By Sue Beller, Board Chair, and Stephanie Blumenkranz, Director

“The Jewish religion is an ethical religion. That is, we are taught to do right, to love mercy, do justice, not because there’s going to be any reward in heaven or punishment in hell. We live righteously because that’s how people should live.” 

– Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg z”l told the Sixth and I Congregation in Washington DC, on Rosh Hashanah in 2017.



People of all backgrounds are mourning the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg z”l. A pioneer for women’s rights—notably making the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause apply to women—and a trailblazer for the Jewish community—the first Jewish woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

Justice Ginsburg was a champion for the values that The Hadassah Foundation holds paramount. She was a fierce fighter for women’s rights and her contributions were instrumental in ensuring equal protection for women under the law. Justice Ginsburg understood the power of true social change and that to achieve this took time and perseverance, saying that “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time”. She was a giant in spirit, a role model to women of all ages, and her work has paved the way for so many women for generations to come. 

How significant that Justice Ginsburg passed on Rosh Hashanah. Those who die on Rosh Hashanah are considered “a person of great righteousness.” She most certainly embodied the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam – repairing the world. We are more whole, we are more equal, because Ruth Bader Ginsburg has lived. Let us honor the magnificent person that she was by continuing her work for equality and justice.