Episode 109: Oral History Showcase: Ronya's Liberation Story

When Ronya Schwaab was a young girl, the highlight of her year was preparing for Pesach—the snow was melting, and she got to help bake matzos. Ronya was born in 1909 in Belarus. She grew up amidst the violence and antisemitism of World War I and the Russian Revolution, and immigrated to America as a teenager. As an adult, Ronya devoted her life to helping other Jews escape from the Soviet Union. In this episode of Can We Talk?, you’ll hear excerpts from an interview she did in 1997 for the “Women Whose Lives Span the Century'' oral history project, a partnership between JWA and Temple Israel of Boston. Her testimony is one of hundreds in JWA’s Tanner Oral History Collection

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Released April 16, 2024
  • Ronya Schwaab, left, and Vicki Gabriner. Credit: Elsa Dorfman. 

  • A Life Unfolds by Debra Olin. Artwork inspired by Ronya Schwaab's oral history. 

  • The artist Debra Olin, left, and Ronya Schwaab, posing in front of the artwork Olin created based on Schwaab's oral history. 

  • Ronya Schwaab and Vicki Gabriner
  • "A Life Unfolds" by Debra Olin
  • Debra Olin and Ronya Schwaab


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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Episode 109: Oral History Showcase: Ronya's Liberation Story." (Viewed on May 24, 2024) <http://jwa.org/podcasts/canwetalk/episode-109-oral-history-showcase-ronyas-liberation-story-0>.