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Politics and Government: Civil Service

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Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, 1983

Rosalie Silberman Abella

Justice Rosalie Abella's life has been a series of “firsts”: She was Canada's first Jewish woman judge and the country’s youngest ever. She was the first woman chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the first woman in the British Commonwealth to become the head of a Law Reform Commission. In August 2004, she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, becoming the first Jewish woman to sit on the Canadian Supreme Court bench.

Feminist Seder, 1991

Bella Abzug

Born in the Bronx on July 24, 1920, Bella (Savitzky) Abzug predated women’s right to vote by one month. A tireless and indomitable fighter for justice and peace, equal rights, human dignity, environmental integrity and sustainable development, Bella Abzug advanced human goals and political alliances worldwide.

Orit Adato

Adato enlisted in the IDF in 1973 and in due course served successively as commander of the two central Women’s Corps training bases (1994–1997), commander of the Women Teacher-Soldiers unit, and commander of the women in Nahal, where she directed the assistance given to immigrants from Ethiopia and the USSR. In 1997, she was promoted to the position of head of the Women’s Corps as a brigadier general at a time when the corps was in the process of being radically reorganized.

Gila Almagor

Gila Almagor

She has appeared in approximately forty Israeli feature films, dozens of stage plays and television dramas. Her starring roles in films include Siege, 1969; Highway Queen, 1971; House on Chelouche Street, 1973; My Mother the General, 1979; Summer of Aviya, 1988; Life According to Agfa, 1992; Sh’chur, 1994; and Passover Fever, 1995.

Hedva Almog, August 5, 2011

Hedva Almog

During her term of office, Almog stressed the importance of appropriate training for new recruits and established the base at Julis for absorbing them. The number of annual officer courses was increased, a training course for women officers in the Operational Branch was established, new occupations, such as airborne doctors, were opened for women officers and institutional posts increased.

Shulamit Aloni, 2001

Shulamit Aloni

Passionate, principled, provocative, and above all path breaking, Shulamit Aloni has left a greater imprint on Israeli political life and public discourse than any woman to come of age after Israel’s independence.

Rose Haas Alschuler

Rose Haas Alschuler

Alschuler was a prolific writer, lecturer, and educator, and in the later part of her life, she contributed to the development and growth of the State of Israel.

Birdie Amsterdam

Birdie Amsterdam was the first woman elected to the New York State Supreme Court. Justice Saul Streit, chair of the Board of Justices, described the fifty-six-year-old judge as the “first lady of our judiciary” when he administered the oath to her on January 6, 1957.

Jenny Apolant

An ardent suffragist, Apolant served as a board member of the General Association from 1910 to 1925. In Frankfurt, where she was from 1919 to 1924 one of the first women municipal councillors, representing the Democrats, she initiated innovative institutions such as care for sick people, alcohol-free popular restaurants and, during the inflation, a central location for the sale of privately-owned valuables, a Sick Fund and winter aid.

Edna Arbel

Edna Arbel

A justice on Israel’s Supreme Court since May 2004, Edna Arbel was born in Jerusalem on June 22, 1944.

Shoshana Arbeli-Almozlino

Shoshana Arbeli-Almozlino

Like the biographies of other figures prominent at the time of the establishment of the state of Israel, that of Shoshana Arbeli-Almozlino parallels the history of Zionism and the founding of the state, from her childhood in a traditional Iraqi family and membership in the Zionist underground in Iraq, through her immigration to Palestine and the founding of Kibbutz Neve Or, to her term as a member of the Knesset and her services as Israel’s Minister of Health.

Margaret Gene Arnstein

Margaret Gene Arnstein was a principal architect of the American nursing profession. Renowned for her work in public health, Arnstein also advanced nursing education and research.

Angelica Balabanoff with David Ben Gurion, Tel Aviv, 1962

Angelica Balabanoff

Angelica Balabanoff was one of the best-known and widely beloved figures of European socialism in the early decades of the twentieth century.

Elisheva Barak-Ussoskin

Elisheva Barak-Ussoskin

The decisions of Judge Barak-Ussoskin, who is known for her extraordinary patience and excellent judicial spirit, are outstanding for their innovative character, thoroughness, well-argued and scholarly reasoning based on national as well as international and theoretical experience, and for the stress they lay on human rights in the sphere of labor and employment. Her rulings undoubtedly have a critical influence on the development of labor law and labor relations in Israel.

Clarice Baright

Clarice Baright

Known to her contemporaries as the “Lady Angel of the Tenement District,” Clarice Baright was a social worker and a trailblazing attorney who combined these skills as an advocate for the rights of New York City’s children and its poor. In a career spanning the first half of the twentieth century, Baright fought for reforms in the style and spirit of the Progressive Era, while earning the distinctions of serving as the second female magistrate in New York City history and of being among the first few women admitted to the American Bar Association.

Barr Family, 2000

Patricia Barr

An “out-liar,” as she called herself, Barr was an activist in multiple worlds: breast cancer, feminism, Judaism, education and the Israeli peace movement.

Charlene Barshevsky

Charlene Barshefsky

During one of the most intense periods of conflict over international trade in American history, Charlene Barshefsky rose to prominence as arguably the nation’s chief advocate of free trade. The Cabinet-level United States Trade Representative from 1997 to 2001, Barshefsky played a crucial role in forging a new era of economic globalization under the leadership of President Bill Clinton.

Helen Bentwich

Helen Caroline Bentwich (née Franklin) was born on January 6, 1892 in Notting Hill, London into a family of almost aristocratic Jewish lineage.

Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer is currently one of the most influential liberal political figures in the country, having served in the United States Senate since 1992. Her visibility especially flows out of her vocal commitment to feminist causes.

Cécile Brunschvicg

Cécile Brunschvicg was one of the grandes dames of French feminism during the first half of the twentieth century and especially during the interwar years. Although her chief demand was women’s suffrage, she also focused on a range of practical reforms, including greater parity in women’s salaries, expanded educational opportunities for women, the elimination of prostitution and alcoholism, and the drive to reform the French civil code, which treated married women as if they were minors.

"Sunday Jews" Book Cover by Hortense Calisher, 2002

Hortense Calisher

Hortense Calisher has been a significant presence in American letters for over forty years, producing novels, short stories, and memoirs of striking originality and intelligence.

Lorraine Weinrib, February 10-11, 2003

Canada: From Outlaw to Supreme Court Justice, 1738-2005

The positive aspect of the Canadian mosaic has been a strong Jewish community (and other communities) which nurtured traditional ethnic and religious values and benefited from the talent and energy of women and men restrained from participation in the broader society. The negative aspect has included considerable antisemitism and, especially for women, the sometimes stifling narrowness and conservatism of the community which inhibited creative and exceptional people from charting their own individual paths.

Natalie Cohen

Natalie Cohen

Because Natalie Cohen’s life met the very essence of the definition of the “Georgia Women Sports Trailblazers,” she was elected a charter member in 1996. Already a Hall of Famer, this crowning honor was only one of many received throughout her life recognizing Natalie Cohen as a woman who has made significant contributions to sports, forging paths for others to follow.

Ruth Louisa Cohen

Ruth Cohen, Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge from 1954 until 1972, was the first Jewish Principal of an Oxbridge College, a distinguished agricultural economist and, after her retirement from college life, a dedicated local councillor.

Rita Davidson

Rita Charmatz Davidson

Rita Charmatz Davidson led the vanguard for women in the state of Maryland, rising through the ranks of appointed local public service posts to the governor’s cabinet and seats on both of Maryland’s appellate courts.

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