You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Documentary Film

Gertrude Wishnick Dubrovsky, 1926 - 2012

Gertrude Wishnick Dubrovsky’s parents immigrated to the United States from Poland around the turn of the last century. Early in their marriage, they made an unsuccessful try at farming and then operated a hand laundry on New York’s Lower East Side. With the help of a land grant from Jewish charities set up for that purpose, they tried again, joining a community of Jewish farmers in Farmingdale, NJ.

Taking stock of the “unfinished revolution”

There are those pioneers who are out to change the world—think Betty Friedan, whose book The Feminine Mystique, 50 years after its publication, continues to spark conversation and debate about women’s roles.

“Women Who Make America”

For the past year, I’ve enjoyed paying regular visits to MAKERS.com, a growing online collection of video interviews with an impressive array of women who have made a mark on the last half century of American history.

"Have you ever considered the girl to be the somebody?"

Yael Kohen’s new book, We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy, has many revealing tales about how change happens. But one stands out for me: in 1966, the actress Marlo Thomas approached the head of ABC-TV programming with a novel idea. She wanted “to play the person with the problem, not the person who assisted the person with the problem.” She recalled:

I didn’t want to be the wife of somebody, or the secretary of somebody, or the daughter of somebody…”Have you ever considered the girl to be the somebody?” And he said, “Would anybody watch a show like that?” I said, “I think they would.” And so I gave him a copy of The Feminine Mystique, and he read it and kind of became convinced.

Goldie Hawn

As an actress, Goldie Hawn became known for playing dumb blondes, but behind the camera, she was determined to fulfill her vision as an executive producer and director.

Ruth Hagy Brod

Ruth Hagy Brod’s varied career as a journalist, documentary filmmaker and literary agent made her the ideal publicity director for Job Orientation In the Neighborhoods, helping high school dropouts train for careers.

Lynn Sherr

Believing that the stories of strong women needed to be remembered and honored, reporter Lynn Sherr covered women’s issues as a journalist and brought the story of Susan B. Anthony to a new generation.

All of the Above: Refusing to Choose

There was a moment in my late twenties when I seriously considered rabbinical school. I was changing careers, trying to figure out what my next step would be, and becoming a rabbi would have allowed me to blend my love of Jewish ritual, my intellectual curiosity, and my passion for helping people into a calling. It made sense, on a deep level. But the more I talked about it with friends who were already rabbis and rabbinical students, the more they cautioned me, “As a woman, if you become a rabbi and you’re not married yet, you need to accept that you’ll probably never marry. Men don’t want to date women who are authority figures; it’s too emasculating.” I wanted to be a rabbi. But I also wanted marriage and children. When I believed that I needed to choose between them, I couldn’t bear the thought of never having children of my own. I quietly turned my focus to other graduate programs.

Girl Rising

Abby Mohr lives a stone's throw away from Boston, but her take on education is global. Barely even in her teenage years, and she cares deeply about making sure girls all over the world can get an education. “I really like school,” she says. “Boys get to go to school all over the world, and girls should too.” Most teenagers probably do not realize just how lucky they are to be educated, but Abby is not one of them.

Sosúa: Make a Better World

The young actors learn about each other’s cultures (through a Passover seder, Spanish lessons, and more) while learning about themselves. I am constantly amazed by the power of theatre, even after experiencing it personally throughout my education. Watching Liz Swados and her production team interact with the teens reminded me of all the incredible teachers and directors I had the pleasure of working with in high school and college. Theatre gave me self-confidence and taught me the importance of community, and it’s clear that the teens involved in Sosúa learned the same.  This fascinating movie provides great insight into the magic of theater as well as into a little known aspect of Shoah history.

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Documentary Film." (Viewed on July 24, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/documentary-film>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs