Florence Prag Kahn made history as the first Jewish woman to serve in Congress, first filling her husband’s seat and then in her own right, with Alice Roosevelt Longworth commenting that she was “the equal of any man in Congress, and the superior of most.”
As the creator of some of the earliest courses in women’s studies and the chair of the conference that sparked what became National Women’s History Month, Gerda Lerner made contributions beyond measure to the field of women’s studies.
Madeline Kunin broke ground as the first woman governor of Vermont and the only woman to serve three terms as governor before making history again as ambassador to Switzerland, facilitating compensation from Swiss banks to Holocaust survivors.
As a teenager, Sally Gottesman lobbied for the first Saturday morning bat mitzvah at her synagogue; as an adult, she created groups for teens of both genders to discover a deeper connection to Judaism.
Rabbi Maralee Gordon helped found the Chutzpah Collective, a radical Jewish political collective that utilized the inclusion of women in religious rituals as a jumping-off point for making all Jews feel welcome in the Jewish community regardless of disability or sexual orientation.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg brought landmark cases for gender and racial equality before the Supreme Court, transforming the American legal landscape even before her historic appointment as the second-ever female Supreme Court justice.
Sonia Pressman Fuentes, the first female attorney in the office of the general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, helped extend the Civil Rights Act’s protections of equal opportunity to all people regardless of gender.