2015-10-14 / Local News

Moorestown event to kick off fund named for women’s rights trailblazer

For the Voice

FAVORITE CAUSE: Women’s Rights

FAVORITE FILMS: “Casablanca,” “Tender Mercies,” “Thelma and Louise,” “Tootsie”

FAVORITE BOOK: Any novel by Lisa Scottoline

FAVORITE JEWISH FOOD: Her Grandmother Goldie’s Cranberry Strudel

She comes from a long line of strong Jewish women. Judith Glick Buckman’s late mother, Lucy Gelman Glick was a critically acclaimed South Jersey artist and human rights activist, and both her maternal and paternal grandmothers were feisty and determined sorts.

But Judith Buckman, affectionately known as Judy, has arguably taken that legacy to new heights, throwing in the eclectic interests of her late father, Abraham, a general dentist for 50 years in South Jersey who was a serious photographer and video collector.

Mention Buckman’s name in women’s leadership circles throughout the region, and recognition is instant. And no wonder.

Buckman, whose first career was teaching, recalls one of her most celebrated women’s causes.

“When I was pregnant with our first child, and teaching in Cherry Hill back in 1971, the principal and superintendent said I had to leave, presumably because my expanding waistline would traumatize my young students,” recalled this women’s rights trailblazer.

Decades later, Buckman recalled what happened next: In order to stay, she had to retain lawyers who obtained an injunction, the first time they had dealt with discrimination based on sex rather than race.

Buckman remained in her classroom until three weeks before her son was born, and a year later. the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a similar case that this decision was to be made by a woman and her doctor, not her employer.

Buckman had experienced what she remembers hearing Gloria Steinem herself call “the click”—the moment when she realized that women themselves needed to change the status quo in seeking equality.

She immediately joined the National Organization for Women (NOW), then served in just about every office over the next 40 years. She is currently the South Jersey chapter’s president.

In 1985, Buckman, along with several other NOW members, founded the Alice Paul Centennial Foundation, (now the Alice Paul Institute) which is dedicated to honor the legacy of Paul, a South Jersey native who authored the Equal Rights Amendment and spent a lifetime championing women’s rights.

The recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being named as a 2015 recipient of the Alice Paul Equality Award, one that honors women who carry on Alice Paul’s luminous legacy, Buckman also was named as an Outstanding Woman of Burlington County.

A current crusade, this one named for Glick herself, is the Judith Glick Buckman Fund for the Future, Inc., which will be dedicated to educating the entire community about the importance of women’s contributions to all segments of American society. Invited speakers will address subjects like girls and technology, women heroes of the Civil Rights movement, and lead discussions of women’s history, family life and volunteerism.

The kickoff event is on Sunday, Oct. 25 from 4-7 p.m. at the Moorestown Community House, 16 East Main Street, Moorestown. For more information, visit www.jgbfundforthefuture.org .

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