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Judith Rosenbaum

Judith Rosenbaum
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Judith Rosenbaum.
Judith Rosenbaum is a feminist educator, historian, writer, and activist—and the incoming Executive Director of the Jewish Women's Archive. A regular contributor to academic and popular publications, including Tablet Magazine, The Jewish Daily Forward, and The Huffington Post, Rosenbaum is currently co-editing an anthology about the modern Jewish mother. She's inspired by anarchist Emma Goldman, political activist Bella Abzug, writer and activist Grace Paley, and other loud Jewish women—including those in her own family.

Blog posts

The Emma Lazarus FederatioN

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?).

"Teach Them to Your Children"

Sharing stories, inspiring change

Last week, Rabbi Scott Perlo wrote a provocative article in the Washington Post in which he addressed the continuing discomfort that many Jews—even liberal, gender-equity-supporting ones—feel about female rabbis. He suggests that this puzzling phenomenon may be due to the central place nostalgia holds in many people’s feelings about Judaism. It comes as no surprise that this nostalgic vision does not include female rabbis.

Triangle Factory Fire Victims at the 26th Street Pier Morgue, 1911

Why history is not just about the past

A fire blazes through a garment factory. The building has too few exits and not enough fire escapes. Fire equipment cannot reach the fire. More than 100 people—many of them young women—die. Bodies, burnt beyond recognition, line the floor of a government building, awaiting identification.

If you’re thinking, “I know that story—it happened at New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist Company in 1911,” think again. Though the details fit the Triangle tragedy, the scene I’ve just described is the deadly fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, this past Saturday night.

Topics: Labor, History
Pink Cupcakes

Why I'm Resistant To All Things Pink In October

Dr. Judith Rosenbaum, Director of Public History at the Jewish Women's Archive and lead developer of Living the Legacy educational materials, first wrote this piece for Role/Reboot. There you can read the piece in its entirety.

Freelancers Union Logo

Building a new social safety net: Sara Horowitz and the Freelancers Union

In 1909, Jewish women revolutionized the American labor movement. Before the huge garment industry strike known as the “Uprising of the 20,000,” union leaders saw women workers as irrelevant to the labor movement because they did not fit into the model of the traditional male union member. But these garment workers, many of them young Jewish women, proved that women could, in fact, organize effectively and challenge working conditions, and in doing so, they expanded the definition of worker and union member.

"The Return from Toil," July 1913

Labor Day and Leisure

Labor Day. In America, this holiday is more often associated with barbeques, sales, and the farewell to summer and white linen than with the contributions of workers. By design, it’s a less overtly political holiday than the workers’ holidays in Europe—the U.S. intentionally picked a day other than the International Workers’ Day of May 1st to avoid any whiff of radicalism.

Judith Rosenbaum with her Father and Sister

What my dad taught me about feminism

I call myself a second-generation feminist, and when I do so, I’m thinking of my mom.

Topics: Feminism, Family

Why Be Jewish? Sharing stories, pushing boundaries

 

Last week, I had the privilege of participating in a small, intense, and invigorating conference run by the Samuel Bronfman Foundation in partnership with the Shalom Hartman Institute. Provocatively titled “Why Be Jewish?” this year’s conference focused on the state of pluralism in the Jewish community.

"Women Resume Riots Against Meat Shops" New York Times, May 17, 1902

The Real Housewives of the Lower East Side

One hundred and ten years ago today, something surprising happened. Jewish immigrant housewives in New York City—concerned and angry about a sharp rise in the price of kosher meat from 12 cents to 18 cents per pound—launched a kosher meat boycott that lasted nearly a month, spread to several other boroughs of New York, sparked violent riots and arrests, and attracted much media attention before ending with the successful lowering of meat prices.

Emma Goldman at a May Day Rally, Hyde Park, London, May 1, 1937

May Day: Celebrating through protest

Happy May Day! Originally, May Day was a pagan springtime festival, roots of which survive in the traditions of flower-festooned maypoles and the crowning of the “Queen of the May.” Since the late 19th century, it has also been a workers’ holiday. Though in the US it has been officially replaced (and I would argue, coopted) by Labor Day in September, May Day remains an occasion for social protest of many kinds.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. " Judith Rosenbaum ." (Viewed on May 26, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog/author/judith-rosenbaum>.

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12 hr
in 1910, this political trailblazer won the fight to regulate New York City's dance halls. https://t.co/S3AkJrJ5P3
14 hr
This documentary looks pretty amazing, we must say. https://t.co/u3FDcInjTG