We’re expanding our Encyclopedia of Jewish Women and we need your help! Know an extraordinary Jewish woman whose story should be told? Nominate her to be included!
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10 Things You Should Know About Belle Moskowitz

Born in Harlem in 1877, Belle Moskowitz (née Lindner) enjoyed a successful career as a reformer, settlement worker, and labor mediator before becoming a force in Democratic politics in the 1920s. A close advisor to New York governor and presidential candidate Alfred E. Smith, by the 1928 elections she was the most powerful woman in the Democratic Party.

Esther Hautzig, 1930 - 2009

She encouraged people of all ages, especially young people, to keep a journal and record their stories. She believed that all stories were unique to the individuals writing them and each life story important in its own way.

Frances Feldman, 1912 - 2008

Frances Feldman's life and work are a testimony to the highest standards of social work scholarship. They reflect compassion, systematic understanding, and relentless curiosity. A pioneering spirit, personally and intellectually, she changed the world she lived in and left indelible memories with all who knew her.

Beatrice Holtzman Schneiderman, 1904 - 1996

Her courage was more than physical: she had the courage of her convictions. Passionate about social justice, she did not stand on the sidelines. If a cause mattered to her, she dove in wholeheartedly, attending rallies, volunteering for Board service, arranging meetings, and organizing fundraisers.

Polly Spiegel Cowan, 1913 - 1976

The legacy that my mother left went beyond the immediate family. She was part of a great movement that profoundly changed American society. On a personal level, the legacy of her commitment inspired the succeeding generations of our own family. We, her children and grandchildren, remain committed to the beliefs of prophetic Judaism: to help the poor and the needy and to seek justice.

Lois Levin Roisman, 1938 - 2008

Lois' life was centered on the inherent goodness of humans and inherent humor of life. Everything she did was based on the principle that if you could make people laugh about the human condition, then you could make them do something to improve it.

Civil Rights and Social Justice Today

Consider what contemporary civil rights and social justice issues matter to us today, and how Jews and African Americans determine their priorities and responsibilities to effect social change.

Hannah Greenebaum Solomon

Hannah Greenebaum Solomon dared to go out into the world and establish the first national association of Jewish women. A superb organizer, Solomon emphasized unity, and orchestrated agreements among Jewish, gentile, and government groups on local, national, and international levels.

Justine Wise Polier

An outspoken activist and a "fighting judge," Justine Wise Polier was the first woman Justice in New York. For 38 years she used her position on the Family Court bench to fight for the rights of the poor and disempowered. She strove to implement juvenile justice law as treatment, not punishment, making her court the center of a community network that encompassed psychiatric services, economic aid, teachers, placement agencies, and families.

Rebecca Gratz

As the founder and secretary of Philadelphia's earliest women's philanthropic organizations, Rebecca Gratz helped define a new identity for American women. She devoted her adult life to providing relief for Philadelphia's underprivileged women and children and securing religious, moral and material sustenance for all of Philadelphia's Jews.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Volunteers." (Viewed on March 24, 2019) <https://jwa.org/topics/volunteers>.

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