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Living the Legacy

Prinz, Persecution, and the Pursuit of Justice

I’ve been working at the Jewish Women’s Archive since the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 2011. In my almost-three years here, I have learned one thing above all else: in order to understand ourselves, to know our past, and to build our future, we must tell our stories. And this past week has been one of my most favorite weeks of story telling as every blog, news agency, and Facebook user has shared anecdotes, historical photos, and reflections of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Last week I highlighted some little-known historical facts about the March, including the involvement of Jews in the event. Since then, I have seen Rabbi Joachim Prinz’s name and words all over the Internet as Jews claim him as our own and passionately take up the legacy of his work for civil rights and social justice.

50 Years On: 5 Things I Learned About the March on Washington

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the March tomorrow, I would like to share 5 things I have learned about the March on Washington that you may not already know—one for each decade. I hope you’ll take this opportunity to check your assumptions and look more closely at this monumental, game-changing event.

Dayenu. Dayenu. Dayenu.

This past year, I took a group of seven teens on a tour of the American South. The trip was inspired by my desire to infuse young people with a sense of history and context as it relates to Judaism in the South and Jews in the Civil Rights Movement.

We began in Atlanta, then drove to Alabama, stopping in Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, and many places in between. We met with people who had lived through segregation and fought against it. We saw the Rosa Parks Museum, experienced history, and talked about what it means to be an American Jew from the Northeast.

Why history is not just about the past

A fire blazes through a garment factory. The building has too few exits and not enough fire escapes. Fire equipment cannot reach the fire. More than 100 people—many of them young women—die. Bodies, burnt beyond recognition, line the floor of a government building, awaiting identification.

If you’re thinking, “I know that story—it happened at New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist Company in 1911,” think again. Though the details fit the Triangle tragedy, the scene I’ve just described is the deadly fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, this past Saturday night.

JWA Spotlights Jewish Women's Activism

Like all large groups of people, American Jews are complex and irreducible despite some aspects of shared culture. Recently, the Jewish Women’s Archive made an interesting choice to focus a new curriculum on Jewish involvement in the labor and civil rights movements — without cheerleading or focusing solely on women’s involvement — thereby shining a probing light on that very complexity.

Understanding the Past, Imagining the Future

Images and scenes etched in the minds of generations of Jewish activists--immigrant workers marching, sitting in, and striking; tear gas filling the air as riot police attack, beat and arrest union protesters; and battles with gangsters to free unions of mob domination. Freedom rides across the South, rabbis and religious leaders arrested in protests, and a generation of Jews--rank and file workers, organizers, and emerging leaders--swept up and inspired by a movement to win economic, racial, and social justice.

Interview with Mary Glickman (Part II)

Mary Glickman is a writer, public relations professional, and fundraiser who has worked with Jewish charities and organizations.

Interview with Mary Glickman: Enthralling Author, Charming Mensch (Part I)

Mary Glickman is a writer, public relations professional, and fundraiser who has worked with Jewish charities and organizations.

Summer internship opportunities at JWA

Do you know someone looking for an engaging internship experience this summer? The Jewish Women's Archive has openings for several unpaid interns, 10–20 hours per week, beginning June 13, 2011 for both undergraduates and graduates. Academic year positions may also be available. 

Lunch with Fannia Cohn

On Sunday, I had lunch with Fannia Cohn. So did Toba Penny from Moment, Sarah Perry, Rose Zoltek-Jick, and Leah Berkenwald from the Jewish Women’s Archive, and six other guests (including one man) at Table 24. We were gathered to commemorate the centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and to celebrate Jewish women activists, past and present. Each of us was given a numbered card with a part of Fannia Cohn’s life story.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Living the Legacy." (Viewed on December 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/living-legacy>.

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