Leonard Rogoff discusses his biography Gertrude Weil: Jewish Progressive in the New South

Tue 4/4, 7pm:
Leonard Rogoff discusses his biography Gertrude Weil: Jewish Progressive in the New South

"It is so obvious that to treat people equally is the right thing to do,” wrote Gertrude Weil (1879–1971). In the first-ever biography of Weil, Leonard Rogoff tells the story of a modest southern Jewish woman who, while famously private, fought publicly and passionately for the progressive causes of her age. Born to a prominent family in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Weil never married and there remained ensconced--in many ways a proper southern lady--for nearly a century. From her hometown, she fought for women’s suffrage, founded her state’s League of Women Voters, pushed for labor reform and social welfare, and advocated for world peace.

Weil made national headlines during an election in 1922 when, casting her vote, she spotted and ripped up a stack of illegally marked ballots. She campaigned against lynching, convened a biracial council in her home, and in her eighties desegregated a swimming pool by diving in headfirst. Rogoff also highlights Weil’s place in the broader Jewish American experience. Whether attempting to promote the causes of southern Jewry, save her European family members from the Holocaust, or support the creation of a Jewish state, Weil fought for systemic change, all the while insisting that she had not done much beyond the ordinary duty of any citizen.

 

Leonard Rogoff is research historian for the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina and author of several books, including Down Home: Jewish Life in North Carolina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Event date: 
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Gertrude Weil: Jewish Progressive in the New South Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781469630793
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of North Carolina Press - April 3rd, 2017