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Who participated in the March on Washington?

Central Conference of American Rabbis at the March on Washington

Central Conference of American Rabbis at the March on Washington
Full image
Hillel Gamoran, Slide Collection No. 3487, The Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, 1963.

Central Conference of American Rabbis photograph: Discussion Questions - Description

  1. What is going on here? What do you see that makes you say that?
  2. Based on the signs they are carrying, who do you think these marchers are?
  3. What do the signs they are carrying suggest that their organization supports?
  4. Based on what you know about this group, would you have expected them to have participated in the March on Washington? Why or why not?
  5. Why do you think they chose to march under this "banner"? What message do you think they were trying to send to other people at the March? To people who might see the March on TV?

National Federation of Temple Youth at the March on Washington

National Federation of Temple Youth at the March on Washington
Full image
Hillel Gamoran, Slide Collection No. 3488, The Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, 1963.

NFTY photograph: Discussion Questions - Description

  1. What is going on here? What do you see that makes you say that?
  2. Based on the National Federation of Temple Youth banner they are carrying, who do you think these marchers are?
  3. What do the signs they are carrying suggest that their organization supports?
  4. Based on what you know about this group, would you have expected them to have participated in the March on Washington? Why or why not?
  5. Why do you think they chose to march under this "banner"? What message do you think they were trying to send to other people at the March? To people who might see the March on TV?

The Emma Lazarus Federation of Jewish Women’s Clubs at the March on Washington

The Emma Lazarus Federation of Jewish Women's Clubs
Full image
Photograph of the Emma Lazarus Federation of Jewish Women’s Clubs at the March on Washington, 1963. Courtesy of The Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.

Emma Lazarus Federation Photograph: Discussion Questions - Description

  1. What is going on here? What do you see that makes you say that?
  2. Based on the banner they are in front of, who do you think these marchers are?
  3. What does the banner behind them suggest that their organization supports?
  4. Would you have expected this type of group to have participated in the March on Washington? Why or why not?
  5. Why do you think they chose to march under this "banner"? What message do you think they were trying to send to other people at the March? To people who might see the March on TV?
  6. How is this group the same as or different from the groups in the first two pictures you examined?
  7. How, if at all, does this photograph affect your understanding of the March on Washington?
  • Optional: Visit JWA's Women of Valor exhibit on Emma Lazarus to learn more about the namesake of the Emma Lazarus Federation of Jewish Women's Clubs (ELF). Lazarus is the author of "The New Colossus," the poem on the Statue of Liberty that begins "Give me your tired, your poor…"
  • The Emma Lazarus Federation of Jewish Women's Clubs, founded in the 1950's, fought anti-Semitism and racism while celebrating Jewish culture and striving to provide, "leadership to women in the Jewish communities in our time in the same spirit as Emma Lazarus did in hers." How does knowing more about Emma Lazarus and the ELF impact your understanding of the photograph?

    Analysis

    After you examine all of the documents in your packet answer the following questions:

    1. Based on the photographs you've examined, make a list of some of the people/groups who participated in the March on Washington. Include both general and specific categories. (Remember that while this packet focused on Jewish participation in the March on Washington, most of the participants were not Jewish.)
    2. Each of the photographs you examined featured a group marching under a Jewish banner. Why do you think these marchers chose to identify themselves as Jewish marchers? When might you want to march under a Jewish banner? When might you not want to march under a Jewish banner? What other banner might you want to march under?
    3. Having examined these photos, do you identify with any of the groups or individuals pictured? Imagine that you had gone to the March on Washington. How might you have participated?

    How to cite this page

    Jewish Women's Archive. "Who participated in the March on Washington?." (Viewed on September 30, 2014) <http://jwa.org/node/11910/lightbox2>.

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