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Education for Social Change: Teaching Young Jewish Leaders

JWA is thrilled to partner with Tali Puterman, winner of the 2017 Natalia Twersky Educator Award, to present themes and teaching methods from her winning lesson, “Henrietta Szold: Learning from the Past to Shape Our Future.”

Henrietta Szold and her Parents, Lake Placid, 1897

Shout out to Feminist Fathers!

by Bella Book

I like to think that some men are born feminists, some become feminists, and some have feminism thrust upon them when they become the fathers of daughters. While in an ideal world, men would support women regardless of women's relationship to them, alas, sometimes it takes having a daughter before men realize just how unbalanced, and unequal, the world can be when sexism enters the mix. Some fathers (the best fathers in my opinion) decide to change the world in order to correct this inequality. They educate their daughters, create new traditions, teach them how to use power tools, and never tell them they should expect less from the world simply because they are women.

Topics: Children

Henrietta Szold on Saying Kaddish

In a 1916 letter, Henrietta Szold (the founder of Hadassah) defied Jewish tradition and challenged rituals that exclude women by asserting her right to say Kaddish (the Jewish prayer for mourners).

Passover Seder Table

Celebrating Women’s Seders vs. Celebrating Women at the Seder

by Rabbi Leah Berkowitz

I have always found women’s seders perplexing, ever since my mother first dragged me to one when I was a teenager. To me, Passover is a family holiday, and it felt wrong to exclude half of our family from the celebration. I also didn’t understand why, instead of telling the story of the Exodus, we toasted Bella Abzug and Henrietta Szold.

Topics: Passover

Henrietta Szold sends nurses Rose Kaplan and Rachel Landy to Palestine to begin the work of Hadassah.

January 18, 1913
"This is what your group ought to do … You should do practical work in Palestine."

Henrietta Szold

Henrietta Szold’s intellectual and social contributions shaped the lives of Jews in two countries: the United States and the still-forming State of Israel.
The Emma Lazarus FederatioN

A few more stories for the road

by  Judith Rosenbaum

As I prepare to leave my position as JWA’s Director of Public History after more than 12 years here, my mind keeps returning me back to the summer day in 2000 when I first stepped into the offices of the Jewish Women’s Archive. At the time, I was a disgruntled graduate student, disillusioned with life in the Ivory Tower and the academic study of women’s history. (Was a library really the best place to learn about women’s activism, I wondered?).

Top 10 Jewish Women in Labor History

10 Things You Should Know About Gertrude Weil

by  Leah Berkenwald

Gertrude Weil was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina in 1879. Her father, an immigrant from Germany, was among the business and civic leaders of the community. At the age of 15, she was sent to Horace Mann High School in New York City. She went on to Smith College, where, in 1901, she became the first graduate from North Carolina.

Emma Goldman Mug Shot, 1901

Henrietta Szold and Emma Goldman: Star-crossed "Women of Valor"

by  Leah Berkenwald

December 21st is the winter solstice and this year it was also the date of a lunar eclipse. December 21st, however, is also a big day for two important "stars": Henrietta Szold and Emma Goldman, two very important women in JWA's online Women of Valor exhibit.

Rae D. Landy arrives in Jerusalem

February 2, 1913
Born in Lithuania, Rae D. Landy graduated with the first class of nursing students in Cleveland, OH. She went on to work in Jerusalem with Hadassah and later the United States Army Nurse Corps.

Henrietta Szold: travel and transformation

by  Leah Berkenwald

Today Henrietta Szold would have been 150 years old.  Exactly 75 years ago today, her birthday was celebrated by Zionists throughout the U.S.  There was a national radio address, parties hosted by local Hadassah chapters, and Shabbat sermons dedicated to her all over the country.  To read more about this remarkable event, visit This Week in History.

Henrietta Szold

Henrietta Szold enlisted generations of American Jewish women in the practical work of supporting Jewish settlement in Palestine and Israel. As an essayist, translator, and editor, she became one of the few women to play a foundational role in creating a meaningful American Jewish culture.

"Only in America" poll results

by  Judith Rosenbaum

The results are in from the National Museum of American Jewish History's poll to select the 18 individuals to be featured in their "Only in America" Hall of Fame. The results are not too surprising.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg tells it like it is

by  Judith Rosenbaum

If you haven't read it already, check out this excellent NYT interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- a JWA hero -- by Emily Bazelon (a senior editor at Slate, a founder of their new online women's magazine, Double X, and a serious Jewess with Attitude in her own right).

Topics: Law

Mother's Day reflection, with thanks to Henrietta Szold

by  Judith Rosenbaum

Frankly, I'm too burnt out by a day spent with my children to offer much in the way of my own reflections on Mother's Day. So instead I will share the words of Henrietta Szold to fellow Zionist activist Jessie Sampter on August 23, 1917.

Topics: Motherhood

Zionists celebrate Henrietta Szold's 75th birthday

December 21, 1935

The 75th birthday of the pioneering Zionist Henrietta Szold on December 21, 1935, was celebrated with a radio address broadcast across the United States.

Death of Hadassah activist Alice Seligsberg

August 27, 1940

Alice Lillie Seligsberg was a social worker and Zionist who helped to found Hadassah: The Women's Zionist Organization of America.

Henrietta Szold helps to create American Jewish culture

July 28, 1893

On July 28, 1893, the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent announced that Henrietta Szold would be moving to Philadelphia from her home in Balti

Founding of Hadassah: The Women's Zionist Organization of America

February 24, 1912

On February 24, 1912, 38 women gathered at Temple Emanu-El in New York City to create a new organization called Daughters of Zion.

Death of Henrietta Szold

February 13, 1945

Failing health had brought Henrietta Szold, in July 1943, to the Henrietta Szold Nursing School on the grounds of the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

Zionism in the United States

The modern movement of Zionism began in the nineteenth century and had as its goal the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. American Zionism consistently portrayed the movement as faithful to democratic and social ideals and argued that the highest ideal of Zionism—social justice for the persecuted remnants of the Jewish people in Europe and elsewhere—was identical with the ethos that animated the American nation. Jewish women were active participants in American Zionism from the earliest years of the movement on these shores.

Television in the United States

American Jewish women have a complex history of association with the medium of television. Since emerging as a mass medium in the early post–World War II years, television has figured prominently in the careers of a number of American Jewish women working both before and behind the camera.

Henrietta Szold

Henrietta Szold's prodigious capacity for work and unwavering sense of duty, her powerful intellect and ability to meet new challenges, the breadth of her activities, and her singular contributions to American Jewish culture, to Zionism, and to the Yishuv mark her as an extraordinary human being.

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