JWA News Release: February 11, 2004
Jewish Women's Archive Launches its Celebration of the 350th Anniversary of Jewish Life in North America with Major Exhibitions and Programming in Baltimore and Boston
Exhibitions, Films, and Panel Discussions Centering Around 350 Years of Jewish Women Building Communities Are Featured
Boston, MA, February 11, 2004—Gail Reimer, Executive Director of the Jewish Women's Archive (JWA), announced that the organization would launch its celebration of the first Jewish community in North America with a variety of activities, including exhibitions, films, and panel discussions at the Jewish Museum of Maryland and the Boston Public Library (BPL). The theme for JWA's celebration is "350 Years of Jewish Women Building Communities."
JWA presents Weaving Women's Words: Baltimore Stories, at the Jewish Museum of Maryland in Baltimore March 28–July 18, 2004, an inspiring exhibition based on JWA's oral histories of thirty Baltimore Jewish women whose lives span the twentieth century. From the ordinary to the grand, the narrators share their life stories as teachers, businesswomen, philanthropists and communal leaders, as well as mothers, wives, and friends. The exhibition combines photographic portraits by renowned photographer Joan Roth and works of art by prominent Jewish women artists from across the nation with stories from the oral histories. It weaves a rich and authentic portrait of a pivotal generation of American Jewish women and their impact on their families, their communities, and the larger society.
In addition to a full roster of public programming at the museum, the JWA and the Jewish Museum of Maryland are sponsoring a gala opening weekend. JWA is also sponsoring a symposium and a series of programs in the community. For more information go to jwa.org/aboutjwa/events/bpl.html.
The main attraction at the BPL will be an exhibition of the artworks of Andrea Kalinowski titled Stories Untold: Jewish Pioneer Women 1850–1910, open April 8, 2004–May 26, 2004, presented by the Jewish Women's Archive, on loan from TREX: The Traveling Exhibition Program of the Museum of New Mexico. Kalinowski's work opens a window to the lives of Jewish women in the American West. Applying computer technology to traditional quilt patterns, Kalinowski interweaves photography, textiles, traditional quilt patterns and the pioneer women's own words into nine large-scale mixed media paintings.
The BPL's film series on Monday nights April 26th, May 3rd and May 10th, May 17th and May 24th at 6 PM will feature films about Jewish women, while a special program on Tuesday evenings, April 20th, 27th, May 4th, and 11th at 6 PM, produced in conjunction with the Boston Jewish Film Festival, will highlight films by and about Jewish women. Congressman Barney Frank, businessman Alan Morse, attorney Arthur Waldstein, and other speakers will reflect on their mothers in a panel discussion entitled "And Now About My Mother" on May 9th, at 2 PM, in honor of Mothers' Day.
In addition, JWA's Women of Valor posters will hang in the Atrium of the BPL. The posters celebrate the lives of trailblazing Jewish women, bringing each woman's story to life. Each of these remarkable women had the courage and conviction to overcome social, cultural and religious barriers to achieve her goals, and each woman transformed the communities of which she was a part.
The BPL's hours are Monday-Thursday 9 AM -9 PM, Friday and Saturday 9 AM-5 PM, Sunday 1 PM - 5 PM. The Library will be closed on Patriot's Day and Easter Sunday. All activities are free and open to the public.
The Jewish Women's Archive (JWA) is a national, nonprofit organization with a mission to uncover, chronicle and transmit the rich legacy of Jewish women and their contributions to our families and our communities, to our people and our world. Founded in Boston, Mass. in 1995, JWA was one of the first organizations in the Jewish community to stake a claim in the new frontier of the web, and continues to innovate in its use of the virtual world for academic, cultural, archival and educational purposes. JWA's award-winning website, jwa.org, has the most extensive collection of material on American Jewish women on the web. JWA has become a leading advocate for and center of education in Jewish women's history. For more information, visit the JWA website at jwa.org.
About the 350th Anniversary
In September 1654 twenty-three people, including women, men and children, landed in New Amsterdam on the ship St. Cathrien to form the first Jewish settlement in North America. The presence of women and children indicates that these Jews were the first to come to the North American continent in search not only of trade, but also of a home. 2004 marks 350 years since this first communal settlement of Jews in North America. JWA is serving as a coordinator and catalyst for programs focused on women and their contributions. For more information or to sign up for updates about 350th activities go to jwa.org/discover/350years.