Marcia (Prince) Freedman1956
Advocacy & Government
Marcia Freedman was an American-Israeli woman’s rights and peace and justice activist. Born in the U.S., Freedman, along with her then husband Bill Freedman (’55) and their daughter Jenny, emigrated to Israel in 1967. After an academic career during the early 1970’s, she was a co-founder and leader in the feminist movement there. In 1973, she was elected to the Knesset and served until 1977. During her tenure, she advocated for women’s issues, feminist reform and the rights of Palestinian citizens in Israel. As a result of her work, the Youth Ministry’s budget for girls in distress was significantly increased. Marcia opened the first battered women’s shelter, helped create a network of support and services for women, and introduced legislation that led to the reform of Israel’s highly restrictive abortion law. She co-founded the Women’s Party in 1977. She also co-founded and helped run the Kol Ha-Isha Women’s Center in Haifa, and was a member of and advocate for recognition and legitimacy of the Israeli LGBTQ community.
Marcia returned to the U.S. in 1981 and settled in the California Bay Area, where she published her memoir, ‘Exile in the Promised Land’ in 1990. She helped create the Women’s Computer Literacy Project and was the Director of Marketing for the American Society on Aging, where she established the Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network. She again returned to Israel for extended stays from 1997 to 2002, helping to co-found the Community School for Women, which offered courses in Women’s studies and employment skills to underserved women.
In 2002, she co-founded Brid Tzedek v’Shalom, a nonprofit grass-roots organization that supported the establishment of a Palestinian state, and served as its president.
More recently, she was a member of Ashby Village (a community center for the elderly) serving on its Board of Directors, and she was a co-founder of Elder Action, a political group within the organization. She contributed her activist energies and visionary and thoughtful leadership to equity, diversity, inclusion and access to the Village.
Marcia was a funny, loving, warm, generous woman who loved food, wine, culture, shopping, shoes, the sun, and all things beautiful.
When Marcia passed in 2021, leaving behind her beloved daughter, Jenny, and ex-husband, Bill, women from all over acknowledged her life with an overwhelming outpouring of gratitude for her work.