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.
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.
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.
Next Monday, February 28, 2011, PBS will broadcast a new American Experience documentary, Triangle Fire, about one of the most horrific, and most consequential, workplace disaster in American history. A variety of special programs—gallery exhibitions, musical performances, conferences, even an HBO movie—are taking place over the next month to mark the centennial of the fire that left 146 workers dead.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day provides the Jewish community with a unique and multifaceted opportunity each year: it's a chance to turn our communal attention from its inward focus to a more outward-directed perspective. A chance to connect with our African-American neighbors. A chance to celebrate the man who still looms large as a model of religiously-inspired leadership. A chance to recall with pride a time when many Jews stood up for the rights of all people, black or white.
I was sitting in a meeting about a pilot project on gender in Jewish education a few years ago when a male colleague interrupted to proudly announce the release of his new book, a compilation of essays that he edited about Jewish education in North America. Naturally, I flipped through the hot-off-the-presses volume and searched for women writers. To my surprise, there was not even one. I asked the man why there were no women among the fifteen or so authors.
As the word spreads about Living the Legacy, JWA's new social justice curriculum about Jews and the Civil Rights Movement, it's exciting and gratifying to read testimonials from educators and other interested parties. It's a rare honor, however, to receive a review from a student. Dina Lamdany is a senior at a Jewish day school in Washington D.C. She blogs about Jewish feminism at fromtherib? and is a regular contributor to Jewesses with Attitude.