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JWA News Release: March 12, 2009

Dear Educator,

It's Women's History Month and the Jewish Women's Archive has a lot to share.

Our latest edition of JWA's online resource Go & Learn: Primary Documents and Lesson Plans is now available! Go to jwa.org/teach/golearn/mar09/ to find free, downloadable lessons for learners of all ages.

This month's edition, Taking Risks, Making Change: Bat Mitzvah and Other Evolving Traditions, uses the story of one girl's pursuit of a Saturday morning Bat Mitzvah to reflect on what it means to be counted as equal in Jewish life, and to explore the big questions facing Jewish communities today as traditions continue to evolve.

Lesson plans for youth, adults, and family education combine this historical case study, presented through the voices of both mother and daughter, with opportunities to discuss current issues and conduct interviews on the impact of Bat/Bar Mitzvah experiences. Do you have a story about a Bat Mitzvah "first" experience? First in a synagogue? First on Saturday morning? First to lead services, read from the Torah, or wear a tallit? Share it with us. (Collected stories will also be shared with Moving Traditions' Bat Mitzvah Firsts project.)

Also new this month:

  • If you haven't heard, the Jewish Women's Archive just launched the online edition of Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. In the age of Wikipedia, many of us are accustomed to looking for quick answers when we encounter an unfamiliar topic or figure. Now you can turn to this reliable online resource, which includes over 1,700 biographies—from Gertrude Berg to Gertrude Stein; Hannah Greenebaum Solomon to Hannah Arendt; the Biblical Ruth to Ruth Bader Ginsburg—plus 300 thematic essays, and 1,400 photographs and illustrations. Use this resource for your own research or share it with your students (generally high school and up). Its thematic and visual links make it possible to draw connections across time and space in ways that are impossible in a printed book.
  • Listen to stories of Jewish women who have made a difference through social activism, politics, and religious innovation. In honor of Women's History Month, JWA is introducing three new thematic podcast features, beginning with Jewish Women and Social Activism. Women like Lynn Amowitz, a physician and tireless activist for human rights around the world, and Idit Klein, GLBT activist and founding Executive Director of Keshet, reflect on the "ah ha!" moments that catalyzed their activism. Check back later this month for features on Jewish women's experiences as political leaders and religious innovators.

We hope you will find these resources useful and stimulating. Please share your feedback and questions by emailing.

Judith Rosenbaum                     Emily Scheinberg     
Director of Public History            Assistant Director for Educational Outreach

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA News Release: March 12, 2009." (Viewed on April 18, 2014) <http://jwa.org/news/2009/090312-new-Go-and-Learn>.