Women's Rights

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Collection

Judith S. Kaye

As the first woman to serve as chief judge of the state of New York, Judith S. Kaye transformed the state’s entire court system to better handle its overwhelming caseload.

Florence Prag Kahn

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.”

Bessie Abramowitz Hillman

Bessie Abramowitz devoted her life to unions, organizing her first strike at fifteen, announcing her engagement on a picket line, and continuing her efforts for workers’ rights until her death.

Gladys Heldman

Gladys Heldman fought to ensure that women’s tennis was taken seriously and that women players competed for the same prize money as men.

Nina Morais Cohen

Nina Morais Cohen organized the Jewish women’s community of Minneapolis as a force for women’s suffrage, community service, and scholarship.

Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer earned a reputation as a powerful voice for liberal causes by leading the charge on issues like sexual harassment, the Iraq War, and marriage equality.

Jennie Loitman Barron

Jennie Loitman Barron became a lawyer before women had the right to serve on juries in her state and went on to become the first woman justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court.

Rosalie Silberman Abella

Rosalie Silberman Abella’s early experiences as a refugee fueled her dedication to justice and led her to become the first Jewish woman elected to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Meredith Tax

Meredith Tax used her writing both to highlight the tremendous upheaval of her own times and to reimagine the struggles of suffragists and union organizers.

Sally J. Preisand

Sally J. Priesand broke new ground as the first women rabbi ordained in America.

Marge Piercy

Marge Piercy’s novels have become modern classics of feminist literature, while her poems and liturgy have transformed Jewish prayer.

Tillie Olsen

Tillie Olsen’s own struggles to combine writing with working and raising a family spurred her to recover the writing of other silenced women writers, revolutionizing the study of women’s literature.

Ann Lewis

Ann Lewis served as White House director of communications under Bill Clinton before lending her talents to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s own historic bid for the presidency.

Gerda Lerner

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.

Madeleine Kunin

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.

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem is a leader, spokeswoman, and icon of the feminist movement.

Francine Klagsbrun

From Free to Be … You and Me to Women of the Wall, Francine Klagsbrun pushed to change what possibilities were open for women.

Rivka Haut

An Orthodox Jewish feminist, Rivka Haut advocated on behalf of agunot (chained wives) and wrote feminist prayers for Orthodox Jews.

Blu Greenberg

Arguing that feminism could become a way into Judaism instead of a reason to leave the faith, JOFA founder Blu Greenberg created new possibilities for Orthodox feminist Jews.

Sally Gottesman

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.

Maralee Gordon

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

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

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.

Betty Friedan

For her acclaimed book, The Feminine Mystique, and her presidency of the National Organization for Women, Betty Friedan is hailed as the mother of second wave feminism.

Eve Ensler

Eve Ensler’s massively successful play The Vagina Monologues gave her a platform to launch V-Day, a campaign to end violence against women and girls.
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