JWA News Release: January 7, 2005
New Orleans Chapter of Hadassah and Jewish Women's Archive Honor Local Women Activists at Community Event and Online
New Orleans, LA, January 7, 2005—The New Orleans Chapter of Hadassah, in partnership with the Jewish Women's Archive (JWA) of Brookline, Massachusetts, is honoring five outstanding Jewish women who have dared to stand up for the rights of others during the Jewish Women Who Dared: Changing the World event on February 22, 2005. This lunchtime event will provide an opportunity to publicly celebrate these contemporary Jewish women activists who have worked on behalf of human rights and social justice. The honorees have all taken risks on behalf of issues that range from Soviet Jewry, women's empowerment, civil rights, gay and lesbian rights and volunteerism in local government.
In conjunction with this event, a multimedia web exhibit on JWA's website, (jwa.org/exhibits/wwd), will feature in-depth interviews with each of the honorees. The exhibit offers biographical information, interviews, and photographs, exploring each woman's perspective on being a Jewish woman activist.
Women Who Dared is a national program of the Jewish Women's Archive. Through community events and web exhibits, JWA seeks to demonstrate the varied character of Jewish women's activism, to honor local activists, and to provide role models for the next generation.
This year JWA is co-sponsoring Women Who Dared events in several cities, including Chicago on March 9th, 2005, and Boston on April 5th, 2005. The program is partially funded by the Dorot Foundation in honor of Alice Shalvi and Deborah Lipstadt.
The New Orleans honorees for 2005:
- Shannie Goldstein traveled to the former Soviet Union three times in the late 1970's and early 1980's. At personal great risk and with guitar in hand, Goldstein met with groups of Jewish refuseniks to show support and to provide Jewish education through Hebrew songs during this difficult time.
- Madalyn Schenk is an activist for social change. She was instrumental in starting the HIPPY Program (Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters) for low and moderate-income families in New Orleans and then statewide. Schenk has also been a driving force empowering women to become more involved in the political process.
- Florence Schornstein has moved volunteerism into city government while advocating for civil rights and serving as superintendent of the New Orleans Parkway and Parks Department.
- Mollie M. Wallick, Ph.D. is a pioneer in broadening awareness and full acceptance of lesbian, gay men and bisexuals within the New Orleans Jewish community.
- Judge Miriam Waltzer is a lifelong advocate of social justice for minorities, women and juveniles. She traveled to the former Soviet Union to fight for the freedom of Natan Sharansky, Dr. Norman Salansky and others.
"Honoring these women recognizes the possibilities for us all," said Roselle M. Ungar, National Vice President of Hadassah.
"As part of the national celebrations of 350 years of Jewish life in North America," said JWA Executive Director Gail Twersky Reimer, "JWA is celebrating a 350-year history of Jewish women-women who built communities in the past, and women who are transforming our communities in the present."
The event is scheduled for Tuesday, February 22, 2005 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel in the Napoleon Ballroom. The cash bar will open at 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch and the presentation at 12 noon. Tickets will cost $50 per person. The deadline for reservations is Friday February 11, 2005 and will only be held with payment. Checks payable to The New Orleans Chapter of Hadassah should be sent to Betty Lazarus, 4803 Chateau Drive, Metairie, LA 70002.
Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, is the nation's largest women's, largest Jewish and largest Zionist organization. In Israel it supports the Hadassah Medical Organization and youth and education institutions. In the United States, Hadassah programs also include health education and services, social action and advocacy, Jewish education, conservation, and forging partnerships with Israel. The Hadassah website is www.hadassah.org.
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 in 1995, JWA continues to innovate in its use of the virtual world for academic, cultural, archival and educational purposes. JWA is serving as a coordinator and catalyst for 350th programs focused on women and their contributions. For more information, visit jwa.org.