Primary Source

Recording: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise’s 1918 Speech “Women and Democracy”

History on the Net

Era: Post-Suffrage Era, Suffrage Era | Media: Magazines, Radio/Audio, Web-based

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise of New York City’s Free Synagogue was one of the most sought-after suffrage speakers of the 1910s. This 1918 recording is representative of his most common pro-suffrage arguments. For more about Wise’s suffrage involvement—he was a founder of the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage of the State of New York, for instance—see Brooke Kroeger’s March 27, 2017 article in Tablet magazine, “Wise vs. Silverman, or New York’s Historic Rabbinical Women’s Suffrage Smack-Down.” The flip side of this recording is of remarks by Gertrude Foster Brown, one of the prime movers in the New York State campaign, featured here.

To read more about the roles men played in the struggle for women’s voting rights, see Kroeger’s book, The Suffragents.

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Recording, "Women and Democracy," Pathe 1918

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