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Rahel Yanait Ben-Zvi

Long before she became First Lady of Israel, Rahel Yanait Ben-Zvi shaped the country by helping create many of its most important organizations.

Pioneer Women in the United States

Pioneer Women, the Labor Zionist women’s organization in the United States—today called Na’amat—was officially founded in 1925. The new group sought to elevate the public profile of the halutzot (Zionist women pioneers) in the Yishuv (Palestine Jewish settlement community) and to help the pioneer women’s cooperatives in Palestine through American-based philanthropic efforts.

Haganah

Although there has been much academic interest in assorted aspects of the history of the Haganah, the subject of women in that organization has not yet merited an in-depth study, despite the considerable contribution of women in the Haganah during the struggle to establish the State of Israel. The present article is based on interviews conducted with some thirty women from various sectors of the population, who were active in the Haganah. The overall treatment of the various orientations among the women stems, among other things, from the information that emerged from these interviews.

Suffrage in Palestine

The building of an egalitarian Jewish society in pre-state Israel was a keystone of the Zionist plan in general and of its socialist component in particular. The question of women’s suffrage arose locally, in every community, and in some communities women even succeeded in being elected.

Politics in the Yishuv and Israel

Women’s status in Israeli political arena has been shaped by two major contradictory forces that operate simultaneously. On the one hand, women are defined as part of the collective and are recognized, treated, and organized as a social category, mainly on the basis of traditional roles as wives and mothers. On the other hand, the politics of identity has been restricted by marginalizing and denouncing social identity as a basis for political action, and thus excludes women.

Media Professions: Yishuv to Present-Day Israel

For a period of over one hundred years beginning in the early 1860s, journalism in Palestine was a masculine fortress, penetrated by only a handful of women. Of those who succeeded in making their way in journalism, only a small number attained senior positions in the media industry. However, by the close of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first, a completely different picture emerged: engagement in the media is no longer a male bastion and the media have become undifferentiated in terms of gender.

Rahel Yanait Ben-Zvi

In the preface to her book entitled Derakhai Siparti (I Declared My Way, derived from Psalms 119:26: “I have declared my way and you have answered me”), Rahel Yanait Ben-Zvi recalls her life’s work in the spheres of agriculture, the Labor Movement, the Haganah and the Jewish community in Palestine prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. "Old Yishuv" refers to the Jewish community prior to 1882; "New Yishuv" to that following 1882.Yishuv.

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