You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Jewish Studies

Writing Home: A Letter from an Early American Jew

We know little about Rebecca Samuel, the author of the featured document in this guide, outside of what her letters provide for us: a slice of her life as a Jewish woman in early America. In this letter, originally written in Yiddish in the 1790s to her parents in Hamburg, Germany, Samuel describes her life in Petersburg, Virginia. She vividly portrays the challenges of keeping a Jewish household, her wishes for her children, and her excitement about the prospect of moving to Charleston, South Carolina. This Go & Learn guide uses Rebecca Samuel’s captivating letter as a centerpiece for interactive sessions about Jewish immigration and the development of the Jewish community in America.

Guess What's Being Taught in my Sunday School Class?

A few weeks ago, on the Sunday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I posed a question to the students in my class on "Jews and the Civil Rights Movement": "If you could plan a Jewish commemoration for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, what would it be? Who would be the audience? What would you do? Why should Jews, as Jews and in Jewish communities, commemorate this holiday?"

A few more stories for the road

As I prepare to leave my position as JWA’s Director of Public History after more than 12 years here, my mind keeps returning me back to the summer day in 2000 when I first stepped into the offices of the Jewish Women’s Archive. At the time, I was a disgruntled graduate student, disillusioned with life in the Ivory Tower and the academic study of women’s history. (Was a library really the best place to learn about women’s activism, I wondered?).

JWA Spotlights Jewish Women's Activism

Like all large groups of people, American Jews are complex and irreducible despite some aspects of shared culture. Recently, the Jewish Women’s Archive made an interesting choice to focus a new curriculum on Jewish involvement in the labor and civil rights movements — without cheerleading or focusing solely on women’s involvement — thereby shining a probing light on that very complexity.

"Living the Legacy," Institute for Educators

institute_photo.jpg
Sam Wood, Marilyn Heiss, and Alana Alpert study primary sources this past summer at JWA's Institute for Educators.
Photograph by Gus Freedman.
Rights
JWA use only on jwa.org
Contributor: Submitter
Orcha, Gabrielle
Sam Wood, Marilyn Heiss, and Alana Alpert study primary sources this past summer at JWA's Institute for Educators.
Photograph by Gus Freedman.

Related content:

Dr. Judith Rosenbaum Talks Living the Legacy with Jewschool

This fall, the Jewish Women’s Archive released its latest online curriculum in the Living the Legacy series, a Jewish social justice education project.

Lynn Gordon, 1946 - 2012

Lynn Gordon, pioneer scholar in women’s history, adamant advocate for women in the academy and in the history profession more specifically, would be pleased to be remembered not just as a dedicated scholar and teacher but as a passionate believer in family, friends, community, “sisterhood,” and the Jewish people. As someone who cared deeply about the world around her, she read everything, attended every possible lecture she could get to.

Lynn Gordon, 1983

lynn_gordon_teaching_1983.jpg
Lynn Gordon teaching at the University of Rochester in 1983.
Courtesy of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of Rochester.
Rights
JWA use only on jwa.org
Contributor: Owner
University of Rochester
Contributor: Institution
University of Rochester
Lynn Gordon teaching at the University of Rochester in 1983.
Courtesy of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of Rochester.

Lynn Gordon

lynn_gordon_headshot.jpg
Professor Lynn Gordon.
Courtesy of the University of Rochester.
Rights
JWA use only on jwa.org
Contributor: Owner
University of Rochester
Contributor: Institution
University of Rochester
Professor Lynn Gordon.
Courtesy of the University of Rochester.

Related content:

How I Accidentally Became A Jewish Historian

Like many recent college graduates, I began my job hunt by asking myself some difficult questions “What do I want to do? Who do I want to be?

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Studies." (Viewed on February 5, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/jewish-studies>.

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