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

Ellen Bender

Project
Meet Me at Sinai

Jayne Guberman interviewed Ellen Bender on February 8, 2015, in New York, New York, as part of the Meet Me at Sinai Oral History Project. Bender discusses her childhood in New York, her mother's influence on her feminism, and how it shaped her religious practice, highlighting the impact of Jewish feminism and her vision for gender equality in Judaism and Jewish life.

Madeline Bender

Project
Meet Me at Sinai

Jayne Guberman interviewed Madeline Bender on February 8, 2015, in New York, New York, as part of the Meet Me at Sinai Oral History Project. Madeline talks about her upbringing in New York City, her involvement in various clubs and organizations, and her feminist perspective on Jewish practice, and shares personal experiences of encountering gender equality and combating anti-feminist attitudes.

Sara Davidson

Project
Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Sara Davidson on October 30, 2005, in New York, as part of the Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America oral history project. Davidson discusses her background, Jewish upbringing, feminist influences, experiences shaping her Jewish identity, and coming out as bisexual, reflecting on the intersections of her feminism, Jewishness, and sexuality.

Eleyna Fugman

Project
Meet Me at Sinai

Jayne Guberman interviewed Eleyna Fugman on February 18, 2015, in New York, New York, as part of the Meet Me At Sinai conference and Oral History Project. Fugman reminisces on her family background, her personal journey as a feminist and Jew, her pursuit of Jewish and feminist education, and her activism against racism, antisemitism, and sexism.

Pamela Goldman

Project
Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America

Jayne Guberman interviewed Pamela Goldman on October 30, 2005, in New York, New York, as part of the Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America Oral History Project. Goldman, a Jewish artist and sculptor, discusses her upbringing in Maplewood, New Jersey, her exploration of Jewish identity, her passion for promoting equality, and her involvement in the Rosa Parks Wall of Tolerance project.

Sherry Gorelick

Project
Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America

Jayne Guberman interviewed Sherry Gorelick on October 30, 2005, in New York, New York, as part of the Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America Oral History Project. Gorelick discusses her upbringing, Jewish activism, feminism, and her experiences with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including her involvement in peace conferences, the Gay and Lesbian Movement in Israel, and her recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

Emily Langowitz

Project
Meet Me at Sinai

Jayne Guberman interviewed Emily Langowitz on February 8, 2015, in New York City, as part of the Meet Me at Sinai Oral History Project. Langowitz discusses her Jewish upbringing, her passion for Jewish learning, her experiences at Yale, her reflections on gender disparities in Judaism, and the influence of her renowned rabbi grandfather and Holocaust scholar grandfather on her spiritual journey.

Lisa Mednick-Owen

Project
Meet Me at Sinai

Jayne Guberman interviewed Lisa Mednick-Owen on February 8, 2015, in New York, New York, as part of the Meet Me at Sinai Oral History Project. Lisa reflects on the accomplishments of Jewish feminism, highlights the ongoing challenges in traditional and Orthodox Jewish communities, and emphasizes the role of Jewish values in addressing broader feminist issues, particularly regarding sexual assault and gender equality, while also recognizing the importance of organizations like the Jewish Women's Archive and the potential for Judaism to guide discussions on these topics.

Toby Reifman

Project
Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Toby Reifman on October 30, 2005, in New York, New York, as part of the Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America Oral History Project. Reifman talks about her journey of growing up in Providence, Rhode Island, her experiences with gender dynamics and inequalities in Judaism, her involvement in Jewish feminist movements, and her evolving commitment to feminism and personal fulfillment throughout her life.

Dina Rosenfeld

Project
Meet Me at Sinai

Jayne Guberman interviewed Dina Rosenfeld on February 8th, 2015, in New York, New York, as part of the Meet Me at Sinai Oral History Project. Rosenfeld talks about immigrating to Boro Park, becoming involved in Jewish feminism through Ezrat Nashim, confronting the Jewish Theological Seminary, and discussing the impact of the movement on women's religious participation.

Menorah Rotenberg

Project
Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America

Jayne Guberman interviewed Menorah Rotenberg on October 30th, 2005, in New York, New York, as part of the Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America Oral History Project. Rotenberg reflects on her childhood experiences attending Orthodox day school, her growing feminist consciousness, challenges to traditional gender roles, and finding a more egalitarian community in Conservative Judaism.

Freyda Sanders

Project
Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Freyda Sanders on July 12, 2000, in Brookline, MA, for the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Sanders shares her upbringing in a politically active household, her diverse career path, her involvement with Hadassah and its impact on her Jewish identity, her trip to Russia, and the influence of her mother's socialist beliefs on her life.

Barbara Seaman

Project
Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Barbara Seaman on October 30, 2005, in New York, New York, as part of the Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America Oral History Project. Seaman discusses her research on preventative hysterectomies, the influence of Rose Kushner, her family history, activism in the women's movement, and challenges as an activist journalist confronting the pharmaceutical industry.

Elana Sztokman

Project
Meet Me at Sinai

Jayne Guberman interviewed Dr. Elana Maryles Sztokmann on February 8, 2015, in New York City, New York for the "Meet Me at Sinai" Oral History Project. Dr. Sztokman, raised in a Modern Orthodox family, became a feminist activist challenging Orthodox Judaism's sexism, pursuing higher education, and seeking a balance between her beliefs and her commitment to gender equality.

Miriam Yasgur

Project
Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Miriam Yasgur on October 29, 2005, in New York, New York as part of the Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America Oral History Project. Yasgur discusses her progressive Orthodox Jewish upbringing, her struggle with feminism in that context, and her journey to integrate feminism and religious practices into her life, including her art.

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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>.