All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Raymond A Mohl

Advisory Committee Members

Tennant S McWilliams

Harriet E Amos Doss

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences


Many historians and scholars have argued that Jewish women kept a low profile during periods of southern social reform since the late nineteenth century. This thesis reveals a little known pattern of activism among some Birmingham Jewish women, encompassing many trends of social change over one hundred years, from 1880 to 1980. Nineteenth century Jewish women immigrants and migrants brought to the South a social conscience rooted in the traditions of their Jewish faith. They mentored their daughters, sisters, and neighbors in the ways of community goodwill. During the Progressive Era, their numbers and voices grew in the public sphere, as they supported reforms such as aid for the poor. In the post-World War II period, several Birmingham Jewish women made a daring and dangerous stand for racial equality. As the civil rights movement shifted toward black empowerment during the 1960s, Birmingham Jewish women linked local grassroots organizations with national groups to combat poverty and racial prejudice. Birmingham‘s Jewish women proved to be outspoken advocates for those without a public voice.



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