Voting Rights

Content type

Anita Pollitzer

As a party organizer for the National Woman’s Party, Anita Pollitzer travelled across the country to earn crucial support for ratifying the Nineteenth Amendment granting American women the vote. Pollitzer was also a patron of the arts and a close friend of Georgia O’Keeffe: it was Pollitzer who showed O’Keeffe’s work to Alfred Stieglitz, jump-starting her career.

Politics in the Yishuv and Israel

Institutionalized politics and a variety of factors—the politicization of women’s issues, the Israeli-Arab conflict, the impact of religion on the political arena, and the socio-economic structure—have resulted in both exclusion and inclusion of women in Israeli politics.

Rosa Manus

Rosa Manus was a Dutch leader in international women’s movements for suffrage and equality, as well as a vocal pacifist before and during World War II. As a Jew, she at times clashed with other feminist leaders.

Clara Lipman

Clara Lipman based her long and successful career as an actress and playwright on her ingénue performances and her gift for light comedy. She wrote or co-wrote twenty-two plays, such as the 1912 hit Elevating a Husband, and was also active in the women’s suffrage movement.

Anna Kuliscioff

Born in Russia but educated in Switzerland, Anna Kuliscioff became one of the key figures in Italy’s early socialist movement and was a feminist advocate who concentrated on poor women’s issues. In her later life, she helped publish a socialist periodical and hosted a prominent salon, often with her partner Filippo Turati.

Matilda Steinam Kubie

Matilda Steinam Kubie directed her energies toward the support and growth of charitable institutions that sought to better the lives of those in the Jewish community. She helped many organizations extend their reach through her leadership and her savvy use of advertising.

Anna Moscowitz Kross

Anna Moscowitz Kross helped reform the New York prison system by curbing abuses and offering felons chances to train in new skills. As the city’s third female court judge, she created and ran a Home Term Court that handled family law. She also served as the elected commissioner of corrections for the city and was on the board of Hadassah.

Jewish League for Woman Suffrage

The Jewish League for Woman Suffrage (JLWS) was the only Jewish women’s organization in England—and the world—devoted exclusively to obtaining both national and Jewish suffrage for women.

The Jewish Woman

The Jewish Woman quarterly magazine was launched by the National Council of Jewish Women in 1921 to provide information about the Council’s activities and promote the voices of Jewish women.

Aletta Henriette Jacobs

A pioneer in many realms—birth control, women’s suffrage, peace activism, and envisioning a wider future for women—Aletta Henriette Jacobs began her career as the Netherland’s first women physician in 1879. She went on to participate in many women’s rights conferences and was a staunch anti-war activist, traveling to the Hague and the United States to advocate her position.

Esther Herrman

Esther Mendels Herrman’s generosity and activism helped create many vital Jewish and secular institutions, from Barnard College (where she is considered a “founder”) to the 92nd Street Y

Habsburg Monarchy: Nineteenth to Twentieth Centuries

Jewish women in the Habsburg Monarchy experienced the stresses and strains of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Jewish life as Jews, as women of their particular social classes, and as inhabitants of the different regions of the Monarchy. In some regions, they modernized and acculturated, but the overwhelming majority remained deeply pious, traditional Jews.

Romana Goodman

Romana Goodman (1885-1955) was a staunch feminist and passionate Zionist who helped establish the influential Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) in 1918. During her career, she was also a founding member of the Jewish Women’s League for Cultural Work in Palestine, helped lead several Zionist conferences, and assisted in the creation of the first B’nai B’rith women’s lodge in England in 1919.

Pauline Goldmark

Pauline Goldmark was a social worker and activist, part of a group of women seeking the vote and reforms of the urban and industrial excesses of the early twentieth century. A pioneer in methods of social research central to reform efforts, Goldmark was indispensable to labor rights initiatives.

Susan Brandeis Gilbert

The daughter of Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Susan Brandeis Gilbert became one of the first women attorneys to argue a case before the Supreme Court.

Ida Weis Friend

Ida Weis Friend worked to improve the lives of those in her Southern Jewish community on many levels. Her leadership in Jewish organizations, such as Hadassah and the National Council of Jewish Women, and her political activism, such as her time as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention and Commission on Interracial Cooperation, earned her many honors and accolades.

Henrietta Franklin

Henrietta Franklin (née Montagu) was a leading British educationist and suffragist and a supporter the Liberal Judaism movement, pioneered by her sister Lily Montagu.

Feminism in the United States

Jewish women participated in and propelled all aspects of the women's rights movement, from suffrage in the nineteenth century to women's liberation in the twentieth. Despite occasional instances of antisemitism in the general feminist movement, Jewish women were passionate advocates of feminist goals.

Feminism in Contemporary Israel

The first Israeli radical women’s movement was established in 1972. The 1973 Yom Kippur War then created an awareness of the meaning of the gendered role division between men and women, and soon after the war, a choir of voices, organizations, and movements began to fight for feminist causes. In the twenty-first century, the feminist landscape expanded, but the feminist field remained highly divided.

Mary Fels

Mary Fels used her wealth and her talents to further the Zionist cause, arguing passionately for a Jewish state and helping create both settlements and industry in Israel. Both Fels and her husband, a successful soap manufacturer, felt their wealth gave them a responsibility to reform capitalism and use their money for philanthropy.

Hannah Bachman Einstein

Hannah Bachman Einstein’s activism and volunteer activities bridged very different worlds, from temple sisterhood leadership to lobbying and helping draft legislation for children’s welfare. She helped draft what became the Child Welfare Law of 1915, was the first female board member of the United Hebrew Charities, and served as president of the New York State Association of Child Welfare Boards.

Die Deborah

Die Deborah was an influential American Jewish newspaper published in German from 1855 until 1902 specifically aimed at German-Jewish middle-class women. The paper’s writers and editors viewed women in high esteem as keepers of moral and spiritual values, and toward the turn of the century they came to support the values of the American feminist movement.

Frances Allen De Ford

A pioneering physician in the industrial Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, Frances Allen de Ford's work led to a decrease in malarial infection. She also supported women's rights, including the right to vote, and was influential in her daughter Miriam's work as a suffragist.

Felice Cohn

Felice Cohn was one of Nevada’s first women lawyers in the early twentieth century, an author of suffragist legislation in Nevada, and one of the first women allowed to argue before the United States Supreme Court.

Civil Rights Movement in the United States

As part of the Black-Jewish civil rights alliance and rooted in twentieth-century political, cultural and gender dynamics, Jewish women’s activism took many forms. Jewish women contributed as professionals, through Jewish and women’s organizations, and as foot soldiers in the movement’s nonviolent direct action organizations such as CORE (the Congress of Racial Equality) and SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee).


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