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Jewesses with Attitude

Play a role in mapping Jewish women's history

There exists no guide to physical landmarks in Jewish women's history--until now.

Yesterday was an exciting day at the Jewish Women's Archive because yesterday we literally put Jewish women "on the map."  A user-generated map hosted on jwa.org, On the Map showcases significant places in Jewish women’s history, including sites both marked and unmarked, familiar and obscure. You can put your own stamp on history by clicking on a location and adding a photo and description of the new landmark. 

On the Map was featured this morning in eJewishPhilanthropy, on Google Maps Mania, and in a wonderful post by Renee Ghert-Zand on her blog Truth, Praise & Help. She wrote:

Our famous wandering notwithstanding, connection to place – even when it has been through memory or longing – has been among the things that have sustained us Jews for millennia.

Just a few days ago, I wrote about how my Bubbe’s rootedness in the the Canadian prairie town where she was born in 1912 has served to shape my family’s identity. 

In recognition of the powerful role actual, physical locations and presences play in history and herstory, the Jewish Women’s Archive has just launched an exciting new, interactive project called On The Map on its website. Thanks to the wonders of Web 2.0, readers can add to a map the location, biographical/historical information and photos relating to specific events in the history of Jewish women in North America. Having gone live this morning, the map is already beginning to fill up. What a fabulous collaborative educational tool!

It is so gratifying to see this project resonate with so many people, many of whom have added wonderful new landmarks to the map including Harvard University, where Rabbanit Sharon Weiss-Greenberg became the first female Orthodox Jewish chaplain in 2009, and the Brooklyn home of Anna Boudin, founder of the Women’s American ORT. Since its launch, I check the map quite often and each time I am delighted to see the new additions, conveniently highlighted on the right hand side. The map has only been up for one day and already I have discovered a number of Jewish women's stories previously unknown to me! The potential here is unreal.

Still, On the Map's success depends on you.

Play a role in mapping our common heritage and add a landmark to the map today! A landmark can be a physical marker (such as a statue, plaque, or gravestone) a site where history was made (the site of a famous speech or protest) or the home or birthplace of a "history maker." These landmarks don't need to be the kind found in history books. They may have special meaning to you, your family, or your community and you can add them to the map with or without a photo.

Click here to get started, and help us put Jewish women "on the map!" 

For more information about the project, check out our press release and an earlier blog post, "Putting Jewish Women on the Map"

More on: History, On the Map
On the Map
Full image
On the Map screenshot, March 11, 2010.

How to cite this page

Berkenwald, Leah. "Play a role in mapping Jewish women's history." 11 March 2010. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on November 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/JWA-launches-On-the-Map>.

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