Tag Archives: Jewish women

She’s Doing It: Rabbi Holly Cohn

Rabbi Holly Cohn When I was told by my good Midland TX friend Dr. Norman Gould that the congregation I belonged to when I lived in West Texas had hired a woman, Rabbi Holly Cohn, as its first fulltime spiritual leader, I knew instantly that I wanted to write about her for this “She’s Doing It” column. I found her optimism and devotion to her calling inspiring. And I was also struck by how women are playing an ever-larger role in religion and religious observance.

This piece was originally published on the Sisterhood Blog of the Jewish Daily Forward. “Rabbi Holly in Mojoland” was my original title. I’d love to know your reactions. And whatever your religious persuasion, what have been your own experiences as women have been taking on increasingly significant roles as members of the clergy?

Posted in 9 Ways Blog, Gender, Inspiration, Leadership, No Excuses, She's Doing It, Workplace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Burning Women: Triangle Fire 100th Anniversary Illuminates Wisconsin Union-Busting

Watch the full episode. See more American Experience.

The Triangle Waist Company, site of the fire that fanned the U.S. union movement into full flame, was housed, ironically, in the Asch Building.

On Saturday, March 25, 1911, it became an inferno, snuffing out the lives of 146 employees, mostly women, primarily immigrants, about two-thirds Jewish and one-third Italians, over one-half of them teenagers. Many were girls as young as twelve or thirteen years old. Child labor was routine at the time, as was weekend work.

Triangle’s owners, Isaac Harris and Max Blanck, placed immense pressure on he women to force their treadle sewing machines, like racehorses in their final lap, to produce women’s shirtwaist garments ever-faster. Their goal, not surprisingly, was to raise the factory’s profitability in an increasingly competitive field.

The Asch Building stood in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. Triangle Waist Company, a million dollar a year business, was one of the best-equipped factories of its day. Still, it was a horrible sweatshop with few safety provisions and almost no protections for workers against unfairly low pay, discrimination, sexual harassment, and certainly no paid sick leave, health insurance, or vacation.

Precautions against fire consisted of twelve red buckets of water.

Posted in Know Your History, Workplace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments
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Copyright 2010 Gloria Feldt