Women's Rights

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Collection

Shirley Siegel

The only woman in the Yale Law School class of 1941, Shirley Adelson Siegel became a trailblazer as head of the New York State Attorney’s first Civil Rights Bureau in 1959.

Naomi Weisstein, 1939 - 2015

Naomi sometimes described herself as a female Lenny Bruce. But she was not an imitation anything. She was pure Naomi.

Hemdah Ben-Yehuda

Hemdah Ben-Yehuda collaborated with her husband, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, to revive ancient Hebrew and make it a truly functional living language.

Rose Finkelstein

A lifelong labor activist, Rose Finkelstein organized pay raises and better hours for women workers throughout New England.

Fania Mindell

After co-founding America’s first birth control clinic with Margaret Sanger in 1916, Fania Mindell was arrested and convicted of breaking the Comstock Act for her efforts to make birth control available to women.

Sara Azaryahu

In hopes of creating a place where neither her religion nor her gender would make her a second-class citizen, Sara Azaryahu dedicated herself to founding a Jewish state, but was disappointed by the sexism that remained in her society.

Shulamit Aloni

Shulamit Aloni, the first Israeli woman to successfully found a political party, brought her zeal for education and empowerment to her career in the Knesset, helping generations of Israelis learn—and fight for—their rights.

Elga Ruth Wasserman

Having experienced the sexism rampant in higher education herself, Elga Ruth Wasserman guided Yale through the difficult process of becoming a co-ed university.

Virginia Snitow

Ahead of her time in the fight for both civil rights and women’s rights, Virginia Snitow was unafraid to take unpopular stances when fighting for others.

Sylvia Bernstein Seaman

Sylvia Bernstein Seaman fought for women’s suffrage as a teenager, then became an important voice for second wave feminism as the first person outside the medical profession to write about breast cancer.

Rosika Schwimmer

Rosika Schwimmer’s uncompromising vision of women’s equality and world peace helped advance the women’s movement but caused a backlash that cost Schwimmer everything.

Adeline Schulberg

Adeline Schulberg’s long and winding career path led her from activist to Hollywood agent and back again.

Alice Salomon

Alice Salomon was honored as one of the founding mothers of social work in Germany for both the direct service organizations she created and her role as founding president of the International Association of Schools of Social Work.

Fredrica Wechsler, 1929 - 2014

My mother was no shrinking violet. After a few weeks at home following the wedding, she got a job at the Gary Welfare Department, where she went on home visits and discovered Gary’s devastatingly impoverished African-American community. I am sure that this was a pivotal moment for her—and she never turned back.

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.

Harriet Fleischl Pilpel

As general counsel to both Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, Harriet Fleischl Pilpel helped shape the arguments for reproductive rights in the years leading up to Roe v. Wade.

Alicia Suskin Ostriker

Alicia Suskin Ostriker’s award-winning poetry and groundbreaking literary criticism are profoundly shaped by her feminist activism.

Rivka Haut, 1942 - 2014

Rivka got me to other agunah rallies, including a pitiful one with five other women circling the tiny front yard of a Manhattan brownstone. It was my last agunah rally but not Rivka’s. She never gave up and never turned down a request for help. For her, it was about justice and compassion, not numbers.

Shulamit Aloni, 1928 - 2014

Aloni spearheaded an ideology in which feminism is a lens for social equality across all social sectors. Her work with Palestinians was informed by her feminism, and her feminism was informed by her work with Palestinians. She held on to a world view in which equality and compassion were part of the process of learning to see the “other” in society, whether that “other” was distinguished by gender, ethnicity, religion, or anything else.

Birth of Victorian painter Rebecca Solomon

September 26, 1832

"That Rebecca Solomon was among the first Jewish women artists, if not the first, makes her career and artwork even more important.”

Pearl Bernstein Max

Pearl Bernstein Max directed the staggering work of fusing four different colleges—City, Hunter, Brooklyn, and Queens—into the City University of New York.

Anna Margolin

Under the name Anna Margolin, Rosa Lebensboim wrote what critics called some of the finest Yiddish poetry of the earliest twentieth century.

Emma B. Mandl

Emma B. Mandl created and led vital institutions for Jewish European immigrants in Chicago, from orphanages to trade schools to tuberculosis wards.

Theresa Serber Malkiel

Theresa Serber Malkiel fought for workers’ rights, becoming the first female factory worker to rise to leadership in the Socialist Party.

Minnie Low

At a time when social work usually meant wealthy people donating to the poor, Minnie Low pushed for new kinds of aid such as vocational training and loans that made the needy self–sufficient.
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