Bella Abzug was a force of nature. She was the first Jewish woman elected to the U.S. Congress and a leader in the women’s movement. Abzug, who died 23 years ago, served three terms in the House of Representatives in the 1970s.
Ahead of her time, she championed progressive changes, co-authored and shepherded through passage of the Freedom of Information Act and the Right to Privacy Act. Abzug personified the beautiful Jewish tradition of tikkun olam by fighting for women’s rights and LGBTQ equality and nondiscrimination protections. On May 14, it will be 47 years since the first LGBTQ civil rights legislation was introduced into Congress. Bella Abzug launched that effort with the Equality Act of 1974.