Pioneer Activist and MK Marcia Freedman Passes 

in Life, Culture & Sports

A pioneer who championed women’s rights, Marcia Freedman, ex-MK passed away at the age of 83. Freedman was born in New Jersey in 1938 and moved to Israel in 1976, where she played a role in starting the Israeli feminist movement. She made waves in the 1970s, became an Israeli Parliament member between 1974 and 1977, and is the first woman who came out as a lesbian as a government official. To this date, Freedman is the only known lesbian in Israeli politics. 

Freedman was fueled by the lack of representation in Israeli politics, and started the crucial conversations that were sorely needed, and still are, particularly those surrounding women’s rights, the wage gap, abortion rights, women’s health, gay rights, and domestic violence. In her attempts to bring to the forefront these women’s issues, she was often met with dismissal and disrespect, apparent in the existing transcripts. Despite the continual disregard, Freedman was sparked to start the first shelter for women suffering from domestic violence in 1977.

The Aguda, the premier advocacy organization in Israel for LGBTQ rights stated that “Marcia fought for our right to live our lives in freedom, with pride, and without violence. Her coming out in the 1970s inspired thousands of gay women and men who had been afraid to be themselves. We hope that Marcia’s groundbreaking legacy will lead to [more] gay female representation in politics.”

A publication by J Street states that “Her warmth, wisdom, energy and moral clarity made her an inspiring presence at J Street National Conferences and a powerful voice for the movement she did so much to help build. At this time our thoughts are with Marcia’s family and friends, and with all those who knew and loved her. May her memory be a blessing.” 

ôåøèøè, ç”ë îøùä ôøéãîï, îäúðåòä ìæëåéåú äàæøç áëðñú.

Based in the startup city of Tel Aviv, Zo Flamenbaum is a writer and social entrepreneur who dedicates her time to mission-driven projects that empower connection between the many diverse layers of our world. In 2014, she founded School of Shine as a value-based educational space for women who are tired of the ‘default life’ and crave personal freedom through self-expression for more purposeful living.

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