The recent death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has sparked a renewed global interest in the life and influence of this remarkable woman. To ICJW women around the world, RBG can be held up as a striking role model of a Jewish woman unafraid of using her knowledge and brilliance to progress human rights and the status of women within her country of residence.
Many of us have viewed documentaries about RBG’s life and work, marveling at her insistence on admitting women to study and graduate from elite universities, to being appointed to the US Supreme Court. Her personal strength and determination not only progressed her own career but also ensured pathways for upgrading women’s status within her country. RBG’s focus on removing discriminatory laws and upgrading the rights of the less privileged have ensured permanent changes in the USA.
RBG was a traditional Jew who maintained her links to Judaism throughout her life. Co- writing an article “The Heroic and Visionary Women of Passover” in 2015, she affirmed: “They were women of action, prepared to defy authority to make their vision a reality …” She concluded: “With vision and action we can join hands with others of like mind.”
The Jewish New Year 5781 was about to begin as Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. The influence of her judgements in the past 27 years as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States has been immense and of huge importance to women.
RBG’s legacy, her work ethic and consummate sense of responsibility is a superb model to all of us.
Robyn Lenn OAM
Chair, ICJW Status of Women Committee