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Zionism

WIZO: Women's International Zionist Organization (1920-1970)

All WIZO’s activities have one thing in common: aid to immigrant women. The special needs of each wave of immigration and the economic situation of each period dictated the respective nature of actual activity. WIZO was characterized by a pioneering spirit, aspiring to create a civil society (i.e. the transfer of responsibility for certain areas to government institutions) and effective organization. In all these, it has been extremely successful. WIZO’s standing as a worldwide organization, combined with the focus of individual communities on specific projects, provided financial resources for its programs.

WIZO in Israel: 1970-2005

A review of WIZO’s achievements and contribution to building Israeli society reveals the number of areas in which the organization has been involved throughout its existence, investing great effort in them according to society’s changing needs: the status of women; child care from infancy to adolescence; care of the elderly; community work and immigrant absorption. Overall, the organization’s major activity is directed toward improving the status of women in all areas—family, work, society, political life and legal matters. A survey of women’s advancement in the country reveals the enormous changes that occurred and, together with them, flexibility and change within the organization in order to advance women in a more clearly feminist manner.

Louise Waterman Wise

Philanthropist and charity worker Louise Waterman Wise was likely the first American Jewish Woman to be awarded the Order of the British Empire, the equivalent of a knighthood. She was, without doubt, the first to decline the honor. How an ardent Zionist and outspoken critic of Britain’s “ruthless conduct” with respect to Jewish settlement in Palestine could, nevertheless, perform such outstanding service to the British people as to merit official praise, is just one aspect of the “legend of Louise.”

Widows in the North African Jewish Communities of Late Ottoman Palestine

During the nineteenth century approximately two-thirds of all adult Jews in the Holy Land were women. This significant majority—nearly two women for every one male—was due to the overwhelming number of widows in the country. The lives of widows who at some stage immigrated—as children with their families, as married women, or as widows—from North Africa to the Jewish communities of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Palestine, underwent changes, due to both immigration and widowhood.

Shoshana Werner

Shoshana Warner was appointed as the second commanding officer of the Women’s Corps (see “CHEN:” Women’s Corps of the Israel Defense Forces) in 1949. In 1942, after some years of membership in the Haganah, she was among the first sixty-six women who volunteered for the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) of the British Army.

Rosa Welt-Straus

In 1878, she received her medical degree and was one of the first women in Europe to practice medicine. Rosa Welt, together with one of her sisters, immigrated to the United States, where she worked for many years as an eye surgeon in New York in the eye hospital and also in the eye clinic at the Women’s Hospital. In addition to her professional work, Welt-Straus was active in the struggle for women’s suffrage in New York and a partner in forming the International Woman Suffrage Alliance founded by Carrie Chapman-Catt.

Vera Weizmann

A Zionist and a physician, Vera Weizmann was also Israel's first "First Lady."

Trude Weiss-Rosmarin

Trude Weiss-Rosmarin was one of the foremost Jewish intellectuals of the twentieth century. She was the editor of the Jewish Spectator, author of many books, and a woman of intense passions and commitment to Jewish life, with very strong and often provocative opinions. A dynamic speaker backed by broad-ranging Jewish scholarship and a prodigious memory, she was a popular lecturer at synagogues and Jewish centers across the United States and a foremost critic of American Jewish life and institutions.

Helen Weil

These words, written by Helen Weil, illuminate her sensitivity and commitment to older people that she developed during a long and active career in gerontology and social services.

Charlotte Wardi

Charlotte Wardi, professor of French and comparative literature at the University of Haifa—and for a time general inspector of French-language instruction in Israel—was born in Cologne on September 21, 1928 and brought to France at the age of five months.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Zionism." (Viewed on March 18, 2019) <https://jwa.org/topics/zionism>.

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