Women's Rights

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Adele Lewisohn Lehman

Adele Lewisohn Lehman’s career as a philanthropist and organizational leader spanned both the Jewish community and the secular world.

Fania Mindell arrested for distributing birth control material.

October 26, 1916

Fania Mindell, Margaret Sanger, and Ethel Byrne opened the first birth control clinic in the United States in Brooklyn in 1916.

Rusty Kanokogi

The first woman allowed to train with male judo students at Japan’s judo headquarters, the Kodokan, Rena “Rusty” Kanokogi pioneered women’s judo as an Olympic sport.

Jaclyn Friedman

Jaclyn Friedman voiced new possibilities for sex-positive feminism and a rejection of rape culture as editor of Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape.

Ruth Schlossberg Landes

Ruth Schlossberg Landes made her mark as one of the first professional female anthropologists with her work on gender and religious identity in different cultures.

Sarah Kussy

With seemingly limitless energy, Sarah Kussy helped found and lead a variety of major Jewish organizations like Hadassah, the United Synagogue’s Women’s League, and Young Judea.

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.

Rhoda Kaufman

Rhoda Kaufman helped create social welfare organizations throughout Georgia and overcame prejudice against her religion and gender to become one of the most respected social reformers in the country.

Phyllis A. Kravitch

Phyllis A. Kravitch became the third woman circuit court judge in the US in 1979 and served her home state of Georgia for decades.

Elizabeth Holtzman

The youngest woman ever elected to Congress at age 32, Elizabeth Holtzman focused her political career on human rights.

Bertha Beitman Herzog

Bertha Beitman Herzog’s leadership of women’s organizations in Cleveland created a safety net for women and children throughout the region.

Esther Herrman

Esther Mendels Herrman’s generosity helped create many vital Jewish and secular institutions, from Barnard College to the 92nd Street Y.

Carolyn G. Heilbrun

Carolyn G. Heilbrun lived two rich and full lives, one as an esteemed scholar of modern British literature, the other as the popular mystery writer Amanda Cross.

Reina Hartmann

Reina Goldstein Hartmann focused her career on improving the lives of Jewish women in her native Chicago.

Janet Harris

Janet Simons Harris shepherded the National Council of Jewish Women through one of the most divisive times in its history and led both national and international efforts for women’s rights.

Jane Harman

Using the slogan, “This woman will clean House,” Jane Harman won the first of her nine terms as a congresswoman before becoming the first woman president and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Ida Espen Guggenheimer

Ida Espen Guggenheimer supported Zionism, civil rights, and feminism throughout her life, from hosting talks on birth control to supporting political prisoners.

Gloria Feldt

Driven by her own experiences as a teenage mother, Gloria Feldt became an advocate for women's rights and reproductive choice, leading Planned Parenthood for a decade.

Regina Jonas

Regina Jonas made history as the first woman rabbi after writing a thesis arguing for the halakhic permissibility of women’s ordination.

Ida Weis Friend

As a suffragist, a philanthropist, and a leader of Jewish women’s organizations, Ida Weis Friend worked to improve the lives of those in her community on many levels.

Jacqueline Levine

Jacqueline Levine lent her voice to a stunning array of social justice causes, from civil rights to ending hunger to women’s leadership in the Jewish community.

Elinor Guggenheimer

Elinor Guggenheimer focused her career in city government on higher standards for childcare and on greater representation of women in politics.

Mary Belle Grossman

Mary Belle Grossman made history in 1918 as one of the first two women admitted to the American Bar Association, then dedicated her career to protecting women.

Emma Leon Gottheil

As a translator, Emma Leon Gottheil helped spread the ideals of Zionism across America, but as founder of the Women’s League for Palestine, she helped turn those ideals into practical reality.

Käte Frankenthal

A doctor and military surgeon who smoked cigars and drank beer and whiskey, Käte Frankenthal refused to be limited to traditional women’s roles.
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