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JWA News Release: August, 2010

Contact: Emily Scheinberg, 617-383-6763.


Educators Explore the Role of Jews in the Civil Rights Movement

The Jewish Women's Archive holds 3rd Summer Institute for Educators

(Newton, MA) A group of 26 educators from across the country and across the educational spectrum gathered July 25-29, 2010, in Newton, MA for the Jewish Women's Archive's (JWA) summer Institute for Educators, entitled "Jews and the Civil Rights Movement." Chosen in a highly competitive process from a national pool of applicants, the participants dove into intensive learning about the role of Jews in the American Civil Rights Movement and JWA's new social justice curriculum, Living the Legacy.

Debra Schultz, author of Going South: Jewish Women and the Civil Rights Movement, set the stage for the week's sessions and prompted memories from the Southern-born educators. "We never learned anything in school about the Civil Rights Movement," said Jamie Sistino, a Charleston, SC, native who is Program Director at the Jewish Teen Initiative for the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach and the Youth Director at Temple Beit HaYam in Stuart, Florida. "I plan to integrate many of these curriculum materials into my classroom so girls and boys can hear about the Jewish women who played such significant roles in American history."

From listening to an oral historian interview a Jewish woman who was jailed during the 1961 Freedom Rides, to analyzing the social justice content of a Talmudic text, to exploring a variety of online primary source images and documents, participants began to develop ideas for adapting the curriculum to a wide age range in a variety of educational settings. "What was so special about this institute," said April Akiva, Director of Congregational learning at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana, CA, "was that it combined the intellectual with the practical. It's been very helpful – like a case of classroom power tools to take back with me and share with my colleagues."

The Jewish Women's Archive Institute for Educators is made possible by a generous grant from the Dorot Foundation.

The Jewish Women's Archive was founded in 1995 in response to the scarcity of information on and understanding of the role of women in America's Jewish history. Since then, JWA has amassed the world's most extensive online collection of material on American Jewish women, which can be accessed for free by anyone with an Internet connection. JWA's innovative website, jwa.org, is a destination for people seeking knowledge, a sense of connection and community, and a way to affirm and enhance the legacy of American Jewish women.

Jwa.org receives more than one million unique visitors a year. Updated and enriched regularly, it offers a wide range of digital material on such topics as politics, pop culture, sexuality, social justice, feminism, food, and film. Among recent additions is the new interactive feature "On the Map," which, using Google maps technology, invites users to add places they consider significant to Jewish women's history.

For further information about the Jewish Women's Archive or the Institute for Educators, call 617-232-2258 or visit jwa.org.


To see more videos from the Institute, visit JWA's Youtube channel.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA News Release: August, 2010." (Viewed on March 21, 2019) <https://jwa.org/news/2010/100809-jewish-educators-explore-role-of-jews-in-civil-rights-movement>.


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