Activism

Content type
Collection
Collage with pink background, blue abstract designs, fist in the air, and picture of Beatrice Alexander

A Defense of Failed Activism

Sydney Burgess

Any activist’s favorite thing to do is be better than everybody else.  

Topics: Activism
Collage of Emma Goldman with her signature and name in Yiddish

Education, Activism, and Anarchy: Examining Emma Goldman’s Legacy

Aria Lynn-Skov

Balancing the good with the questionable doesn’t mean we should ignore the harder parts of history, but in the end, it’s important to focus on what we can learn from them.

Collage of Shulamit Aloni on patterned blue and white background

Is It Possible to Be A Left-Wing Zionist?

Ava Cohen

While it may not be exactly the case right now, there have been many people in Israel’s short history that have gone against the grain to form progressive parties in the government, like Shulamit Aloni.

Topics: Zionism, Activism
Collage of "Identical Twins" and clip art of a camera on black and white patterned background

Diane Arbus and Art as a Means of Processing, Coping, and Acting

Julia Brode Kroopkin

Arbus’s career sets a beautiful example of how to create space for purely expressive art. Art as a means of activism and coping is nothing new—yet it often feels inaccessible. I'm inspired by the risk she took to step away from commercial work.

Rebecca Young

Project
Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Rebecca Young on January 29, 2002, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Young reflects on her upbringing in poverty, the loss of her mother, the reconnection to her Jewish identity, her activism in prison reform and prisoners' rights, and her involvement in various social causes including women's rights, anti-poverty, and anti-apartheid.

Vicki Gabriner

Project
Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Vicki Gabriner on July 20, 2000, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Gabriner recounts growing up in Brooklyn, her journey through activism, involvement in social justice issues, experiences with the Weathermen, coming out as a lesbian, and her deepening connection to Judaism and Yiddish culture.

Ronya Schwaab

Project
Women Whose Lives Span the Century

Vicki Gabriner interviewed Ronya Schwaab on January 18 and 26, February 3 and 7, and June 18, 1997, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Whose Lives Spanned The Century Oral History Project. Schwaab recounts her childhood in Gomel, Belarus, highlighting aspects such as the First World War, Jewish traditions, women's roles, interfaith relations, arranged marriages, and encounters with the anti-revolutionary group, the Chyornaya Sotnya.

Peggy Charren

Project
Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Peggy Charren on July 23, 2001, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Charren talks about her family background, her advocacy for children's television programming through Action for Children's Television (ACT), her passion for literature, her marriage, and her reflections on her life and activism, including receiving prestigious honors.

Pamela Sussman-Paternoster

Project
Women Who Dared

Julie Johnson interviewed Pamela Paternoster-Sussman on March 1, 2005, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Paternoster-Sussman shares her upbringing in a blended family, strong Jewish identity, experiences of antisemitism, activism, teaching marginalized students, and her educational pursuits in Cleveland and Cambridge.

Sherry Gorelick

Project
Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America

Jayne Guberman interviewed Sherry Gorelick on October 30, 2005, in New York, New York, as part of the Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America Oral History Project. Gorelick discusses her upbringing, Jewish activism, feminism, and her experiences with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including her involvement in peace conferences, the Gay and Lesbian Movement in Israel, and her recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

Black line drawing of cursor clicking YouTube logo on a white background

I Love LeftTube. But Where Are The Jews?

Miriam Stodolsky

Leftist videos on YouTube were key ingredients in developing my political outlook, but there is a palpable lack of any Jewish voices.

Topics: Socialism, Film, Activism

Elana Sztokman

Project
Meet Me at Sinai

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.

Abby Shevitz

Project
Women Who Dared

Elise Brenner interviewed Abby Shevitz on December 12, 2003, in Sharon, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Shevitz discusses her family, childhood, education, Jewish identity, and involvement in HIV/AIDS activism, emphasizing the impact of womanhood and the women's movement while reflecting on her accomplishments and offering advice for community organizing.

Edith Furstenberg

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Marcie Cohen Ferris interviewed Edith Furstenberg on March 16, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Furstenberg, born in Baltimore in 1910, shares her family history, educational experiences, a career in social work, marriage, and reflections on national political movements, including the Civil Rights Movement.

Marion Eiseman

Project
Women Whose Lives Span the Century

Emily Mehlman interviewed Marion Eiseman in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 19, 1997, for the Women Whose Lives Span the Century project. Eisman talks about her life experiences, including challenges during the Great Depression, involvement with Temple Israel, frustrations with her daughter's interfaith wedding, participation in Jewish resettlement during WWII, founding Call for Action, political views, volunteer work, and reflections on Boston's changes over time.

Sheila Decter

Project
Soviet Jewry

Sheila Decter was interviewed on October 7, 2016, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Decter recounts her role in the Simcha Torah awareness truck drive, her work with the Kennedy Administration, the Jewish Agenda in Washington, and the ongoing importance of the Soviet Jewry cause.

Clementine Kaufman

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Jean Freedman interviewed Clementine Kaufman on March 16, 2002, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Kaufman discusses her upbringing as a rabbi's daughter, her experiences in Switzerland, relationships, college, volunteer work, career in social work, and the changes she has observed in Baltimore.

The SHALVA Founders

Project
Women Who Dared

David Johnson interviewed SHALVA Founders (Chani Friedman, Tamar Friedman, Hadassah Goodman, Shoshana Kahn, Fayge Siegal, Batshie Goldfeder, and Devora Stern) on March 4, 2003, in Chicago, Illinois, for the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. The narrators discuss their backgrounds, careers, and activism, emphasizing the founding and mission of SHALVA to support domestic abuse survivors in the Orthodox Jewish community, along with their accomplishments and other related topics.

Amy Rubin

Project
Women Who Dared

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Amy Rubin on February 7, 2007, in Morton Grove, Illinois, for the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Rubin shares her challenging childhood in Chicago, understanding her Jewish and feminist identity, her involvement with B'nai B'rith Women's organization and addressing domestic abuse in the Jewish community, and her current role as Director of JCares nonprofit.

Collage of trees, cattle, and fish on blue patterned background

Honoring the Shmita Year

Miriam Niestat

Taking inspiration from Rabbi Bernstein’s efforts with Tu B’Shvat, I wonder what a Shmita haggadah might look like.

Episode 86: Fat Torah with Minna Bromberg

It all started at a preschool Hanukkah party a few years ago. That's when an offhand remark led Rabbi Minna Bromberg to start Fat Torah, a project to end fat stigma in Jewish communal life. In this episode of Can We Talk?, Judith Rosenbaum speaks with Minna in her home in Jerusalem about how fatphobia plays out in Israel versus the US, the ways it intersects with gender, and how Jewish tradition can teach us to be more body positive. 

Mildred Zanditon

Project
Women Whose Lives Span the Century

Ellen Rovner interviewed Mildred Zanditon on November 10, 1997 in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Whose Lives Spanned The Century Oral History Project. Zanditon recalls learning how to make challah with her daughter, her advocacy work for institutionalized individuals and the founding of the non-profit Vinfen, and her pride in passing on values of tzedakah and Tikkun Olam to her daughters.

Judy Somberg

Project
Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Judy Somberg on July 18, 2000, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Somberg recounts her activism through the years, reflecting on her involvement in anti-war movements, women's rights, and the Cambridge Sister City Project, advocating for human rights and supporting affected communities.

Carol Smokler

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

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.

Madalyn Schenk

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Madalyn Schenk on July 25, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Schenk talks about her upbringing in a tight-knit Jewish community in Chicago, her move to New Orleans, her leadership during Hurricane Katrina, and her involvement in civic organizations and fundraising for the city's rebuilding efforts, as well as her approach to Jewish identity through activism.

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