involved in a number of political organizations, including the Socialist Labor Party and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which she and her husband helped found.

Roosje Vos

Roosje Vos was an organizer of the Dutch socialist movement and an editor of De Naaistersbode, the journal of the seamstresses’ trade union. She represented the interests of feminists and women in the movement, at times at odds with her fellow leaders.

Manya Gordon Strunsky

Manya Gordon Strunsky was a socialist activist and a respected writer on political and social issues. Strunsky was also instrumental in bringing Jewish immigrants from czarist Russia to America and helping them to become settled.

Chava Slucka-Kesten

Chava Slucka-Kesten started teaching in Warsaw before World War II and continued her career through the war in Moscow. After the war she became an author and sustained her political involvement. Writing from the perspective of a politically engaged woman, Slucka-Kesten offers a unique glimpse into pre- and post-war Jewish life in Poland’s cities and villages, as well as into the early years of the State of Israel.

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