Institute for Educators 2012 | Jewish Women's Archive

The Power of Our Stories

Jewish Women's Archive
2012 Institute for Educators

July 22-26, 2012
Waltham, MA

July 22-26, 2012, the Jewish Women's Archive brought together 25 Jewish educators from across the country for four days of intensive professional development. The program was designed to enrich participants' teaching with the stories of American Jewish lives, past and present. The 2012 Institute focused on the role of Jews in the Civil Rights and Labor Movements in the United States.

Participants worked with leading scholars and master teachers to:


    themes in Jewish women’s history and the history of social movements in the U.S.;


    primary source documents, oral histories, and traditional Jewish texts;


    wealth of resources on, with emphasis on JWA’s Living the Legacy social justice curriculum; and


    strategies and plans for teaching Jewish American history.

The Institute program included:

  • seminars
  • experiential education workshops
  • hands on computer sessions
  • special evening programs
  • time for developing individualized curriculum materials
  • follow up webinar series

Presenters included:         

  • Dr. Joyce Antler, Professor of American Jewish History and Culture, Brandeis University and author of The Journey Home: How Jewish Women Shaped Modern America.
  • Dr. Jayne Guberman, independent oral historian and former Director of Oral History and Online Collecting at the Jewish Women’s Archive
  • Rabbi Jill Jacobs, author of There Shall Be No Needy: Pursuing Social Justice Through Jewish Law and Tradition.
  • Dr. Debra Schultz, author of Going South: Jewish Women in the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Dr. Susan Zeiger, Program Director at Primary Source
  • Barbara Rosenblit, Humanities and Judaics teacher at the Weber Jewish High School in Atlanta and 2004 recipient of the Covenant Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators.

Required Readings:

 Participants reviewed all of the lessons in the Civil Rights and Labor modules of Living the Legacy and read the following articles:


As part of the Institute experience, JWA hosts several online webinars and conference calls for participants during the school year following the Institute. Through these meetings, Institute participants have had the opportunity to reconnect, share ideas, learn new teaching strategies, and be the first to know about new educational resources developed by JWA. To see a list of webinars from the 2011 Institute, click here.


  • The Institute was open to educators of any gender.
  • The Institute focused on material written for students in grades 8–12 in formal and/or informal settings.
  • Participants' expenses were covered, including 4 nights in a hotel, kosher meals, and up to $500 for travel by a generous grant from the Dorot Foundation.
  • Prospective Institute applicants were required to review the Living the Legacy curriculum before filling out the application.
  • Educators who participated in the Institute were required to teach at least three lesson plans from Living the Legacy during the 2012-2013 school year.

Participant Testimonials

"I “charged my batteries” this week – I am full of new ideas for my classroom, my school, and my community – not only about Jews and the civil rights movement but about Jewish  women and our place in every discussion."

"Most surprising was the breadth and thoughtfulness of the participants, combined with enthusiasm for learning about Jewish  women.  I am excited to implement the courses and classes."

"The most surprising or perhaps exciting thing to me was the opportunity to quickly build a network of teachers with whom I can share, learn from, and continue to count on to nurture our ability to become better teachers."

"I learned valuable skills that will translate into many areas of Jewish education including making text study meaningful, the basics of taking oral histories, and how to make community service more relevant and impactful in my community."

"I’m a strong believer in creating “links in the Jewish chain” of history and Jewish  experience.  We have so much to learn from those who have come before us – from our ancestors in the Torah through the girls soon to become Bat Mitzvah.  Jewish women have important things to say and to share."

"Imagine spending a week with a group of extraordinary educators.  Imagine learning about Jewish women who stood for justice during the civil rights movement of the ‘60s.  Imagine an incredible curriculum available online – free! – that is a fountain of information, lesson plans, pictures, and more.  Imagine the number of courses and special programs that will enrich our community from the conference.  That’s what my week was like – an honor, a privilege and a gift."

Check out photos from the 2012 Institute and read blog posts from staff and a participant of the 2011 Institute.


Call or email us.

Go to for information on other educational resources offered by the Jewish Women's Archive




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Jewish Women's Archive. "Institute for Educators 2012 | Jewish Women's Archive." (Viewed on April 25, 2024) <>.