JWA News Release: June 24, 2005
The Jewish Women's Archive Presents a New Online Exhibit: Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution
Brookline, MA, June 24, 2005—A new, dynamic online exhibit that chronicles the important contributions of Jewish women to the feminist revolution will go live this September when "Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution" is launched by the Jewish Women's Archive (JWA), on its website, jwa.org/feminism.
In speaking about the exhibit, JWA Executive Director Gail T. Reimer, Ph.D., noted its innovative use of the medium of the internet by giving viewers interactive access to historical artifacts including: photographs; images of artwork; newspaper and magazine articles; programs, flyers, and brochures from historic conferences; political posters; letters; audio of lectures and radio news reports; video clips and historic film footage; cartoons; T-shirts; excerpts from books; and pins.
The Jewish Women's Archive is a 10-year-old national nonprofit organization that uncovers, chronicles and transmits information about the rich history of American Jewish women and their contributions to our world.
The artifacts come from 74 Jewish women who have played significant roles in American and Jewish feminism. Each woman also contributed 350 words about her artifact's personal and/or public significance. Curated by JWA Director of Education Judith Rosenbaum, Ph.D. with exhibit designer Cindy Miller, the exhibit delves into the meanings of feminism and its legacies to contemporary and future generations of Jewish women.
"As Jewish women helped propel feminism to the forefront of the American social and political landscape, feminism was dramatically altering the Jewish community and challenging age-old traditions which excluded women and limited their roles in spiritual, communal and domestic life," notes Rosenbaum. "Jewish women's lives were being transformed by feminism and Jewish women themselves were changing society and Jewish life in America."
Among the women featured in the exhibit are the first women ordained as rabbis in their respective movements: Reform Rabbi Sally Priesand and Conservative Rabbi Amy Eilberg. Others include: The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, first Jewish woman to be named a Supreme Court Justice; Gloria Steinem, pioneering feminist activist and founder of Ms. Magazine; Blu Greenberg, pioneer in Orthodox Jewish feminism and a founder of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA); Judy Chicago, feminist artist and creator of feminist art projects including The Dinner Party; and Gerda Lerner, a pioneer in the field of women's history and founder of the first graduate program in women's history at Sarah Lawrence College. A complete list of participants is below.
About the Jewish Women's Archive
Founded in Boston in 1995, JWA looks at the ways in which the documents and artifacts that capture Jewish women's lives have eluded archival collection, and implements innovative archival strategies so that in time they will yield a richer and more inclusive history. JWA seeks to uncover the documentary record of Jewish women's lives and make it available both to the academic world and the larger public, using advocacy, technology, communal oral history projects, and a public history strategy meant to realign the way we pay attention to the past and present. For more information, visit jwa.org/feminism.
About Judith Rosenbaum, Ph.D, Curator, Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution
Judith Rosenbaum is Director of Education at the Jewish Women's Archive. Rosenbaum earned a B.A. summa cum laude in History from Yale University and a Ph.D. in American Civilization, with a specialty in women's history, from Brown University. She has taught women's studies and Jewish studies at Brown, Boston University, and the Adult Learning Collaborative of Hebrew College and Combined Jewish Philanthropies.
Contributors to Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution
Rachel Adler: feminist theologian of Judaism and author of Engendering Judaism: An Inclusive Theology and Ethics (1998).
Joyce Antler: abortion rights activist in 1970s, Professor of American Jewish History and Culture at Brandeis University, and the author of The Journey Home: How Jewish Women Shaped Modern America and the editor of America and I: Short Stories by American Jewish Women Writers.
Helene Aylon: eco-feminist and creator of Jewish-themed installations including "The Liberation of G-d" and "My Bridal Chamber."
Sheryl Baron: conference coordinator for the first National Conference of Jewish Women, held in New York City in February, 1973.
Gay Block: feminist photographer, whose projects include an exhibit on girls at summer camps, portraits of women spiritual leaders, and portraits of holocaust rescuers.
Heather Booth: founder of the Jane underground abortion counseling service in Chicago and organizer of Women's Radical Action Program, the first campus women's group in the country.
Marla Brettschneider: feminist theorist and activist for multicultural Jewish feminism, and Associate Professor of Political Philosophy and Feminist Theory at the University of New Hampshire.
Esther Broner: writer, lecturer, and Jewish feminist ceremonialist. Her books include A Weave of Women (1978) and The Telling (1993).
Shifra Bronznick: founding president of Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community (AWP), her work focuses on cracking the glass ceiling of Jewish communal and professional life.
Susan Brownmiller: journalist and activist on issues of feminism and violence against women, and author of Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape (1975), Femininity (1984), and In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution (1999).
Aviva Cantor: early Jewish feminist activist, co-founder of Lilith Magazine (1976), and author of Jewish Women/Jewish Men: The Legacy of Patriarchy in Jewish Life (1995).
Nina Beth Cardin: Director of Jewish Life at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore; the former editorial committee chairperson and former editor of Sh'ma: a Journal of Jewish Responsibility.
Kim Chernin: feminist writer and psychoanalyst, author of books including In My Mother's House (1983) and The Flame Bearers (1986).
Phyllis Chesler: feminist psychologist, co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology and the National Women's Health Network, and author of Women and Madness (1972).
Judy Chicago: feminist artist and creator of feminist art projects including Womanhouse, The Dinner Party, and The Birth Project.
Tamara Cohen: community activist and an innovator of feminist rituals and liturgy.
Dianne Cohler-Esses: first female rabbi from the Syrian community.
Rachel Cowan: a Reform rabbi, former Director of the Jewish Life program at the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and a founder of the Jewish Healing Network.
Barbara Dobkin: founder of Ma'yan, The Jewish Women's Project of the JCC in Manhattan, and founding Chair of the Jewish Women's Archive.
Ellen DuBois: feminist scholar of 19th century women's history and Professor of History at UCLA.
Ophira Edut: Third-wave feminist activist and co-founder of HUES (Hear Us Emerging Sisters), a national magazine for young women.
Amy Eilberg: first woman ordained as a Conservative rabbi.
Sue Levi Elwell: a Reform rabbi, Director of the Pennsylvania Council of the UAHC, and the founding director of the American Jewish Congress Feminist Center in Los Angeles.
Eve Ensler: playwright and author of The Vagina Monologues, and activist on issues of violence against women.
Marcia Falk: Jewish feminist liturgist and poet.
Merle Feld: Jewish feminist poet and writer.
Debbie Friedman: singer, songwriter, and guitarist whose music has deeply influenced Jewish song and liturgy.
Sonia Pressman Fuentes: first female attorney in the Office of the General Counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: first Jewish woman to serve as a United States Supreme Court Justice.
Maralee Gordon: founder and editor of Lilith's Rib and a founder of Chicago's radical Jewish collective Chutzpah.
Sally Gottesman: founder of Kolot: The Center for Jewish Women's and Gender Studies, and a management consultant to not-for-profit organizations.
Lynn Gottlieb: a Jewish Renewal rabbi, storyteller, and Jewish feminist activist.
Blu Greenberg: pioneer in Orthodox Jewish feminism and a founder of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA).
Gloria Greenfield: a founder of Persephone Press, a leading feminist publisher of the 1970s-80s, and coordinator of a national conference on women's spirituality in 1976.
Rivka Haut: founder of the International Committee for Women of the Wall, and director of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance's Agunah Advocacy Project, she co-edited Daughters of the King: Women and the Synagogue.
Nancy Miriam Hawley: a founder of the Boston Women's Health Collective, the authors of Our Bodies, Ourselves.
Diana Mara Henry: feminist photojournalist who served as the unofficial photographer of Bella Abzug and the official photographer of the first National Women's Conference, held in 1977 in Houston.
Susannah Heschel: Jewish feminist activist and editor of On Being a Jewish Feminist: A Reader (1983), and the Chair of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth.
Nicole Hollander: cartoonist and creator of Sylvia, an internationally syndicated cartoon strip.
Florence Howe: A founder and emerita publisher/director of The Feminist Press at the City University of New York.
Paula Hyman: a founding member of the Jewish feminist activist group Ezrat Nashim and a pioneer in Jewish women's studies. She was the first woman to hold an academic chair in Judaic Studies and she remains the Lucy Moses Professor of Jewish History at Yale.
Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz: social justice activist and Jewish poet and writer.
Evelyn Fox Keller: Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at MIT, and pioneering scholar in issues of gender and science.
Loolwa Khazzoom: An advocate for multiculturalism within the Jewish community, and the editor of The Flying Camel: Essays on Identity by Women of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Heritage (2003).
Clare Kinberg: A founder and managing editor of Bridges: A Journal for Jewish Feminists and Our Friends.
Francine Klagsbrun: writer on social and religious issues.
Sharon Kleinbaum: Rabbi of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, the largest lesbian and gay synagogue in the world.
Madeleine Kunin: the first female governor of Vermont, and former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland.
Lori Lefkowitz: founder of Kolot: The Center for Jewish Women's and Gender Studies, and the Sadie Gottesman and Arlene Gottesman Reff Professor of Gender and Judaism at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
Gerda Lerner: A pioneer in the field of women's history and founder of the first graduate program in women's history, at Sarah Lawrence College.
Ann Lewis: Director of Communications for Senator Hillary Clinton and former Counselor to President Clinton and Director of Communications at the White House.
Belda Lindenbaum: Orthodox feminist activist and influential philanthropist.
Ruth Messinger: former Manhattan Borough President and New York City mayoral candidate, and current president of the American Jewish World Service.
Deena Metzger: a writer, teacher, and healer, and author of books including Tree: Essays and Pieces; Writing For Your Life; and What Dinah Thought.
Cheryl Moch: a founding board member of the Jewish Feminist Organization, and a writer and playwright.
Joan Nestle: writer, lesbian activist, and founder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives.
Marge Piercy: poet, novelist, and activist, and author of books including: Small Changes (1973), Woman on the Edge of Time (1976), He, She, and It (1991), and The Art of Blessing the Day (1999).
Judith Plaskow: feminist theologian, a founder of the B'not Esh Jewish feminist spirituality collective, and author of Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective (1990).
Letty Cottin Pogrebin: writer, activist, and a founder of Ms. Magazine.
Sally Priesand: first woman to be ordained a rabbi in America.
Joan Roth: photographer whose images depict a powerful and unique portrait of Jewish women worldwide.
Susan Weidman Schneider: a founder and editor of Lilith Magazine, and author of Jewish and Female: Choices and Changes in our Lives Today (1984).
Barbara Seaman: women's health activist and journalist, a founder of the National Women's Health Network, and author of books including The Doctor's Case Against the Pill (1969) and The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women: Exploding the Estrogen Myth (2003).
Lynn Sherr: news correspondent and investigative reporter, specializing in women's issues and social change.
Alix Kates Shulman: feminist writer and activist, and author of books including Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen (1969) and Burning Questions (1979).
Joan Snyder: feminist painter.
Marcia Cohn Spiegel: author and community activist who works to create change in the attitudes of the Jewish community towards addiction, violence and sexual abuse.
Gloria Steinem: pioneering feminist activist, spokesperson, and writer, and a founder of Ms. Magazine.
Catherine Steiner-Adair: a clinical and consulting psychologist; Director of Education and Prevention at the Klarman Eating Disorders Center at McLean Hospital, and former director of education, prevention, and outreach at the Harvard Eating Disorders Center.
Meredith Tax: writer and activist and author of books including Rivington Street (1982), and The Rising of the Women: Feminist Solidarity and Class Conflict, 1880-1911 (1980).
Savina Teubal: a biblical scholar and founding president of Sarah's Tent: Sheltering Creative Jewish Spirituality; she created Simchat Hochmah, a Jewish eldering ceremony.
Nina Totenberg: legal correspondent for National Public Radio.
Ruth Weisberg: visual artist and Dean of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California, and the artist for the Central Conference of American Rabbis' (the Reform Movement) new Haggadah.
Naomi Weisstein: a founder of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union, the Chicago Women's Liberation Rock Band, and American Women in Psychology, and psychology researcher and author of the groundbreaking article "Kinder, Kuche, Kirche as Scientific Law, or Psychology Constructs the Female" (1968).