Last week, Rabbi Scott Perlo wrote a provocative article in the Washington Post in which he addressed the continuing discomfort that many Jews—even liberal, gender-equity-supporting ones—feel about female rabbis. He suggests that this puzzling phenomenon may be due to the central place nostalgia holds in many people’s feelings about Judaism. It comes as no surprise that this nostalgic vision does not include female rabbis.
In 1968, the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Council for Jewish Women embarked on an oral history project to record the experiences of Jewish Eastern European immigrants, who came to the U.S. between 1890 and 1924. In 1973, the project was expanded to collect the stories of Pittsburgh Jewish men and women who made contributions on local, national, and international levels. Today, this project is the longest running and largest oral Jewish history project known to exist in the world. Now the 500 plus interviews have been digitized and made accessible to the world, creating a "treasure trove" of primary source materials.
On November 6th, the Museum of Jewish Heritage will open the Keeping History Center, providing an interactive experience for New York visitors that allows them to record and add their own stories to the historical record. This project is near and dear to us at the Jewish Women's Archive, since we have worked since our start 13 years ago to record the untold and unheard stories of American Jewish women -- stories like the one shared in this podcast.
Saturday August 29, 2009, marks the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and it is time to take stock. The Jerusalem Report’s August issue does just that, featuring Arieh O’Sullivan’s article “Rebuilding Jewish Life in the Big Easy,” and Eetta Prince-Gibson’s article “Katrina’s Jewish Story,” in which she discusses Katrina’s Jewish Voices, a project of the Jewish Women's Archive in collaboration with the Center for History and New Media. To view the Jerusalem Report articles, click here.