Oral History Collection

The Nicki Newman Tanner

Oral History Collection

As part of JWA’s mission to expand the narrative of Jewish history, we have collected and recorded hundreds of interviews with leaders, activists, and community members across the United States, documenting their encounters with major events and movements of the 20th and 21st centuries and the many ways that gender, class, place, and religious and ethnic identities have shaped women’s lives. With generous support from Nicki Newman Tanner,  Mass Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, we are proud to make these interviews and transcripts available to the public. All entries include transcripts; audio or video recordings are also available where narrator permissions allow. 

More about the collection

Rosalie Silber Abrams

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Marcie Cohen Ferris interviewed Senator Rosalie Silber Abrams on May 24, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women’s Words Oral History Project. Abrams, a progressive health advocate, and former Maryland Senator, reflects on her life and career in an interview, highlighting her nursing background, political engagement, and contributions to healthcare and senior services.

Fiola Blum

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Elaine Eff interviewed Fiola Blum on August 20, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women’s Words Oral History Project. Fiola Blum reminisces on childhood memories, starting her realty company, her experiences as a Jewish woman in real estate, and reflects on her family background and Baltimore's Jewish communities.

Gail Chalew

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Gail Chalew on August 15, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Chalew remembers Hurricane Katrina's impact, her evacuation to Baltimore with her son, and her dedication to rebuilding her community while reflecting on the changes in herself, the Jewish community, and New Orleans.

Edward Cohn

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Rabbi Edward Cohn on July 25, 2007, in New Orleans, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices project. Rabbi Cohn talks about his family background, his role at Temple Sinai in New Orleans, their preparation for Hurricane Katrina, community outreach efforts, and the collective trauma experienced by Southern communities.

Lois Blum Feinblatt

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Jean Freedman interviewed Lois B. Feinblatt on March 21, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Feinblatt talks about her background, including experiences of growing up in a segregated Baltimore, her college years, marriage and motherhood during World War II, her career in welfare and later as a psychotherapist, and reflects on her Jewish practice and the Jewish community in Baltimore.

Bess Fishman

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Elaine Eff interviewed Bess Fischman on May 30 and June 8, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words oral history project. Fishman shares memories of her childhood, family, Jewish observance, marriage, and involvement in Jewish organizations and the Zionist movement, being involved with the Beth T’filoh Sisterhood and visiting Israel.

Edith Furstenberg

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Marcie Cohen Ferris interviewed Edith Furstenberg on March 16, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Furstenberg, born in Baltimore in 1910, shares her family history, educational experiences, a career in social work, marriage, and reflections on national political movements, including the Civil Rights Movement.

Clementine Kaufman

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Jean Freedman interviewed Clementine Kaufman on March 16, 2002, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Kaufman discusses her upbringing as a rabbi's daughter, her experiences in Switzerland, relationships, college, volunteer work, career in social work, and the changes she has observed in Baltimore.

Naomi Kellman

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Elaine Eff interviewed Naomi Kellman on July 9, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Kellman explores her childhood memories in East Baltimore, her family's Jewish traditions, her education, her career in advertising and with Associated Jewish Charities, encounters with antisemitism, memories of Camp Louise, and reflections on her life decisions and relationships.

Elsie Miller Legum

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Elaine Eff interviewed Elsie Miller Legum on April 19, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women’s Words Oral History Project. Legum talks about her childhood in a large family, strict upbringing, Jewish observance, neighborhoods in Baltimore, elopement, work at Miller Brothers, second marriage, and reflections on friendship, family, and Judaism.

Beatrice Levi

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Marcie Cohen Ferris and Brenda Rever interviewed Beatrice Levi on February 4 and November 8, 2002, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women’s Words Oral History Project. Levi reflects on her childhood, family life, involvement with the League of Women Voters, experiences during the Great Depression, academic pursuits, marriage, volunteer work, and pride in her daughters' achievements.

Ruth Levy

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Marcie Cohen Ferris interviewed Ruth Surosky Levy on September 8, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Levy shares her love for family and Judaism, recounting her upbringing in Baltimore, her father's kosher butcher shop, her involvement in Zionist activities, her education, her Navy service, raising her children, and the importance of Judaism in her life.

Selma Litman

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Marcie Cohen Ferris interviewed Selma Cohen Litman on July 9, 2002, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Litman recalls her family history, including her father's journey from Russia to the United States, her mother's immigration, and her childhood memories in Baltimore, as well as experiences working at a Bridal Shop and balancing her career with raising her children in a vibrant Jewish household.

Esta Maril

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Marcie Cohen Ferris interviewed Esta Maril on May 22, 2002, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Maril details her family history, upbringing, matriarchal Jewish heritage, childhood memories, education, social work career, marriage to artist Herman Maril, and reflections on her family's lives and accomplishments.

Amalie Rothschild

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Jean Freedman interviewed Amalie Rothschild on August 19, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Rothschild details her life journey, from growing up in Baltimore suburbs, studying art, getting married, raising her children, and pursuing a successful career as an abstract artist and sculptor, while navigating her Jewish identity and the evolving role of women.

Jane Krieger Schapiro

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Marie Cohen Ferris interviewed Jane Krieger Schapiro on April 11, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Schapiro details her journey growing up in Baltimore, encountering antisemitism, eloping with her first husband during World War II, her involvement in Jewish organizations, her commitment to Israel, and the roles of motherhood and community in her life.

Vivienne Shub

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Elaine Eff interviewed Vivienne Shub on September 4, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Shub talks about her family background, her parents' activism, her journey as an actress, founding Center Stage in Baltimore, her involvement in cultural and political movements, her love for Jewish and Yiddish culture, and reflections on various aspects of her life and career.

Lillie Steinhorn

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Jean Freedman interviewed Lillie Steinhorn on July 7, 2001 in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Steinhorn reflects on her upbringing, experiences with antisemitism, and various jobs in the federal government, sharing stories of resilience, illness, accomplishments, and the importance of Judaism in her life.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Oral History Collection." (Viewed on February 25, 2024) <http://jwa.org/oralhistories>.