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.
Jayne Guberman interviewed Carol Anshien on October 30, 2005, in New York, New York, as part of the Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America Oral History Project. Carol Anshien, a Bronx native, reflects on her family's World War II service, her fond memories of the Jacob H. Schiff Center Synagogue, her pioneering experience as the first female bat mitzvahed in the 1950s, and her later involvement in feminist activism with the New Jewish Agenda Feminist Task Force while navigating her religious practice with secular life.
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.
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.
Jayne Guberman interviewed Joan Feynman on January 16, 2013, in Pasadena, California, as part of the Jewish Women’s Archive General Oral History Project. Astrophysicist Feynman talks about researching solar phenomena, fighting for gender equality in science, and conducting groundbreaking research on solar radiation and climate change, earning prestigious accolades for her exceptional achievements.
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.
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.
Judith Rosenbaum and Jayne Guberman interviewed Ellen Kanner on October 12th, 2005 in Brookline, Massachusetts, as a part of the Jewish Women Changing America: Barnard Conference Oral History Project. Kanner reflects on her early life in New York, her involvement in the Jewish community, attending Jewish summer camps, her experience at Smith College, and her lifelong engagement in consciousness-raising groups.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jayne Guberman interviewed Carol Smokler on August 13, 2007, in Lenox, Massachusetts, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Smokler discusses her Jewish upbringing, community involvement, experiences during Hurricane Katrina, and her feelings about the government's response to the disaster.
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.