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International Relations

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Beate Sirota Gordon, 1987

Beate Sirota Gordon

by Amy Jarkow

An unexpected champion for women’s rights in post-war Japan, Austrian born Beate Sirota Gordon was an inspiring intersectional feminist. At age of 22, and fresh out of college with a degree in modern languages, Gordon, along with a small team of Americans, was responsible for writing Japan’s constitution in the aftermath of World War II.

Episode 16: Women Wage Peace

Are women the key to peace in the Middle East? In this episode, we hear voices from Women Wage Peace, a powerful new movement in Israel demanding peace with the Palestinians—and insisting on women's place at the negotiating table. Uniting women from across the country and across the political spectrum, the movement hopes that it can solve the country’s most intractable issues. As one member says: "There are a lot of problems that only women can solve."

Senator Robert Menendez

Bob (the Senator), can he fix it?

by Maya Jodidio

Last June, David Friedman, the current U.S. ambassador to Israel, wrote an article for Arutz Sheva, a Zionist newspaper. His article discussed “how dangerous the Jewish left is to the State of Israel” and called liberal Jews “far worse than kapos–Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps.” On March 23rd of this year, Mr. Menendez, you were one of only two Democrats who voted for David Friedman as the U.S. ambassador to Israel. 

Esther Herlitz

From her beginnings as a British officer and Haganah operative to her later years as an ambassador and Knesset member, Esther Herlitz shaped the essence of the young State of Israel.

Helene, Queen

Helene, queen of the Persian province of Adiabene, earned the respect of both the early rabbis and the chronicler Josephus for her leadership and unusual piety.
Jane Harman (Cropped)

Jane Harman: Crushing Gender Boundaries in Politics

by Madisen Siegel

Since November 8th I’ve been thinking a lot about politics. Personally it was devastating to see Hillary Clinton lose the Presidential election. It took me a while to digest the news because nearly all the polls had predicted otherwise, and most people assumed it was a sealed deal. 

Martha Minow

Martha Louise Minow has shaped laws to help the disempowered, and as dean of Harvard Law School, has also shaped the next generation of lawmakers.
2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Eden Olsberg Snapchat

Strongly Undecided

by Eden Olsberg

Every morning when I wake up, I immediately open the New York Times app on my phone to read the morning briefing to which I’m subscribed. I’m instantly informed of worldwide events from the past 24 hours. Then, I scroll through my Facebook feed and find out what my friends think about these same topics.

Lillian Mellen Genser

After the narrowly averted disaster of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Lillian Mellen Genser decided to train people to think differently about conflict from early childhood onward.

Jill Jacobs

Jill Jacobs, the executive director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, has pushed for Jews to take an active role in social justice, from supporting health care and environmental reform to condemning torture and human rights violations.
Angela Merkel

Macchiatos with Merkel

by Maya Franks

This lady is my German RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg), and let’s not even discuss what would happen if I were to bump into RBG at a coffee shop. For anyone who might not know, Merkel is the Chancellor of Germany (2005-present), and is the first woman to hold the position. 

Tamar Eshel

A lifelong diplomat with a strong record of defending women’s rights and human rights, Tamar Eshel capped her career with two terms as a member of the Knesset from 1977–1984.

Beate Sirota Gordon

Through diplomacy and ingenuity, twenty-two-year-old Beate Sirota Gordon wrote unprecedented rights for women into Japan’s post-war constitution.

Estelle Sternberger

Believing in a future where all people had a voice and women’s work was valued, Estelle Sternberger found a myriad of ways to reshape public opinion, from hosting a political radio show to leading an organization for peace.

Toni Sender

Toni Sender’s wide-ranging quest to save the world led her from the union hall to the German Parliament (as a socialist) and finally to the UN.

Stosh Cotler

An unconventional CEO with tattoos, a black belt, and a reputation as a radical social activist, Stosh Cotler has mobilized Jewish Americans to fight for immigration reform, racial equality, and workers’ rights.

Esther Leah Medalie Ritz

Esther Leah Medalie Ritz defended human rights throughout the myriad conflicts of the twentieth century, from fighting fascism in the 1930s to participating in Israeli-Palestinian dialogue in the 1980s.

Flora Lewis

Called “the world’s greatest correspondent” by New York Times editor A.M. Rosenthal, Flora Lewis covered the defining moments of the twentieth century and became a bureau chief for the Times.

Rita Eleanor Hauser

Rita E. Hauser’s dual background in politics and international law led to her key role in persuading Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization to recognize Israel and renounce terrorism.

Vera Dean

A scholar of international relations, Vera Dean helped shape American foreign policy through her writing.

Charlene Barshefsky

Charlene Barshefsky was a powerful proponent of free trade in Bill Clinton’s administration as the United States Trade Representative, a Cabinet-level post.

Nita M. Lowey

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey used her position to fight for women’s health, public broadcasting, and support for Israel.

Rebekah Bettelheim Kohut

Rebekah Bettelheim Kohut spent her life caring for others, from managing domestic responsibilities for her sick husband and eight stepchildren to great causes like rebuilding Jewish communities after World War I.

Ruth Nussbaum preserves a Torah on Kristallnacht

November 10, 1938

Ruth Nussbaum preserves a Torah on Kristallnacht.

Kathryn Wasserman Davis, 1907 - 2013

In 1998, at the age of 91, she took up kayaking, making regular excursions on the Hudson River and along the coast and on the lakes of Maine. As a result of these experiences, she became a significant supporter of environmental organizations.

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