Sharing Stories Inspiring Change


Reading Guides and Bibliographies

A Place in History: Jewish Women Tell Their Stories

From the harsh and unforgiving plains of North Dakota, to the teeming ghettos of the Lower East Side, to the expanding urban metropolis of Atlanta, Georgia, to the new suburban Baltimore in the transition years of the 1950s—these four memoirs written by Jewish women take us to varying regions of our country in which Jewish women and their families sought to mold and improve their lives. Their stories take us to regions of the mind, and of the emotions, as well as to actual physical sites. Taken together, these four books of this first JWA Reading Series indicate how complex, rich, and varied Jewish women's lives in the United States have been. Told in the distinctive, expressive voices of authors who intuitively understood why their private experiences as Jewish women ought to be set down and recorded (if, in several cases, only for self- and family enlightenment), these memoirs open a window onto the wider experience of Jewish and female life in America. Providing glimpses into the perennial struggles between Old World tradition and New World culture, the processes of settlement, acculturation, and modernization, and the often hard-fought struggles between the generations and between genders, they suggest insight into what was unique—and what universal—about Jewish female experience in the different regions of the United States. Most especially, they give us deep insights into the ways in which different generations of American Jewish women lived out their lives in the midst of families and communities as they carried out their daily tasks and dreamed of a brighter future.

350th Anniversary Reading Series Guides

JWA's 350th book discussion series offer established book discussion groups and those seeking substantive 350th programming a compelling framework for thinking about our past and present in North America. JWA's reading series guides provide all the resources necessary to consider literary representations of American Jewish women in the context of historical and contemporary realities.

Each guide includes a general historical and literary introduction to the particular themes raised by the four or five books within each series, along with an introduction and discussion questions for every book.


Below is a list of bibliographies appearing on

Women of Valor Bibliographies

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Reading Guides and Bibliographies." (Viewed on April 18, 2014) <>.