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November 26: Roz Chast

Cartoonist Roz Chast was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1954. She has published more than 800 cartoons in the New Yorker since 1978, mostly dealing with the trials of domesticity and modern life, and often spoofing — with a sense of befuddlement and quiet paranoia — the trendy, the hyped, the glamorous, and the […]

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November 20: Rose Pesotta, Champion Organizer

Rose Pesotta (Rakhel Peisoty), union organizer, anarchist, and the first female vice president of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, was born in the Ukraine on this date in 1896. Pesotta emigrated to the U.S. in 1913 to avoid an arranged marriage and worked in a shirtwaist factory. She joined ILGWU Local 25 and led […]

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November 19: The Anti-Nazi Novelist

Anna Seghers (Netty Reiling), an anti-Nazi novelist who wrote an internationally acclaimed book, The Seventh Cross — one of the very few war-time depictions of Nazi concentration camps — was born in Mainz, Germany on this date in 1900. She joined Germany’s communist party in 1928 and warned about rising Nazism in her 1932 novel, […]

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November 8: Mother of American Hospice

Florence “Eppie” Wald (Schorske), who headed the Yale School of Nursing and cofounded the first hospice center in America, died at 91 on this date in 2008. Her mother was Jewish, her father gentile, and both were supporters of Ethical Culture. A 1963 lecture by Cicely Saunders about her efforts to establish a hospice in […]

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October 19: Fannie Hurst

Bestselling novelist and short story writer Fannie Hurst — known to later generations primarily through film adaptations of her fiction (notably Imitation of Life and Young at Heart), was born in Hamilton, Ohio on this date in 1885. Hurst wrote on social themes of sexism and women’s rights, racism and racial justice, and economic opportunity, […]

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October 12: Mildred and the Molecule

Mildred Cohen, a biochemist who was awarded the National Medal of Science at the end of a career beset by sexist obstacles, died at 96 on this date in 2009. Cohen was a pioneer in the use of nuclear magnetic resonance for studying enzyme reactions, and revealed a great deal about adenosine triphosphate, a molecule […]

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October 6: Editor of “Jewish Child”

Elma Ehrlich Levinger, the editor of Jewish Child magazine and author of more than thirty books for children about Jewish history and identity, was born in Chicago on this date in 1886. “Levinger used both drama and the short story as a means of educating young people and women about Jewish history and traditions, hoping […]

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October 4: The Dragon Lady of Architecture

Judith Edelman (Hochberg), a feminist leader and critic within the male-dominated world of architecture, died at 91 on this date in 2014. Edelman completed her architectural studies at Columbia University in 1946 but was widely denied employment simply because she was a woman. In 1960 she and her husband opened their own prize-winning firm, which […]

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