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Primary Sources

Efficiently browse all of the primary source documents in Living the Legacy by keyword, type, or module.

Title Description Type Module Name
Sukkot in Connecticut

Image is of a man and a woman beneath a tallit celebrating Sukkot.

Photographs Civil Rights
Simchat Torah

Image is of children and adults gathered around an open Torah that is being read during Simchat Torah. Adults hold a tallit aloft over the children and Torah.

Photographs Civil Rights
Jewish Women Call for Change

An organization of Jewish feminists, Ezrat Nashim called for greater equality for women within the Conservative movement. The group’s name is a play on words. While it literally means “assistance of women” it was also the name of used to refer to the women’s section in synagogues in which women and men sit separately.. In 1972, Ezrat Nashim went to the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly meeting and shared their demands, which are described in this document.

Artifacts Civil Rights
March on Washington Button

Button advertising the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom, August 28, 1963. There is an image of a black hand and a white hand shaking.

Ephemera Civil Rights
We march for...

This United States Information Agency photograph of the March on Washington, August 28, 1963, shows civil rights and union leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., Joseph L. Rauh Jr., Whitney Young, Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph, and Walter Reuther.

Photographs Civil Rights
Excerpt of John Lewis' Speech delivered at the March on Washington

Excerpts taken from the speech given at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963. Lewis spoke as the leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The cut portions were removed after a personal intervention by A. Philip Randolph persuaded Lewis to tone down the speech.

Speeches Civil Rights
"I Have a Dream..." Talmud Page

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream…” speech re-imagined as a Talmud Page — surrounded by Biblical references and Jewish parallels.

Speeches Civil Rights
Rabbi Joachim Prinz speech at the March on Washington

Rabbi Joachim Prinz, a refugee from Germany, was a leading Jewish social justice figure in the mid-20th century. Prinz delivered the following speech at the March on Washington. In it Prinz describes the oppression of Jews through out history as a reason many participated in Civil Rights Movement, and his belief that the greatest problem to be solved in the fight against oppression was that of silence amongst the onlookers.

Audio Recordings Civil Rights
Central Conference of American Rabbis at the March on Washington

Image features a crowd at the March on Washington. Men hold signs reading Central Conference of American Rabbis.

Photographs Civil Rights
National Federation of Temple Youth at the March on Washington

Image of National Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) participating in the March on Washington.

Photographs Civil Rights
The Emma Lazarus Federation of Jewish Women's Clubs

Image of two women in sun hats at the March on Washington. Behind them more women sit under a sign reading, March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom / Emma Lazarus Federation of Jewish Women's Clubs.

Photographs Civil Rights
Sermon by Milton Grafman, September 19, 1963

In his sermon on Rosh Hashana morning, Rabbi Grafman of Temple Emanu-El expressed his horror at the violence and loss after the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church and asserted that white citizens in Birmingham – Jews and Christians together– needed to help make things right.

Audio Recordings Civil Rights
Telegram from Abraham Joshua Heschel to President John F. Kennedy, June 16, 1963

In this telegram Abraham Joshua Heschel describes his beliefs on the role of religious clergy in the Civil Rights Movement.

Artifacts Civil Rights
Abraham Joshua Heschel on the Selma March, 1965

Photo of Abraham Joshua Heschel marching with other civil rights leaders.

Photographs Civil Rights
Southern Hospitality Was Not Extended Say R.I. Rabbis Who Marched in Alabama

The article describes Rabbi William G. Braude, Rabbi Saul Leeman, and Rabbi Nathan Rosen's visit to Montgomery, Alabama in the spring of 1965.

Articles Civil Rights
Why We Went: A Joint Letter from the Rabbis Arrested in St. Augustine

This document, a letter signed by a group of rabbis who were in jail together, was drafted overnight by Rabbi Eugene B. Borowitz. His rabbinic colleagues and Al Vorspan of the UAHC staff contributed to the revisions, and Vorspan saw to its distribution. The letter describes why these rabbis went to St. Augustine, what they hoped to accomplish and what occurred while there.

Documents Civil Rights
Rabbi Wax Sermon on Martin Luther King, Jr., April 5, 1968

Sermon given by Rabbi James A. Wax on Friday, April 5, 1968 at Temple Israel in Memphis, Tennessee on the occasion of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sermons Civil Rights
Letter to Chicky from Daddy

Letter to Vivian Leburg Rothstein (called Chicky) from her father in which he describes his feelings toward, and fears about, her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.

Letters Civil Rights
Portraits from Wednesdays in Mississippi

This video clip looks at the different experiences of the Northern and Southern Wednesdays women through interviews with Beatrice “Buddy” Mayer (part of the Chicago team) and Elaine Crystal, who as a member of the Jackson, Mississippi team hosted Mayer when she came down.

Video Recordings Civil Rights
A Journey South

This video clip describes the danger the Wednesdays women encountered and reveals the dormant racism that existed in even some of the Wednesdays women. Susan Stedman and Doris V. Wilson of the Jackson team describe meeting the Northern women at the airport, with Klu Klux Klan members watching and spitting on the women as they arrived. Edith Savage Jennings, the first black women to meet with a group of white women in Jackson, tells of how after she (intentionally) removed her glove none of the women were willing to shake her hand.

Video Recordings Civil Rights
WIMS: A Model of Women’s Activism and Social Change

This clip addresses the significance of organizing women in particular, and the impact of relatively well-off white and black women from the North and South working together for social change. Includes observations by historians Debra Schultz and Deborah Gray White, as well as by Polly Cowan’s daughter, Holly Shulman, and her daughter-in-law, Rabbi Rachel Cowan.

Video Recordings Civil Rights
Wednesdays in Mississippi - Excerpts from the Report from Polly Cowan, Project Coordinator, 1964

Polly Cowan wrote a report at the end of the first summer of the Wednesdays in Mississippi project (WIMS) in which she described the group’s goals and their accomplishments. Two excerpts describe how WIMS began and how its purpose evolved.

Reports Civil Rights
Image of Heather Booth and Fannie Lou Hamer

Heather Booth playing guitar for Fannie Lou Hamer during the Freedom Summer Project in Mississippi, 1964.

Photographs Civil Rights
Letter to Justine Wise Polier from Annie Stein, December 23, 1958

Letter to Justice Justine Wise Polier from Annie Stein (writing as the Secretary of the NAACP Schools Workshop), congratulating her on the decision in the Skipwith v. New York City Board of Education.

Letters Civil Rights
Excerpts from the Boston Globe series "The Judith Frieze Story"

A series of excerpts from the Boston Globe eight article feature story on Judith Frieze and her experience as a Freedom Rider in the summer of 1961. She along with fellow activists were arrested and jailed in Jackson, Mississippi. Their purpose was to test Boynton v. Virginia, a Supreme Court case ordering the integration of restaurants and waiting rooms in bus terminals serving interstate bus routes.

Articles Civil Rights
Newspaper clipping of Judith Frieze article from the Boston Globe

Newspaper clippings of Boston Globe article about Judith Frieze's experience as a Freedom Rider in 1961.

Articles Civil Rights
Judith Frieze Wright interview excerpt

This video clip is an excerpt of an interview with Judith Frieze Wright conducted by oral historian Jayne Guberman, as part of JWA's 2010 Institute for Educators.

Video Recordings Civil Rights
Letter from Hebrew Union Congregation to Rabbi Eisendrath, May 1, 1956

Letter from Hebrew Union Congregation in Greenville, Mississippi disputing the position of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (and its President, Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath) on segregation.

Letters Civil Rights
Letter from Hebrew Union Congregation to the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, November 7, 1963

Letter to the Board of Trustees of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations from Bernard Goodman (on behalf of the Hebrew Union Congregation) on the HUC's displeasure on the invitation of Martin Luther King, Jr. to speak at the UAHC Biennial.

Letters Civil Rights
Letter from Rabbi Eisendrath to Bernard Goodman, November 13, 1963

Letter between Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the president of the Board of Trustees of Union Hebrew Congregation, Bernard Goodman. The letter is a response to a letter dated November 7, 1963. It discusses the invitation to Martin Luther King to address the UAHC Biennial. Eisendrath then goes on to state that more must be done to support the Civil Rights Movement even if it angers congregations.

Letters Civil Rights
Neo-Nazi demonstration

Image of neo-Nazi men (identified by the arm bands they are wearing) demonstrating against the NAACP.

Photographs Civil Rights
Bombing of The Temple, Atlanta, Georgia

On October 12, 1958, the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation Temple in Atlanta, GA, known simply as The Temple, was bombed. The bombing took place early in the morning and no one was injured. Claiming responsibility for the bombing, a voice identified as “General Gordon of the Confederate Underground” told a member of the press: We bombed a temple in Atlanta. This is the last empty building in Atlanta we will bomb. All nightclubs refusing to fire their Negro employees will also be blown up. We are going to blow up all Communist organizations. Negroes and Jews are hereby declared aliens. The group is thought to have been targeting The Temple’s Rabbi, who was a known supporter of civil rights.

Photographs Civil Rights
Rabbi Perry Nussbaum and wife after bombing of their home

Photograph of Rabbi Perry Nussbaum and his wife after bombing of their home in Jackson, MS, which was presumed to be related to his involvement with civil rights. Nussbaum was the rabbi of Temple Beth Israel.

Photographs Civil Rights
Claire

Photograph of a teenage girl with dark curly hair. She is wearing a pink sweater and sitting on a couch.

Photographs Civil Rights
Jacob

Photograph of a teenage boy sitting on steps. He wears a white t-shirt, and jeans.

Photographs Civil Rights
Worksheet: Fact, Feeling, Idea, Question

A worksheet created to accompany Lesson 2, Part 1 of the Living the Legacy Labor Module.

Ephemera Labor
Photo of a Sweatshop

A black and white photograph of a small sweatshop, similar to those run out of a small shop or even a residence.

Photographs Labor
Photo of a Small Garment Factory

A black and white photograph of a small garment factory. Workers sit at rows of machines while bosses oversee them.

Photographs Labor
Photo of a Large Garment Factory

A black and white photograph of a the most infamous type of factory, a large room with hundreds of machines and people working in very close quarters.

Photographs Labor
Ladies Tailors Strikers

Black and white photograph of two women wearing strike sashes on a crowded street.

Photographs Labor
Garment workers eating together before union-sponsored class

Photograph of garment workers eating together before a union-sponsored class.

Photographs Labor
Garment workers rehearse a chorus for ILGWU's own theater, Labor Stage

A black and white photograph of Garment workers rehearsing a chorus for ILGWU's own theater, Labor Stage.

Photographs Labor
Social Psychology Lecture outside Unity House

A black and white photograph of a lecture on social psychology given outdoors on ILGWU's Unity House grounds, August, 1926.

Photographs Labor
Ale Brider

An audio recording of The Yiddish Community Chorus of Boston Workmen's Circle singing "Ale Brider" accompanied by transcript and English translation of the lyrics.

Audio Recordings Labor
Mayn Rue Plats

An audio recording of The Yiddish Community Chorus of Boston Workmen's Circle singing "Mayn Rue Plats" accompanied by transcript and English translation of the lyrics.

Audio Recordings Labor
The Return from Toil

A photograph of a black and white illustration on the cover of The Masses from July 1913. The illustration shows six women wearing period dress walking home from work.

Illustrations Labor
Women Strikers Selling Newspapers for a Living

A black and white photograph of women selling newspapers.

Photographs Labor
The Return from Toil

A photograph of a black and white illustration on the cover of The Masses from July 1913. The illustration shows six women wearing period dress walking home from work.

Illustrations Labor
Camp Kinderland, Bunk 25

A photograph of campers at Camp Kinderland stand outside Bunk 25.

Photographs Labor
Workers tending the vegetable garden at Camp Kinder Ring

A photograph of workers tending the vegetable garden at Camp Kinder Ring, founded in 1927, on Sylvan Lake, in New York.

Photographs Labor
Seal of the National Women's Trade Union League

An illustration of the Seal of the National Women's Trade Union League.

Illustrations Labor
Strike of Cloak Makers

A plack and white photograph of men and women cloak makers holding picket signs.

Photographs Labor
Yiddish advertisement for a lecture by Goldman on "Tzedakah," or Charity

Printed Materials Labor
Advertisement for "'Yom Kipur' Picnic" organized by Goldman and her colleagues

A black and white magazine clipping written in English advertising a picnic for freethinkers and radicals.

Magazine Clippings Labor

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Primary Sources." (Viewed on February 1, 2015) <http://jwa.org/teach/livingthelegacy/documents>.

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