Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in History



First Advisor

Evelyn Stern


This thesis examines a kosher meat boycott in South Providence in 1910, placing this event in the broader context of Jewish immigrant women's activism around food issues and the popular strategy of consumer protest during the Progressive Era. Through an analysis of press accounts, census data, and community statistics, this study presents an analysis of the possible causes and impacts of this example of immigrant Jewish women's activism in early twentieth-century Providence.

As women serve as both preservers of culture and mediators of the outside world (as expressed through domestic consumption), such incidents as kosher meat boycotts provide an opportune point at which to observe the strategies used to both conserve and transform the Jewish community. It is hoped that this study of a specific example of Jewish women's consumer activism in South Providence will not only illuminate aspects of one local Jewish community, but will also raise issues for the further consideration of what such incidents suggest about the importance of women's collective actions within communities undergoing economic, social, and religious transformation.



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