"Still Lives" and the women of the 23 Souls

Share

In early September of 1654, 355 years ago today, a group of Brazilian Jews described in the public records as "23 souls, big as well as little," arrived on the docks of the new world Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, now known as New York.  These were not the first Jews to reach North America, but the group is significant because it was mostly women and children, signaling the beginning of the first Jewish community in the New World.

'Berlin 36' and Gretel Bergmann's story

Share

Next week is the release of Berlin 36 in German cinemas.  Berlin 36 is a film about Gretel Bergmann, the talented German high jumper denied a spot on the 1936 Olympic team because she was Jewish.  Rather than face the embarassment of a Jew winning a gold medal for Germany, the Third Reich selected gentile Dora Ratjen to compete in Bergmann's place. Two years later, a doctor revealed that "Dora" was actually a man.

The "mother-in-lawsuit," God as a woman, and everything you wanted to know about bagels - Link Roundup Sep. 2, 2009

Share

Yesterday I participated in that wonderful September 1st Boston tradition called "Moving Day," where everybody across the city plays a traffic-ridden game of musical apartments.  To make up for my absence, here is a mega link roundup.  Enjoy!

  • Mother in law-suit? A Jewish woman is suing her daughter-in-law, a standup comedian, over her “malicious” mother-in-law routine. No joke!  [Heeb]
  • After a Muslim woman recently made waves in a “burquini,” Elle magazine takes a look at swimsuit scandals throughout history.  [Elle]
  • David K. Israel of Mentalfloss lists the “Top 20 Jewish Comedians of All Time.” Guess how many women he left out?  Tsk, tsk, Mr. Israel.  I’ll meet your Howard Stern and raise you Sophie Tucker or Joan Rivers or any of the rest of the Jewish women from Making Trouble. [Mentalfloss]
  • Amid celebrations of Women’s Equality Day, Nancy Ratzan reminds us that women are still paid less than men. [The Forward]

Bring on the Emmas!

Share

Last week, the New York Times reported the most popular baby names, noting that there were "few baby Baracks, but Emmas abound."  "Emma" has bumped "Emily" out of the No. 1 spot as the most popular baby name for girls.  The article mentions that "Emma" has been in the top 10 since 2002, and also ranked in the top 10 in the late 19th century.  Hmm... the late 19th century, you say? 

The Return of the Red Hot Mama

Share

I was thrilled to see the full page spread in today's New York Times about Sophie Tucker and the release of a new anthology of her early work. One of the subjects of our documentary about Jewish women comedians, Making Trouble, she's a big favorite around the Jewish Women's Archive.

Katrina's Jewish Voices and Women's Stories

Share

This post is written by Jayne Guberman, project director of Katrina's Jewish Voices.

Four years ago today, the world was transfixed as images of Hurricane Katrina roared across our television screens and the horrifying stories of people stranded and lost flooded our inboxes, websites, and, it seemed, every news outlet in the country. Certainly at the Jewish Women’s Archive, we were transfixed.  Our beloved board member, Carol Wise, and her family had fled the storm along with tens of thousands of other New Orleanians and were holed up in a hotel in Dallas.  Her messages to us in those early days were full of relief, gratitude for the loving hands being extended to them from across the country, worry and concern about their homes and their neighborhoods, and anxiety for those left behind.

Deena Gerber and Roselle Ungar: Where are they now?

Share

Deena Gerber and Roselle Ungar, two leaders of the New Orleans Jewish community who played instrumental roles in the relief and rebuild efforts during and after Hurricane Katrina, helped to coordinate rescues, distribute aid money, and help displaced members of the community find each other.  Four years later, where are they now?

A Charitable Role Reversal for the Jews of Katrina

Share

Media coverage of Hurricane Katrina focused on the poorest communities of New Orleans and initiated a national discussion about poverty, power, and racism. The JWA's Katrina’s Jewish Voices project is interesting in that it focuses on the experience of a different, relatively affluent, community. It would be misleading to ignore the fact that the Jewish community of greater New Orleans was relatively privileged in terms of status, education, wealth, and other financial resources like insurance. In a recent article in the Jerusalem Report, Jayne Guberman, project director of Katrina's Jewish Voices, said, “Privileged individuals and families, too, had to cope with loss, displacement and at least temporary homelessness. These interviews show that even privileged lives are fragile, and they point to the impact of the loss of our most essential connections.”

The Jewish community's finest moment

Share

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, and the organized American Jewish community rallied.  The National Disaster Committee of the United Jewish Communities quickly raised and distributed $28 million in aid for Jewish and non-Jewish communities, about $16 million of which went to the local Jewish institutions serving the greater New Orleans area. 

Commemorating Women's Equality Day and Sen. Kennedy

Share

Though we're going to be posting about Katrina for the rest of the week, I couldn't let today go by without acknowledging that it is Women's Equality Day!

Pages

Rising Voices

Poll

Which topics pique your interest on the JWA blog?