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Haganah

Although there has been much academic interest in assorted aspects of the history of the Haganah, the subject of women in that organization has not yet merited an in-depth study, despite the considerable contribution of women in the Haganah during the struggle to establish the State of Israel. The present article is based on interviews conducted with some thirty women from various sectors of the population, who were active in the Haganah. The overall treatment of the various orientations among the women stems, among other things, from the information that emerged from these interviews.

Elsa Zylberstein

Appearing in more than three films a year, Zylberstein is certainly one of the most sought-after young French actors. Throughout, Elsa Zylberstein has also enjoyed a successful career in the theater, appearing in plays by Pirandello and Anouilh as well as in adaptations of successful American playwrights.

Women's League of Conservative Judaism

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism is the national organization of Conservative sisterhoods established by Mathilde Schechter in 1918 as the National Women’s League of the United Synagogue. Schechter continued the work begun by her husband, Solomon Schechter, who had called for women to assume a role in the newly established United Synagogue of America. As founding president (1918–1919), she envisioned an organization that would be the coordinating body of Conservative synagogue sisterhoods and inspired Women’s League to promote an agenda whose mission was the perpetuation of traditional Judaism in America through the home, synagogue, and community.

Women's American ORT

American ORT was founded as a males-only organization in 1922. Women’s American ORT (WAO) was founded October 12, 1927, to assist ORT in providing financial support to the ORT program serving Eastern European Jews.

Vera Weizmann

A Zionist and a physician, Vera Weizmann was also Israel's first "First Lady."

Turkey: Ottoman and Post Ottoman

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, far-reaching changes took place in the Ottoman Empire in the political, social and geopolitical spheres.

Nettie Sutro-Katzenstein

Dr. Nettie Sutro was “mother” to nearly ten thousand Jewish refugee children in Switzerland during the years 1933–1948. To help these children, she founded and headed the Schweizer Hilfswerk fur Emigrantenkinder (SHEK), a non-denominational Swiss women’s organization that cared for refugee children, both Jewish and non-Jewish, in Paris and in Switzerland.

Elsie K. Sulzberger

Elsie K. (Elsepet Kohet) Sulzberger had an important public career through her leadership in the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) and in the early twentieth-century birth control movement.

Rachel Hays Sulzberger

Rachel Hays Sulzberger maintained an active volunteer career in public service, in both Jewish and secular organizations. She is best remembered, however, as the second president of the New York section of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), from 1894 to 1900.

Iphigene Ochs Sulzberger

Iphigene Ochs Sulzberger was the daughter, wife, mother, or grandmother of four publishers of the New York Times and herself served as a trustee of the paper. She also helped strengthen the schools and parks of New York.

Hilda Weil Stroock

Hilda Weil Stroock was a sponsor of the first Women’s Conference on Jewish Affairs held in 1938 at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. This pioneering event reflected her lifelong interest in the welfare of women and children and the condition of the Jewish community.

Rahel Straus

Rahel Goitein Straus, one of the pioneering women medical doctors trained in Germany, can serve as a model precursor to the “New Jewish Women” of the twentieth century. Successfully combining a career as a physician with marriage and motherhood, she adhered to traditional Jewish values, while also embracing feminist and Zionist ideals.

Celia Strakosch

Before her death at age eighty-three, Celia Strakosch could look back on a lifetime of social work, which led her from an affluent California town to the older (and poorer) traditionally Jewish neighborhoods in the Bronx and the Lower East Side of New York City.

Constance Amberg Sporborg

Constance Amberg Sporborg was a career clubwoman who dedicated her life to the advancement of women’s rights, immigrant settlement, international organizations, and world peace.

Edith I. Spivack

A leading member of the Law Department of the City of New York for seventy years, Edith Spivack served as a pioneer female lawyer and a role model for generations of women.

Sophia Moses Robison

Sophia Moses Robison was the first to document the class, racial, and moral judgments that determined who would be labeled a “juvenile delinquent” and how variations in description distorted data accumulated on delinquency.

Esther Leah Medalie Ritz

A civic leader par excellence, Esther Leah Ritz directed and supported numerous local, national and international organizations and causes, ranging from the Milwaukee Jewish Federation to the Democratic Party to Middle East peace efforts, and including hundreds of programs to protect the rights of the disenfranchised.

Dorothy Reitman

A distinguished community volunteer at the local, national, and international levels, Reitman is a life-long resident of Montreal.

Bertha Floersheim Rauh

Dedicating her life to ameliorating the condition of the poor, the oppressed, and the sick, Bertha Floersheim Rauh first worked for over twenty years as a volunteer and for twelve years as Director of the Department of Public Welfare of the City of Pittsburgh. She brought about many reforms in the public services sphere throughout her career and was highly regarded by her colleagues and the communities she served.

Bracha Ramot

Bracha Ramot, a specialist in internal medicine and hematology made major contributions to the development of hematology in Israel and to research on the genetic differences of Jewish ethnic communities in Israel.

Rosalind Preston

In 1988 Preston became the President of the National Council of Women and in 1991 she was elected Vice-President of the Board of Deputies. Her broad interests are reflected in her other voluntary sector involvements, including her position since 2000 as co-chair of the Inter Faith Network UK, an organization set up in 1987 to enable all major faith communities to come together to discuss issues of common concern, and her position since 1999 as Chair of Nightingale House, a residential care home for elderly Jewish men and women.

Virginia Morris Pollak

During World War II, sculptor Virginia Morris Pollak discovered that her training in casting methods and her family’s tradition of community service dovetailed perfectly. Working with plastic surgeons at Halloran Hospital on Staten Island, Pollak not only developed a superior modeling material for reconstructive surgery but also modeled plates for skull replacements from the notoriously difficult metal tantalum.

Nora Platiel

The Russian revolution of 1917 had made a convinced socialist of Nora Block and she soon realized that studying law would provide a better context for her ideas of the ideal society. Nora Block was interned with many other emigrants in the Vélodrome D’Hiver in Paris, under terrible conditions. Despite all the attempts to prevent both contact with the outside world and communication among the interned women in the camp, Nora Block managed to establish an office to help women who were unable to help themselves by translating letters and documents for them. She was appointed the first woman director of a German district court in 1951. In 1954 she ran for the Hessian State Parliament and was elected for three successive terms and served for six years as a deputy party whip.She was also a member of the Hessian Supreme Court, the committee for electing the judges and numerous other committees.

Blanche Cohen Nirenstein

A descendant of a family active in Jewish communal life, Blanche Cohen Nirenstein further developed her legacy of leadership in a wide range of social science activities.

Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Israel, 1948-2000

Women’s organizations have been at the forefront of the struggle for women’s equality in Israel. In the early years of Israel’s statehood, they played an active role in providing women with essential services such as child-care and vocational training. In later years they concentrated on the struggle for gender equality, employing educational and political strategies.

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