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

Ronne Friedman

Project
Soviet Jewry

Gabriel Weinstein, Tamar Shachaf Schneider, and Aaron Hirsch interviewed Ronne Friedman on November 15, 2016, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Rabbi Friedman discusses Temple Israel's involvement in the Soviet Jewry movement, missions to the USSR, a tense encounter with customs agents, reconnecting with the Charney family, outreach efforts by Temple Israel, and a meaningful encounter in St. Petersburg.

Vicki Gabriner

Project
Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Vicki Gabriner on July 20, 2000, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Gabriner recounts growing up in Brooklyn, her journey through activism, involvement in social justice issues, experiences with the Weathermen, coming out as a lesbian, and her deepening connection to Judaism and Yiddish culture.

Roz Garber

Project
Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Roz Garber on July 26th, 2000, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared project. Garber, a Canadian, shares her journey from choosing to study in the United States and embracing Conservative Judaism, to her work in the Soviet Union, educating and supporting Refuseniks, and her subsequent activism within the Jewish community, recognizing the importance of fighting injustice both at home and abroad.

Anne A. Jackson

Project
Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Anne A. Jackson on July 10, 2000, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Jackson shares her upbringing in a community of Russian Jews, her involvement in education and activism, including the Civil Rights Movement, her advocacy for Holocaust education, and her reflections on her career as an educator.

Anne Kahan

Project
Adult Bat Mitzvahs

Shayna Rhodes interviewed Anne Kahan on February 2, 2005, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Adult Bat Mitzvahs Oral History Project. Kahan discusses her family's immigration, Jewish education, synagogue involvement, marriage, disillusionment with traditional roles for women, involvement with Minyan Shaleym, and personal growth through her Bat Mitzvah and engagement with Torah and prayer.

Jane Kanarek

Project
Boston Women Rabbis

Rashard Barrentine interviewed Rabbi Jane Kanarek on March 13, 2014 in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Rabbis Oral History Project. Rabbi Kanarek talks about rediscovering Judaism, becoming a rabbi and scholar, and advocating for women's voices in texts while finding fulfillment in her family life and encouraging aspiring female rabbis to find their own Jewish voice and create inclusive communities.

Judith Kates

Project
Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America

Judith Rosenbaum and Jayne Guberman interviewed Judith Kates on October 20th, 2005, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Jewish Women Changing America: Barnard Conference Oral History Project. Kates talks about her Orthodox upbringing, her struggle for gender equality within Judaism, her education, involvement in the women's movement, teaching women's studies, her gabbai position at a synagogue, and the impact of feminism on Judaism.

Ruth Salmonson Krasnoff

Project
Women Whose Lives Span the Century

Miriam Smulow interviewed Ruth Salmonson Krasnoff on January 18, 1983, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Whose Lives Span the Century Oral History Project. Krasnoff shares her family's immigration history, her upbringing in Dorchester, her career in the business world, and her deep connection to Temple Israel.

Claudia Kreiman

Project
Boston Women Rabbis

Ronda Spinak interviewed Rabbi Claudia Kreiman on March 30, 2014, In Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Boston Women Rabbis Oral History Project. Rabbi Kreiman shares her experiences growing up as a rabbi's daughter in Chile, her journey to Israel, her personal tragedies, and her goals as a rabbi at Temple B'nai Jeshurun.

Susan Maze-Rothstein

Project
Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Susan Maze-Rothstein on January 25, 2002, in Brookline, Massachusetts, for the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Maze-Rothstein reflects on her family background, experiences with Judaism, activism in addressing diversity and anti-racist education, challenges of being an outsider in both the Jewish and African-American communities, her commitment to social justice as a lawyer and judge, and her inspiration from influential figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Maya Angelou.

Bernard H. Mehlman

Project
Soviet Jewry

Tamar Shachaf Schneider, Aaron Hersh, and Gabriel Weinstein interviewed Rabbi Bernard H. Mehlman on November 1, 2016, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Rabbi Mehlman shares his experiences delivering a heart valve in the USSR, arranging the evacuation of a refusenik, fundraising for Soviet emigre families, and providing support and education programs for newly arrived emigres at Temple Israel of Boston.

Sara Meirowitz

Project
Boston Women Rabbis

Lynne Himelstein interviewed Rabbi Sara Meirowitz on April 2, 2014, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Boston Women Rabbis Oral History Project. Rabbi Meirowitz discusses her journey to becoming a rabbi, influenced by her father, experiences at Yale University's Hillel, and time in Jerusalem while discussing her perspectives on Modern Orthodoxy and Israel.

Carol Michael

Project
Adult Bat Mitzvahs

Shayna Rhodes interviewed Carol Michael on February 23, 2005, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of JWA’s Adult Bat Mitzvah Oral History Project. Michael recounts her family background, her disconnection from Judaism, her son's disabilities, and her rediscovery of Judaism through her daughter's bat mitzvah, leading to her active participation in Jewish practices and community.

Jeremy Morrison

Project
Soviet Jewry

Tamar Shachaf Schneider interviewed Rabbi Jeremy Morrison on November 8, 2016, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Rabbi Morrison recounts his involvement with the Reform Youth Federation of Temple Israel (RYFTI), collecting furniture for Joseph Gilbo's apartment and his experiences with Russian customs, as well as delivering a film on behalf of the Charneys in their bugged apartment in Moscow and a visit to Riga.

Aliza Parker

Project
General

Jayne Guberman interviewed Aliza Parker on February 13 and March 28, 2008, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Jewish Women's Archive's general oral history project. Parker discusses her family history, upbringing in Brooklyn, involvement in Zionist youth movements, experiences in Israel, teaching career, participation in a Jewish study group, and reflections on her marriage, children, and the evolving world and Israel.

Ary Rotman

Project
Soviet Jewry

Ary Rotman was interviewed on October 25, 2016, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Rotman shares his experiences of discovering the official process to leave the USSR for Israel, his struggles in securing a visa and becoming a refusenik, his arrest and time in jail, his eventual successful visa acquisition, and his adjustment to life in the United States.

Yemema Seligson

Project
Women Whose Lives Span the Century

Joan Rachlin interviewed Yemema Seligson on January 7, 1998, in Brookline, Massachusetts, for the Women Who Lives Spanned the Century Oral History Project. Seligson reflects on her family's immigration, her mother's work as a seamstress, childhood memories, the friendship with linguist Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, her career journey, and her current life, activities, and friendships.

Betsy Shure Gross

Project
Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Betsy Shure Gross on July 31, 2001, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Gross discusses her childhood, family roots, connection to Judaism, involvement in community restoration, and environmental justice issues, emphasizing the intersectionality of her activism as a woman and highlighting the impact of her work on others.

Birth Country

Type

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Oral History Collection." (Viewed on February 23, 2024) <http://jwa.org/oralhistories>.