As the creator of some of the earliest courses in women’s studies and the chair of the conference that sparked what became National Women’s History Month, Gerda Lerner made contributions beyond measure to the field of women’s studies.
Madeline Kunin broke ground as the first woman governor of Vermont and the only woman to serve three terms as governor before making history again as ambassador to Switzerland, facilitating compensation from Swiss banks to Holocaust survivors.
Evelyn Fox Keller’s work in gender, biology, and the history of science led her to question the gendered metaphors and assumptions of biologists and sociologists, which often blinded them to basic scientific facts.
Paula Hyman’s work as a historian recovered the stories of Jewish women’s pasts, while her work as a member of Ezrat Nashim helped create new possibilities for their future by pushing the Conservative Movement to ordain women rabbis.
Rabbi Maralee Gordon helped found the Chutzpah Collective, a radical Jewish political collective that utilized the inclusion of women in religious rituals as a jumping-off point for making all Jews feel welcome in the Jewish community regardless of disability or sexual orientation.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg brought landmark cases for gender and racial equality before the Supreme Court, transforming the American legal landscape even before her historic appointment as the second-ever female Supreme Court justice.
Tamara Cohen’s work with the Jewish Women’s Archive and Ma’yan: the Jewish Women’s Project helped popularize lesser-known heroines of Jewish history and new feminist rituals such as making Miriam’s Cup part of the Passover Seder.
Using both field research and her own experiences posing as a pregnant woman, Joyce Antler not only helped repeal New York’s laws against abortion, but ensured that women had real access to medical services after the law was repealed.