Gilda Bruckman

b. May 14, 1947

Gilda Bruckman was born in 1947 in New York City. She is known for being a co-founder and co-owner of New Words Bookstore from 1974-2002. New Words was one of the earliest feminist bookstores, leading the the international feminist-bookstore/women-in-print movement. Gilda remained involved after the bookstore transitioned into the non-profit, Center for New Words, as a board member from 2002-2008. She has been involved with a variety of programs, such as On the Rise, Project 10 East, Mapping Feminist Cambridge, and Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Boston. Gilda practices aikido, and is the co-founder and senior instructor of Aikido Tekkojuku of Boston.

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Scope and Content Note

Nicole Zador interviewed Gilda Bruckman on November 10, 2022, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of Ga'avah: LGBTQ+ Jews Oral History Project. Gilda shares stories of her upbringing, and her connection to the Jewish community. She recounts her coming out, and the responses of her family. After getting a masters in English Language and Literature from Boston University, she worked at an independent bookstore, before eventually co-founding the book store, New Words, with Rita Arditti, Mary Lowry, and Jean MacRae. Gilda details the early years of the bookstore and her reflections on the growing popularity of the bookstore as a meeting place for women to discuss feminist theory. After the bookstore’s sales started declining, New Words transitioned into becoming a non-profit, and Gilda was involved heavily in the process and its programs. In addition to her work, Gilda mentions her volunteer experiences in Project 10 East, on the board of directors, On the Rise, as a writing group facilitator, Mapping Feminist Cambridge, on the advisory committee,and Aikido Tekkojuku of Boston, as a co-founder and senior instructor. Finally, Gilda describes how her research into her family history deepened her connection to Judaism. 

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How to cite this page

Oral History of Gilda Bruckman. Interviewed by Nicole Zador. 10 November 2022. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on February 26, 2024) <http://jwa.org/oralhistories/bruckman-gilda>.

Oral History of Gilda Bruckman by the Jewish Women's Archive is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://jwa.org/contact/OralHistory.