Woman's Cause: The Jewish Woman's Movement in England and the United States, 1881-1933

Linda Gordon Kuzmack, Author Ohio State University Press $52.5 (280p) ISBN 978-0-8142-0515-0
In this exhaustively documented study, Kuzmack traces the evolution of two similar but subtly different movements. Jewish women on both sides of the Atlantic fought for more say in the synagogue, equal pay on the job and political suffrage, but in England, class bias and pervasive anti-Semitism ensured that only ladies of exalted rank became heads of Jewish women's organizations. By contrast, American Jewish feminists were a rowdy bunch. These Eastern European immigrants left their tenements and sweatshops to become trade unionists, socialists and scholars. Only on one notable occasion did Anglo-Jewish women outdo their American counterparts: they defied the Jewish community's horror of sexual scandal to battle the Jewish white slave trade, a chapter in immigrant history all too rarely written. Kuzmack, a historian at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, scoured libraries, newspaper morgues, diaries and personal correspondence for her source material, but her approach is so academic, the reader can hardly see past it to the real and remarkable lives these pioneering feminists led. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
Paperback - 280 pages - 978-0-8142-0529-7
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