Recent Events

The Hidden History of Jews and Reproductive Rights in America

In December 2021, we learned about how American Jews have battled for—and against—the right of women to control their fertility in the twentieth century on Thursdays at 8 PM ET.

  • Session 1, December 2—JWA CEO Dr. Judith Rosenbaum on the fight for birth control in New York City's immigrant community in the 1910s.
  • Session 2, December 9—JWA Director of Programs Dr. Betsy More on how Jewish feminists in the 1960s and 70s organized and fought for national child care centers.
  • Session 3, December 16—Dr. Rachel Kranson, Director of Jewish Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, on Jews and the politics of abortion after Roe v. Wade.
  • Session 4, December 23—Dr. Samira Mehta, Professor of Women and Gender Studies and of Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado, on Jewish reaction against birth control in the face of second wave feminism.

Global Day of Learning

JWA celebrated the launch of the expanded and renamed Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women. From Sunday, June 27, through Monday, June 28, six webinars were presented by expert scholars that showcased the evolution of the Encyclopedia and provided a taste of the new content.

  • June 27, 12:00 p.m. ET
    Panel discussion: The (R)evolution and Impact of the Encyclopedia of Jewish Women, 1995–2021, with Deborah Dash Moore, David Ellenson, Rachel Harris, Alma Heckman, and Jennifer Sartori, moderated by Judith Rosenbaum
  • June 27 at 2:00 p.m. ET
    Mizrahi Feminism: Major Debates, with Henriette Dahan Kalev, professor emerita at Ben Gurion University
  • June 27 at 4:00 p.m. ET
    Drawing Their Lives: Jewish Women & Comics, with Tahneer Oksman, writer, teacher, and scholar of literature and visual culture
  • June 27 at 8:00 p.m. ET
    The Journeys of Cuban-Jewish Women, with Ruth Behar, the Victor Haim Perera Collegiate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan and the author of several books, including An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba and the novel Letters from Cuba
  • June 28, 10:00 a.m. ET
    Queer Dreams of Jewish Women's Poetry, with Zohar Weiman-Kelman, senior lecturer at Ben Gurion University's Department of Foreign Literatures and Linguistics and author of Queer Expectations: A Genealogy of Jewish Women's Poetry
  • June 28, 12:00 p.m. ET
    Reflections of a Feminist Pioneer in Israel: a conversation with Alice Shalvi, Israeli feminist activist, educator, and scholar

Special Book Talk Featuring Tovah Feldshuh

JWA welcomed Tovah Feldshuh, actress, singer, and author of the newly released memoir Lilyville: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I've Played to our Quarantine Book Talks. In conversation with JWA CEO Judith Rosenbaum, Feldshuh opened up about her many roles on the stage and screen, and about being the only daughter to her mother Lily Feldshuh.

Thursday, May 27, 8:00 p.m. ET

Special Book Talk with Hadassah Lieberman

Hadassah Lieberman spoke with Sylvia Neil about Lieberman's new book Hadassah: An American Story, which chronicles her extraordinary journey from Eastern Europe to the national political stage. This program was a partnership between JWA, The Vilna Shul, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture, The Holocaust Center LA, and the Illinois Holocaust Center and Museum.

Monday, April 12, 7:00 p.m. ET

Let's Talk about Jewish Teen Hookup Culture

In 2020, a group of JWA's Rising Voices Fellowship alumnae formed Jewish Teens for Empowered Consent (JTEC) to raise awareness around and address toxic hookup culture in Jewish teen spaces—environments marked by sexual pressure, objectification, sexism, and the absence of consent. Join the Jewish Women's Archive to hear from these young leaders in conversation with Sheila Katz, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), about JTEC's grassroots efforts and the work that needs to be done to support the safety and well-being of Jewish youth today.

Monday, February 22, 2021 8:00 p.m. ET

Jonathan Sarna, Editor of Cosella Wayne, in Conversation with Judith Rosenbaum

Cora Wilburn’s Cosella Wayne, Or Will and Destiny, published in 1860, is considered to be the first American Jewish novel—and it was all but forgotten until rediscovered by Brandeis University Professor Jonathan Sarna in 2016. In this Zoom conversation, Sarna, who currently serves as chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History, discussed the newly published version and Wilburn’s fascinating life with Judith Rosenbaum, CEO of the Jewish Women’s Archive. This event was in partnership with the Stroum JCC of Greater Seattle.

January 27, 2021, 9:30 p.m. ET

Beat Breast Cancer Like a Boss with Ali Rogin

JWA partnered with Sharsheret to get an inside look into the top-selling book Beat Breast Cancer Like a Boss. This special evening was be moderated by author Ali Rogin in conversation with Joan Lunden and Jill Kargman.

Thursday, January 7, 2021, 8:00 p.m. ET

Speaking in a Political Voice: Jews and the Fight for Women’s Suffrage

The Bennett Center for Judaic Studies at Fairfield University held a conversation about Jewish women's involvement in the fight for women's suffrage in the United States. Judith Rosenbaum, JWA's CEO, spoke and answered questions like: What motivated their activism, what barriers did they face, and how did their experiences in the suffrage movement influence gender equality in the Jewish community?

Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 7:30 p.m.

Story Collecting in the Digital Age

In this interactive workshop, participants learned how to use JWA’s Story Aperture app to conduct interviews virtually and upload them directly to the Archive. For this session, we focussed on voting stories as we approached the 2020 national election.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 8:00 p.m.

Racial Justice Learn In | Yom Iyyun

JWA was honored to co-sponser Base and Hillel International's Racial Justice Learn In, a day of deep learning and introspection for our community around racial justice as we enter the month of Elul. This day of learning offered opportunities to engage over Zoom in a variety of educational workshops and gatherings.

Sunday, August 23, 2020, 12:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET

Votes for Women: Jews and the Suffrage Movement

Hadassah Magazine Executive Editor Lisa Hostein hosted a live online discussion about the contribution of Jewish women to the suffrage movement, and what that legacy means today. The event featured leading American Jewish historians Pamela Nadell, Melissa Klapper, and Judith Rosenbaum, JWA's CEO.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 7:30 p.m. ET

Poetry in Times of Peril: Four Women’s Voices

From the ancient Book of Psalms to contemporary hip-hop, poetry has served as a vital channel through which to express our deepest yearnings, frustrations, and hopes. How might words of poetry help us respond to the current crisis of COVID-19 and the national reckoning with racial injustice? JWA, The Miller Center of Hebrew College, and Interfaith Youth Core held a discussion with poets Alondra Bobadilla, Marilyn Nelson, Alicia Ostriker, and Alicia Jo Rabins, moderated by Judith Rosenbaum.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020, 8:00–9:15 p.m. EDT

Mrs. America: Feminism Then and Now

JWA held a lively discussion of the FX/Hulu miniseries Mrs. America on May 27, 2020. Drawing on the insights of historians, cultural critics, and activists of the time, we explored feminism and the ERA then and now, Jewish women in the movement, and on-screen representations of gender, race, and ethnicity. JWA's CEO Judith Rosenbaum was joined by Joyce Antler, Jen Deaderick, Samira Mehta, and Letty Cottin Pogrebin.

For more on these topics, check out JWA's feminism exhibit and Letty Cottin Pogrebin's article "Anti-Semitism in the Women's Movement."

Leading through Crisis and Change: Jewish Women at the Turn of the 20th Century

In June, JWA offered an engaging virtual course with scholars of Jewish women’s history to delve into the lives, challenges, choices, and innovations of American Jewish women who changed our story. In these four sessions, we examined the leadership and lessons of Jewish women—from outspoken activists to savvy housewives—whose creativity in tumultuous times ushered in a new, modern world. With JWA scholars Carole Balin, Karla Goldman, Rebecca Kobrin, and Judith Rosenbaum.

Thursdays in June 2020 at 8:00 p.m. EDT

  • June 4: Jewish Housewives and the Kosher Meat Boycott, with Judith Rosenbaum
  • June 11: Henrietta Szold, with Karla Goldman
  • June 18: Jewish Women and the Suffrage Movement, with Carole Balin
  • June 25: Emma Lazarus, with Rebecca Kobrin

Let's Talk about Food

On Zoom, JWA held a virtual Passover storytelling event featuring chefs, rabbis, bards, and poets.

Thursday, April 2, 2020, 4:00 p.m. EDT

I Want You to Know We're Still Here Book Launch

We celebrated the debut memoir by JWA Board Member and former CEO of Sixth & I, Esther Safran Foer. In I Want You to Know We’re Still Here, Esther recounts her journey to find the missing pieces from her family's secretive past. Esther was in conversation with her eldest son and journalist Franklin Foer via Zoom.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 7:00 p.m. EDT

Sharing Our Stories in a Time of Social Distance

The Jewish Women’s Archive’s new app, Story Aperture, enables people of all ages and genders to collect and share the untold and underrepresented stories of Jewish women through mobile technology. Now more than ever, we can use this app to open up conversations and preserve the voices of the Jewish women in our lives. This online program gave a brief tutorial on using the app, as well as allowed the group to reflect on how we can use story sharing to overcome social distancing.

Sunday, March 22, 2020, 8:00 p.m. EDT

Book Talk: Rebel Cinderella

JWA partnered with the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center to sponsor a presentation with Adam Hochschild, author of new book Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes. Rose Pastor arrived in New York City in 1903, a Jewish refugee from Russia, and later joined the burgeoning Socialist Party, becoming an activist. She moved among the liveliest group of activists and dreamers this country has ever seen including Emma Goldman, Eugene V. Debs, Margaret Sanger, and W.E.B. Du Bois. JWA's CEO Judith Rosenbaum had a conversation with Hochschild after his presentation.

Friday, March 6, 2020, 2:00 p.m.
The Historic Rotunda at American Ancestors
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA

Beyond Bubbie's Kitchen

JWA co-sponsored Beyond Bubbie’s Kitchen, which is bigger and better than ever, with a new location, new chefs, and new make-and-take opportunities! Local chefs created tasty new takes on Jewish cuisine from around the world.

Sunday, March 1, 2020, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Revere Hotel
200 Stuart Street
Boston, MA

Gloria: A Life

JWA joined with the American Repertory Theatre as a community partner for a performance of Gloria: A Life, a play about Gloria Steinem and the women she has partnered with in a decades-long fight for equality. Fifty years after Gloria began raising her voice and championing those of others, her vision is as urgent as ever.

Saturday, February 1, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle St.
Cambridge, MA

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Recent Events." (Viewed on June 7, 2023) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox

Read the latest from JWA from your inbox.

sign up now