Jewish Women in the Public Arena
It is to Isabelle Seddon’s great credit that she marks the contributions of the early pioneers, as well as those who have done sterling work in more recent years.
Rabbi Dame Julia Neuberger
Here Isabelle Seddon reveals the astonishing contributions made by British born Jewish women as campaigners for social justice and in the professions of science, medicine, politics, law, religion, media and journalism during the twentieth century.
Many of them were trailblazers, and this volume highlights their achievements, looks at how their Jewish history and background impacted and contributed to their success and exposes the intersections of gender, religion and ethnicity/race in British history. Often battling antisemitism in British society, and gender prejudice within and outside the Jewish world, what they achieved was remarkable.
Some of the women you will meet here are well-known in their fields such as BBC presenters Dame Esther Rantzen and Emily Maitlis, pioneering agony aunt Marjorie Proops, politicians Edwina Currie and Shirley Porter, medical doctor and television personality Miriam Stoppard, Rabbi Dame Julia Neuberger and the brilliant scientist Rosalind Franklin, whose role in the discovery of DNA was overshadowed for many years.
This book also chronicles the lives and careers of those whose names are less familiar, but whose contributions to their fields are no less notable. Among many others, these pages introduce you to Helen Bamber, of Amnesty International, Rose Heilbron, the first woman to sit as a judge in Old Bailey, Rabbi Elizabeth Tikva Sarah, one of the first women and first openly gay rabbis to be ordained in Britain, and Labour politician Margaret Hodge.
For the first time, the significant achievements of this widely varied group of women have been gathered in one volume, documenting the struggles they faced and highlighting their considerable influence on British society, culture and politics.