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Socialism

Chava Slucka-Kesten

As a writer 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; there are few such women’s voices.

Helene Simon

A groundbreaking pioneer in the theory and practice of social policy and social welfare in Germany, Helene Simon derived her philosophy and ideology from two seemingly disparate sources: her strictly Orthodox Jewish parental home and the leaders of the Fabian Society in London, especially Beatrice and Sidney Webb.

Mania Wilbushewitch Shochat

Mania Wilbushewitch ran away from home at the age of fifteen to become an industrial worker in the carpentry workshop of her brother Gedaliah (1865–1943) in Minsk. Before long she found herself coordinating a massive strike of the workers against her brother, in protest at the extremely long work day he had imposed upon them. This episode marked the beginning of what was to become her decades-long devotion to ameliorating the working conditions of industrial and agricultural laborers.

Toni Sender

Together with others, Toni Sender formed a women’s group which aimed to free married women of their economic dependency and from political and social discrimination. She was convinced that without the active participation of women there could be no profound social transformation.

Adeline Schulberg

Adeline Schulberg was a successful talent and literary agent. A committed socialist in her youth, she later became involved in child welfare, education, and other social issues.

Therese Schlesinger-Eckstein

Therese Schlesinger’s life was characterized by her desire for lifelong learning and her endeavors to alter the plight of working class women. She was a dedicated feminist who was inspired by the ideals of socialism, struggling to combine both of her political passions within the Social Democratic party.

Rosa Schapire

Rosa Schapire was one of the few women to pursue art history studies at a time when the discipline itself was still in its infancy. However, she was no mere dilettante and her foray into this male-dominated profession was indicative of her allegiance to feminist aspirations to equal opportunity and adult suffrage.

Margherita Sarfatti

Margherita Sarfatti was born in Venice on April 8, 1880, into the wealthy and cultured Jewish Grassini family. Sarfatti was educated by private tutors, among them Antonio Fradeletto (1858–1930), the founding director of the Venice Biennale. During her childhood, she began to be interested in art and poetry, influenced by Fradeletto, who introduced her to the theories of John Ruskin.

Orna Porat

Though Porat created an impression of a tough, unyielding woman, she was easy to work with, neither recalcitrant nor stubborn, never offended and heeding the comments of others. While she was a versatile actor, she mostly performed women of strong, obstinate, determined and tough character.

Poland: Interwar

Like every other historical analysis of interwar Polish Jewry, the story of Jewish women is a story interrupted tragically by the destruction of Polish Jewry in the Holocaust. Many of the trends discussed above had just begun to make their mark on the nature of that three million strong community. Nevertheless, they are still deserving of scholarly attention. Unless and until the missing fifty-two percent of Polish Jews are factored into the historical narrative, that story will remain incomplete.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Socialism." (Viewed on December 13, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/socialism>.

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