Women's Rights

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Collection

Rita Arditti

Rita Arditti was an Argentinian Sephardic scientist, feminist, educator, and activist who spent most of her adult life working for social justice and human rights while living in the United States. She co-founded Science for the People, New Words Bookstore, and the Women’s Community Cancer Project. She co-edited anthologies on science and politics and reproductive technologies and wrote a book about the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo in Argentina.

Abby Joseph Cohen

A leading voice in the United States investment banking and finance industry, Abby Joseph Cohen worked in the Goldman Sachs investment research division for over three decades. She rose to prominence in the 1990s with her accurate predictions of a prolonged economic expanding and durable bull market and has remained one of the top names in the investment industry.

Susan Brownmiller

Susan Brownmiller is a radical feminist writer and journalist. She was a leader in the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s to 1980s (second-wave feminism). Brownmiller is bes-known for Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape (1975), the first comprehensive study of sexual violence.

Alix Kates Schulman

Alix Kates Shulman is a radical feminist writer and activist and a leader in the second-wave feminist movement of the 1960s through 1980s.  She is best known as the author of “The Marriage Agreement” (1970) and the best-selling Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen (1972), which was heralded as the “first important novel of the Women’s Liberation movement.” She was honored with a Clara Lemlich Award for a lifetime of social activism in 2018.

Esther Luria

Esther Luria was a freelance journalist whose work appeared in many politically left-of-center Yiddish publications in the early twentieth-century United States. A socialist, a feminist, and a political activist, she was also an educator. She used her columns not only to advocate for the ideas in which she believed, but also to provide her mainly east European immigrant readers with a better understanding of their new environment.

Agunot

Agunot are women who are unable to obtain a rabbinic divorce because their husbands or husbands’ male next of kin are unable to give one, leaving them chained in marital captivity. Although many efforts have been made to address these problems, for those most part agunot in halakhically observant communities continue to face deep-seated challenges.

Young Women Praying at the Wall

Create a Space for Women to Pray in Our Synagogues

Rena Kosowsky

As a Modern Orthodox Jew, prayer spaces for women (or lack thereof) in synagogues I've attended have made me feel like an outsider in my own religious space.

Bella Abzug at a New York Press Conference, 1972, by Diana Mara Henry

Battlin' Bella: Why We Need The ERA Today

Rena Kosowsky

I believe that Bella Abzug’s approach to the courts and legislature on issues of discrimination and inequality must be applied to activism today. 

Sports in Austria 1918-1938

This article gives an overview of the participation of Jewish women in Austrian sport from the Habsburg monarchy to the present day. Drawing on selected biographies of sportswomen and functionaries, and with a regional focus on the capital city of Vienna, it explores the double relationship between female emancipation and Jewish self-assertion in an environment that had long been male-dominated and anti-Semitic.

Ginevra Blanis

Ginevra Blanis was a late sixteenth-century silk manufacturer of the Florentine ghetto and Siena. She left her mark as a founder of the young community with her philanthropy and in the public communication of what she considered Jewish values in the provisions of her will.

Cora Wilburn

Cora Wilburn was one of the most prolific American Jewish women writers of her time. Much of her work appeared in secular and Spiritualist publications, but during her final decades she published poetry in Jewish publications. Her autobiographical novel, Cosella Wayne, published serially in 1860, is the first coming-of-age novel to depict Jews in the United States.

Joan Mavis Rosanove

Australian lawyer Joan Rosanove was the first woman in Victoria to work specifically as a courtroom lawyer. Flamboyant and feisty, she was an outspoken champion of women’s rights and battled, with grace and characteristic good humor, the sexist attitudes that inevitably laid obstacles across her path.

Carol Nadelson

Carol C. Nadelson is a ground-breaking female psychiatrist whose work has changed how medical practice addresses women’s medical care and encouraged women to break the glass-ceiling. She as the first woman president of the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society and the American Psychiatric Association. Under Nadelson’s editorial leadership, the American Psychiatric Press became a leader in the field of psychiatry.

Advancing Women Professionals in the Jewish Community

Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community (AWP) was founded by Shifra Bronznick in 2001 as an intervention “to advance Jewish women into leadership, stimulate new models of shared leadership, and promote policies for healthy, effective workplaces.” Over fifteen years, AWP conducted groundbreaking research and adapted strategies from other sectors that engaged women and men in decisive, systems-based change.

Barbara Seaman

Muckraking journalist Barbara Seaman survived a tumultuous childhood in New York City to become a bestselling author, a prominent second wave feminist, and, as a founder of the women’s health movement, an architect of informed consent. A lifelong scourge to the pharmaceutical industry, Seaman exposed the dangers of the high-dose birth control pill, hormone replacement therapy, and male doctors’ hubris.

Bessie Margolin

Bessie Margolin was raised in New Orleans’s Jewish orphanage, where she learned powerful lessons in social justice that propelled her trailblazing legal career through the New Deal and Nazi War Crimes Trials to the United State Supreme Court, where she championed the rights of millions of American workers. A reluctant feminist who became the nation’s top fighter for equal pay for women and a co-founder of NOW, Margolin used intellect and charm to open courtroom doors for countless women who have followed.

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman is an actress and activist who takes pride in her acting roles as a reflection of her activism. Her ultimate goal is to raise awareness of the role and importance of women.

Cecilia Klaften

Cecylia Klaften, a pedagogue and a civic activist from Lvov (Galicia/Eastern Lesser Poland), implemented social reform projects and especially promoted the founding of vocational schools for women in interwar Poland. In the 1920s she was one of the founders of the Jewish Women’s Association and the WIZO Jewish Women’s Organization for Pro-Palestinian Work in Lvov. In the 1930s she was politically active for Lvov’s City Council.

"Women and Their Bodies" Coursebook, 1970

Revisiting Medical History: The Women's Health Movement and COVID-19

Jillian M. Hinderliter

Looking to the history of medicine can help us grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hannah Kornblut's Aunt and Uncle

Remembering My Aunt during Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Hannah Kornblut

"The abuse my aunt endured partially revolved around her Jewish values and upbringing."

Topics: Women's Rights

Episode 47: RBG in Her Own Words

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first Jewish woman to sit on the nation’s highest court, died on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. Justice Ginsburg was an American and feminist icon and a Jewish hero. Her experiences as a Jew and as a woman helped her identify with outsiders and see the gap between American ideals and the realities that so many people live every day. Justice Ginsburg was a role model... and she had her own role models too. In this episode, we dig into JWA's archive and share some of the Justice's own words about a Jewish woman who inspired her.

Episode 44: The Nineteenth Amendment Turns 100 (Transcript)

Episode 44: The Nineteenth Amendment Turns 100 (Transcript)

Illustration of Raised Hands with #MeToo Written on the Palms

Why We Still Need to Be Talking about #MeToo in the Jewish Community

Dahlia Soussan

As too many Jewish women find their allegations unheard and unaddressed, I am responsible to amplify those female voices.

Episode 44: The Nineteenth Amendment Turns 100

One hundred years ago on August 26, 1920, Congress adopted the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. In this episode of Can We Talk?, Judith Rosenbaum talks with historians Ellen Dubois, Martha Jones, and Melissa Klapper about the role of African American and Jewish women in fighting for the vote, and the racism, classism, and antisemitism that undermined the movement's impact.

Sketch of Ray Frank, 1893

Ray Frank, A Complex Figure: Let’s Talk about Honesty and Self Care

Eleanor Harris

In March, my RVF piece about Ray Frank went up on the blog; however, parts of this blog post trouble me.

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