Marcia Freedman Remembrances

         Marcia Freedman (Photo/Alison Pepper)

Marcia Freedman passed away peacefully on September 21, 2021. Her many accomplishments include serving as the first and only American born woman and only out lesbian ever in the Israeli Knesset, a founder of the Israeli feminist movement; the founding president of the U.S. Jewish peace group Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace (2002-2009); president of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival; and  founding editorial board member of Persimmon Tree, an online magazine for women over 60. She was a longtime advocate for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, Palestinians, and elders. She was also a prominent voice on behalf of the struggle for Israeli-Palestinian peace and justice. Marcia’s activism impacted the lives of millions of Israelis and North Americans.

This is a collection of remembrances from some of Marcia’s many friends and activist comrades about how her life touched them. Upon reading them, her daughter Jenny responded, “I’m speechless with gratitude for this at the moment. There will be a time when I can say more I think but for now I simply thank you from the bottom of my heart for enriching my memories of my mother with your own. Each time someone tells a story of her, I remember more and a new image is added to my narrative. She left a very big hole, larger than most of us do I think.”

There is also a Marcia Freedman Photo Album and a list of Marcia Freedman Resources below. Marcia requested that donations in her honor be directed to Gun Free Kitchen Tables (GFKT) in Israel. GFKT collects and seeds knowledge and concern about guns throughout civil society in Israel, challenging and undoing the militarized equation of guns with security.

Remembrances of Marcia Freedman:

Aaron Ahuvia David Albert Anita Altman
Ruth Atkin Diane Balser Aliza Becker
Cherie Brown Tamara Cohen Shuli Eshel
Molly Freeman Rabbi John Friedman Nan Gefen
Barbara Kane Deborah Kaufman Jan Jaben-Eilon
Barry Joseph Irena Klepfiscz Gil Kulick
Rochelle Lefkowitz Carinne Luck Steve Masters
Ben Murane Carolyn Toll Oppenheim Alison Pepper
Janis Plotkin Ruby Poltorak Lilly Rivlin
Penny Rosenwasser Alan Snitow Bruce Solomon
Sue Swartz Rainer Waldman-Adkins Joanne Witt

Marcia Freedman Photo Album

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Marcia Freedman, August 2015. (Photo/Aliza Becker)

Marcia Freedman & Esther Broner, Brit Tzedek NYC Fundraiser, Nov 2006 (Photo/Alison Pepper)

Aliza Becker, and former MKs Stav Shaffir & Marcia Freedman, J Street Conference, Sept 2013

Alice Pepper, Esther Broner, Marcia Freedman, 2006

Bloomington IN Brit Tzedek Chapter: Julie Bloom, Catherine Goldstein, Don Lichtenberg z’l, ?, Marcia z”l, Jenny Bass, Rita Lichtenberg, Madi Hirschland & back row, Bruce Solomon, Audrey Heller, Larry Moss, Shana Ritter, Jordan Shifriss, Sue Swartz, October 2003

Marcia Freedman, Alison Pepper, and Lilly Rivlin, May 2010

Alice Shalvi, Tony Kushner, Marcia Freedman at Brit Tzedek NYC Fundraiser, November 2006 (Photo/Alison Pepper)

Opening night San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 1999 (Photo/Richard Bermack)

Marcia Freedman Resources

A Tale of Two Conferences: Jewish Feminists Organize to end the Occupation by Marcia Freedman, Bridges Magazine, July 1989/Tamuz 5749

American Jewish Peace Archive Interview by Aliza Becker, August 26, 2015.  Farewell to Marcia Freedman, edited audio of American Jewish Peace Archive interview with introduction by Ori Nir, Americans for Peace Now, September 23, 2021. 

The American Jewish Woman Who Brought Feminism to Israel by Tzafi Saar,, March 8, 2010.

Berkeley’s Marcia Freedman, first out lesbian in Knesset, dies at 83 by Dan Pine, J. The Jewish News of Northern California, September 27, 2021

Bring the Settlers Home to Israel by Marcia Freedman, Tikkun, Volume 18, Issue 4, November 2, 2003

Brit Tzedek’s Marcia Freedman Discusses Role of American Jewish Community by Sister Elaine Kelly, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January/February 2005 

Dovish group still pushing talks by David Silverman, June 27, 2006

Exile in the Promised Land: A Memoir by Marcia Freedman, Ithaca: Firebrand Books, 1990.

Lesbiōt: Israeli Lesbians Talk about Sexuality, Feminism, Judaism and

Their Lives by Tracy Moore Review by: Marcia Freedman

Bridges, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Summer 1995/5755), pp. 109-114

Marcia Freedman and the Fight Against Domestic Violence in Israel by Nati Gabbay, August 3, 2020

Pro-Israel Peace Activist Speaks in Piedmont by Judith Scherr, The Berkeley Daily Planet, January 23, 2007

Marcia Freedman, First American Woman in Knesset, Dies at 83 by Katharine Q. Seelye, New York Times, October 2, 2021

Marcia Freedman’s Reflection: Looking Back at Brit Tzedek Ten Years Later, Brit Tzedek Legacy Website

Marcia Freedman Papers, Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections, Brandeis University, June 20, 2017

The “Real” Cost of the Israeli Settlement Project, video of Marcia Freedman talk for Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, University of San Diego, November 14, 2007.  

US-born ex-MK Marcia Freedman, a pioneer of Israeli women’s rights, dies at 83 by Michael Bachner, Times of Israel, September 23, 2021