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Teach: Ideas from JWA - Using the 'Women of Valor' posters

These ideas are intended to assist you in thinking about ways to use our materials. We are constantly updating this section with new ideas and would love to hear from you with your program ideas. Please email us, or leave your comments, below.

Programming Ideas for Libraries

  • Women of Valor Book and Poster Display. Build a display and be sure to include information from the resource guide about the posters themselves as well as about the three women. Also include any other books on or by these women which your library might hold.
  • Compile a list of books on or by Jewish women. Include books on juvenile, intermediate and adult reading levels. If possible reproduce the list for wider distribution.
  • Sponsor a Lecture. Sponsor a lecture on contemporary or historic Jewish women authors/poets.
  • Jewish women's history story hour. Hold children's story hours during Women's History Month, which focus on biographies of Jewish women or stories with Jewish women as part of the main plot.
  • History Exhibit. The library could hold a small exhibit about the history of the institution. If this is the case, your library might be able to develop a special display of some aspect of Jewish women's history in your particular school or synagogue.

Programming Ideas for Schools

  • Laminate or frame JWA's posters and hang them up! Give them to appropriate classroom teachers or put them in hallways, the library or the lunchroom—well-trafficked areas. Make it easy for students to spend time reading the posters and examining the various images. If you need more posters contact JWA.
  • Explore history through art. Suggest that students work on creating a mural or a quilt about women's role in Jewish history. Students could also make mixed-media portraits of Women of Valor. Hang completed projects in classrooms, lunchrooms or hallways.
  • Teach history through drama. Have your school's drama specialist develop a skit or series of exercises about women in Jewish history. A successful skit could travel from class to class within your school. A more elaborate production could be staged during a school-wide assembly.
  • Jewish women's history story hour. Hold children's story hours during Women's History Month, which focus on biographies of Jewish women or stories with Jewish women as part of the main plot.
  • Oral history/interviewing project. Have a class compile a list of women who appear in local newspapers over the course of a month or two. Have students choose women who particularly spark their interest to interview. Encourage students to do research using the internet and the school library. Audio and/or video taped interviews can be shared with the class. A photography exhibit of women of the community could be mounted in the school or community center.

Programming Ideas for Campuses

  • Hang up posters. Make sure appropriate departments at your school display the posters (i.e. Women's Studies Department, Judaic Studies Department, Women's Resource Center, History and/or American Studies departments, Law school, Hillels/Jewish student centers.) Co-sponsor programs with different departments.
  • Community Service. Organize a community service day at a women's organization, shelter, or other social service organization. Invite a faculty member to speak about the role of American Jewish women as pioneers of social justice work throughout the 20th century.
  • Interfaith or cross-cultural programming. Co-sponsor an activity with other ethnic and/or religious groups on campus. Invite a speaker to explore the history of women from various ethnic and religious groups working together. Create an opportunity for students to teach each other about important figuresin their histories.
  • Women's History Month Shabbat Program. Organize a shabbat program for women's history month. Invite a speaker, performer, or someone from a woman's organization in the community. Begin by sharing personal stories about grandmothers or Jewish women you admire. Use the posters to teach about other Jewish women. Incorporate readings from the primary sources into creative shabbat services.
  • Poetry Reading. Have a poetry slam. Kick off with Emma Lazarus' poems. Feature other outstanding Jewish female poets, such as Adrienne Rich and Marge Piercy. End the evening with participants reading their own poems.
  • Campus media. Provide your newspaper with a news story on Women's History Month. Explain why you are celebrating Jewish women in history. Compose brief write-ups on the Women of Valor or use the ones on the posters.
  • Create Dining Hall Displays. Make table tents or fact sheets with a synopsis of the lives of different Women of Valor. Place them in dining halls.
  • Explore the World Wide Web. Spend an hour or two in the computer center and explore the resources offered throughout jwa.org.
  • Book Displays. Call your campus bookstore, librarian or Hillel and ask them to put up a display of books about Jewish women. Hang the posters next to the books.
  • Jewish Women's Hall of Fame. Check with your alumni office and college archives for material on Jewish women who attended your institution. Do some research and find out if any famous Jewish women went to your university. Create a display or write an article for your campus newspaper.

Programming Ideas for Adults

  • Shabbat Programming. Invite the Rabbi or a congregant to speak about women in Jewish history—the ones honored on the Women of Valor posters or others. Honor a local woman of valor. Have the synagogue librarian organize a special library tour or a Jewish women's history display.
  • Oral Histories. Organize an oral or video history project. Search for older women in your community and record their stories, their memories of their contemporaries and their recollections of the activities and programs they found most engaging. Present the Women of Valor material to nursing home residents and then invite residents to share stories from their own lives.
  • Lunch and Learn. Host a women's history luncheon. Use the opportunity to honor women currently involved in your community, synagogue or organization. Invite a speaker or organize a study session using the primary sources available on jwa.org.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Teach: Ideas from JWA - Using the 'Women of Valor' posters." (Viewed on September 18, 2014) <http://jwa.org/teach/bestpractices/ideasfromjwa>.

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