JWA News Release: April 22, 2011
New York’s Auburn Theological Seminary to Honor Gail Twersky Reimer, Founder and Executive Director of the Jewish Women’s Archive for her “Life of Commitment”
BOSTON, MA April 22, 2011 The Auburn Theological Seminary in New York, an institute for religious leadership, will honor Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA) Founder and Executive Director Dr. Gail Twersky Reimer at its 15th annual “Lives of Commitment” breakfast on May 6, 2011 at Cipriani’s. The seminary, founded almost 200 years ago as a school for Presbyterian ministers, has evolved into an organization that trains and equips religious and secular leaders to bridge divides in a multi-faith world in order to foster a better future. Dr. Reimer will be honored for her founding of the JWA, a pioneering organization dedicated to uncovering, chronicling, and transmitting the rich legacy of Jewish women in North America.
When asked about this honor Dr. Reimer replied, “I am honored that a respected institution such as the Auburn Theological Seminary will honor me and my work. We are pleased that the impact of the JWA has reached an audience far broader than I had originally hoped for, in turn becoming a model for empowering women of all faiths in realizing they can change a broken world.”
The Auburn Seminary will also recognize Chely Wright, the only openly gay country music singer; Jeanine Larsen, a journalist who has covered ethnic cleansing in South America and southeast Asia; Minerva Caralo, a United Methodist Bishop who became the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the episcopacy of the United Methodist Church, and Kayrita Anderson and Deborah Richardson who set up the Women’s Funding Network to end sex-trafficking and sexual exploitation of women.
Dr. Reimer founded the JWA in 1995 to uncover, chronicle, and transmit to a broad public the rich history of American Jewish women. A national non-profit organization, the JWA is devoted to making known the stories, struggles, and achievements of Jewish women in North America in order to enrich the way we understand the past and to ensure a more inclusive future. JWA has amassed the most extensive collection of material anywhere on American Jewish women, and it can be accessed for free by anyone with an Internet connection.
A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Dr. Reimer began her professional career as a faculty member of Wellesley College shortly after receiving her Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Rutgers University. While at Wellesley she was awarded fellowships from the American Association of University Women and the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, and received the prestigious Pinanski Prize for excellence in teaching. From 1988 to 1995, Dr. Reimer was Associate Director of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities (MFH), the state-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. Reimer conceived and co-edited two path-breaking anthologies of Jewish women’s writings — Reading Ruth: Women Reclaim a Sacred Story and Beginning Anew: A Woman’s Companion to the High Holy Days in the early 1990’s. This work led to the founding of the JWA in 1995.