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.
Ann Buffum and Sandra Stillman Gartner interviewed Darryl Bloom on August 15, 2005, in Montpelier, Vermont, as part of DAVAR: The Vermont Jewish History Project. Bloom reflects on her upbringing, conversion to Judaism, experiences on a kibbutz, commitment to social justice, involvement in the Montpelier Jewish community, and teaching at the Family Center of Washington County.
Sandra Stillman Gartner and Ann Buffum interviewed Judith Chalmer in Winooski, Vermont, on November 3 and December 8, 2005, as part of DAVAR’s oral history project. Chalmer discusses her family's history, her creative path as a writer, and her reflections on her Jewish identity and the role of women in Judaism, inspired by her father's experiences during the Holocaust and her efforts to honor those who helped her family.
Ann Zinn Buffum and Sandra Stillman Gartner, project directors, interviewed Ellen David Friedman on November 8, 2005, in East Montpelier, Vermont, as part of DAVAR's Vermont Jewish Women's History Project. Friedman reflects on her family background, immigration history, Jewish identity, involvement in progressive politics, volunteer efforts, and her role as a grassroots labor organizer in Vermont.
Ann Buffum and Sandy Gartner interviewed Rosalie Harris on April 10, 2007, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, as part of the DAVAR: Vermont Jewish Women's Oral History Project. Harris discusses her childhood in Montreal, her nursing career, her marriage, their experiences during World War II, running a clothing store, their involvement in the Jewish community, her volunteer work, and reflections on family and interfaith connections.
Sandra Stillman Gartner and Ann Buffum interviewed Phyllis Wolfson Isaacson on January 24, 2008, in Brattleboro, Vermont, as part of the DAVAR: Vermont Jewish Women's History Project, Isaacson shares her family history, musical journey, experiences as a music teacher and conductor, and her involvement with Jewish communities, highlighting the challenges she faced as a woman in a male-dominated field.
Ann Zinn Buffum and Sandra Stillman Gartner interviewed Madeleine Kunin on May 1, 2006, in Burlington, Vermont, as part of DAVAR's Oral History Project. Kunin shares her journey from Switzerland to the United States, her career in journalism, her involvement in Vermont politics as the first woman governor, and her role in education under the Clinton administration.
Sandra Stillman Gartner and Ann Buffum interviewed Susan Leader on July 23, 2008, in Andover, Vermont, as part of DAVAR's Oral History Project. Leader discusses her family's history, her upbringing in rural Vermont, her passion for pottery, her education, and her reflections on raising children in the Jewish tradition.
Sandra Stillman Gartner and Ann Buffum interviewed Deborah Markowitz on July 12, 20005, in Montpelier, Vermont, as part of the Vermont Jewish Women's Oral History Project. Markowitz explores her Ukrainian heritage, family history, the influence of music, her Jewish education, her commitment to Tikkun Olam, her role as Secretary of State in Vermont, and her efforts to improve civic engagement and support victims of domestic violence.
Ann Zinn Buffum and Sandra Stillman Gartner interviewed Hinda Miller on December 5, 2006, in Burlington, Vermont as part of DAVAR's Vermont Jewish Oral History Project. Miller details her family background, travels to Lithuania, Ireland, and England, growing up in Montreal, educational experiences, involvement in yoga and Kabbalah, inventing the sports bra, political career as a state senator, and reflections on her family and Jewish identity.
Ann Buffum and Sandra Stillman Gartner interviewed Dr. Diane Rippa on November 9, 2008, in Essex Junction, Vermont, as part of DAVAR: The Vermont Jewish History Project. Dr. Rippa discusses her family background, her grandfather's influence on her interest in medicine, involvement in Jewish youth groups, and her career as a family doctor in Vermont, highlighting the challenging period when her father fell seriously ill, which ultimately shaped her approach to patient care.
Ann Zinn Buffum and Sandra Stillman Gartner interviewed June Salander on June 29, 2005, in Rutland, Vermont, as part of DAVAR’s Vermont Jewish Women’s Oral History Project. Salander recalls her immigration to the United States from Poland as a young girl, settling in Harlem, attending Hebrew School, and her active life as a Red Cross volunteer, Hebrew School teacher, real estate broker, and baker, culminating in her Bat Mitzvah at age 89.
Sandy Gartner and Ann Buffum interviewed Sara Schlosser on January 19, 2008, in Wolcott, Vermont, as part of DAVAR's Vermont Jewish Women's Oral History Project. Schlosser discusses her family history, childhood, and journey to becoming a vegetarian, her experiences growing up in New Jersey, eventually starting her own family farm, and celebrating Jewish traditions with the local community.
Ann Buffum and Sandy Gartner interviewed Semah Unterman on August 12, 2005, in Belmont, Vermont, for the Vermont Jewish Women's History Oral History Project. Unterman discusses her family, childhood activism, experiences during the war, career in education and local politics, the importance of critical thinking, and her daughter's illness and travels.
Sandy Gartner and Ann Buffum interviewed Tobie Weisman on August 15, 2005, in Montpelier, Vermont, as part of the Vermont Jewish Women's Oral History Project. Weisman shares her family's immigration history, her upbringing, early experiences in Israel, her rabbinical training, and ultimately finding fulfillment in marriage and joining her husband's organic fruit tree farm in Vermont.
Sandy Gartner and Ann Buffum interviewed Sylvia Willard on June 29, 2005, in Rutland, Vermont, as part of the Vermont Jewish Women's Oral History Project. Willard shares her family history, growing up in Vermont, her passion for theater, involvement in the Jewish community, meeting her husband Howard, and their successful ventures in the retail industry.