Episode 9: Sonnet for America

In search of some post-election, pre-Thanksgiving meaning, host Nahanni Rous and JWA Executive Director Judith Rosenbaum explore that great American symbol, the Statue of Liberty—and the Jewish woman who gave her a voice. Emma Lazarus was a poet and writer who is remembered for the sonnet that redefined the Statue as the Mother of Exiles. But she was also an activist who worked with the poor immigrants of the 1880s and challenged her upper class Jewish community to take responsibility for these Russian Jewish refugees.

Released November 23, 2016
  • Immigrants on a boat gather to view the Statue of Liberty.
    Courtesy of The Mariners' Museum Research Library
  • Poetess Emma Lazarus (1849-1887).

  • The New Colossus, from Emma Lazarus' copy book, hand written.
    Courtesy of the American Jewish Historical Society.
  • Immigrants View Statue of Liberty
  • Emma Lazarus
  • "The New Colossus," by Emma Lazarus, 1883


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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Episode 9: Sonnet for America." (Viewed on April 17, 2024) <http://jwa.org/podcasts/canwetalk/episode-9-sonnet-for-america>.