And the winner is... Women of Valor!
Leah Wolff-Pellingra is the winner of our contest to rename the History Makers series with her suggestion, "Women of Valor." As it happens, the series was originally titled Women of Valor when it was first introduced in 1997. JWA changed the name to "History Makers" in an effort to improve transparency and better characterize the women in the series in 2008. Inspired by Leah's suggestion, the Jewish Women’s Archive is returning the series to its roots and restoring the project’s original title.
For nearly 15 years, educators, researchers, students and people of all ages have used History Makers web exhibits, posters and teaching resources to highlight the lives and accomplishments of 16 trailblazing Jewish women who overcame social, cultural and religious barriers in order to create a more just and equitable world. They are: Bella Abzug, Beatrice Alexander, Gertrude Elion, Ray Frank, Emma Goldman, Rebecca Gratz, Emma Lazarus, Barbara Myerhoff, Molly Picon, Justine Wise Polier, Bobbie Rosenfeld, Anna Sokolow, Hannah Greenebaum Solomon, Henrietta Szold, Lillian Wald and Gertrude Weil.
The decision to hold the contest was motivated by a request from The HistoryMakers—an African American History archive—asking JWA to cease using a title that was causing confusion between the two organizations.
“JWA and The HistoryMakers both work in the oral history and archive space and respect one another’s work. Given that History Makers is essentially their brand, whereas for JWA, it was the title of one among many projects and programs, there seemed little reason not to acquiesce to their request,” said JWA Executive Director Gail T. Reimer.
After several impassioned discussions of the proposed names, Women of Valor, suggested by Leah Wolff-Pellingra, emerged the winner. Leah, a cantorial soloist and educator in Schenectady, New York, said that she suggested the name because she considered it “a natural fit for the work of JWA.”
“The women represented here have sustained our people and humanity,” Leah said. “The abiding worth of their actions continues to redefine the paths by which we, too, may become women of valor.”
We at JWA want to thank everyone who participated in the contest for their excellent suggestions and support. Leah Wolff-Pellingra will be receiving a full set of Women of Valor posters and a copy of Making Trouble on DVD. You can pick up your own copies at jwa.org/shop.