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Remembering Who We Are: A Tale of Three Cousins

First cousins Ruth Fein (1927-2024), Merle Goldman (1931-2023), and Judy Moore (1927-2023) all came of age as young women in the restrictive 1950s. From a certain distance, you might assume that they all conformed to a simple and restrictive script – the one prescribed for women of their era, race, and class status. But in truth none of them did. In fact, what is so striking about these three cousins is how each, in her own way, defied the expectations of the era in which they came of age.

Image of Eva smiling and wearing gold necklaces with flowers in background

My Golden Sanctuary

Eva Stern

I’ve realized that, in my life, my jewelry, my gold, has been a source of strength and sanctuary that allows me to connect with my family, culture, and self.

Rainbow collage of various protest symbols and flowers

Jewish Queer Activism: Rising Upon Our Past

Julia Brode Kroopkin

In the same way I have an obligation to my Jewish ancestors to continue the fight for social justice and equity, I have an obligation to my queer ancestors as well.

Collage of Sasha Kranson-Forrest reading from the Torah at her Bat Mitzvah

The Family Yad

Sasha Kranson-Forrest

When my bubbe gave me this yad, I felt like I finally didn’t have to hide some parts about my Jewish identity.

Topics: Family, Ritual
Collage of megaphone and camera over colorful confetti

Raised to Stand Up

Lily Katz

My parents explicitly educated me in social justice issues, but not everyone learned these things as a child. What was the difference between my parents and my friends’ parents that had shaped the way we were raised?

Topics: Family
Collage of gold chain with "F" pendant surrounded by gold stars on blue background

My "F" Necklace: From Generation to Generation

Frieda Belasco

I often overlook how lucky I am that this necklace was passed down to me. My great-aunt gave it to me when I was born. Now I feel connected to my great-grandmother, despite having never met her.  

Collage of geometric artwork created by RVF fellow Talia Richmond's great-grandfather

Building Connections Though My Great-Grandfather’s Paintings

Talia Richmond

I’ve uncovered a thread, in the form of a chain of paintings by my great-grandfather that stretches across the United States and links me to my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, who live hundreds of miles away.

Topics: Painting, Family

Diane Rippa

DAVAR: Vermont Jewish Women's History Project

Ann Buffum and Sandra Stillman Gartner interviewed Dr. Diane Rippa on November 9, 2008, in Essex Junction, Vermont, as part of DAVAR: The Vermont Jewish History Project. Dr. Rippa discusses her family background, her grandfather's influence on her interest in medicine, involvement in Jewish youth groups, and her career as a family doctor in Vermont, highlighting the challenging period when her father fell seriously ill, which ultimately shaped her approach to patient care.

Collage of hand holding pen to paper on blue to orange gradient background

Writing as a Jewish Woman: Recording, Communicating, Counting

Samantha Berk

Being a Jewish woman means writing about what matters to me, and what I hope could matter to you. 

Topics: Writing, Family
Collage of three women with their arms around each other on blue and white background

A Conversation on the Future of Jewish Feminism

Miriam Niestat

I realized that in our seventeen years of knowing each other, I could count on one hand the number of times the three of us had talked about our places as women in Judaism.

Aliza Parker


Jayne Guberman interviewed Aliza Parker on February 13 and March 28, 2008, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Jewish Women's Archive's general oral history project. Parker discusses her family history, upbringing in Brooklyn, involvement in Zionist youth movements, experiences in Israel, teaching career, participation in a Jewish study group, and reflections on her marriage, children, and the evolving world and Israel.

Julius Simon

Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Julius Simon on July 14, 2007, in Lafayette, Louisiana as a part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Project. Julius traces his family's New Orleans heritage, recounts his early 20th-century upbringing, service in World War II, encounters with antisemitism in the South, and post-Katrina evacuation to Lafayette, where he settled with his wife Mae after recovering from surgery.

Anne A. Jackson

Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Anne A. Jackson on July 10, 2000, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Jackson shares her upbringing in a community of Russian Jews, her involvement in education and activism, including the Civil Rights Movement, her advocacy for Holocaust education, and her reflections on her career as an educator.

Marion Stone

Women Who Dared

Marion Stone was interviewed on February 4, 2004, in Chicago, Illinois, as part of the Women Who Dared oral history project. Stone shares her upbringing in Chicago Heights, experiences of antisemitism, education, a career in social work, involvement in the Jewish community, family resilience during the Great Depression, missions in Israel, and dedication to arts education.

Turkish Coffee and Dates

The Intricacies of Queer, Interfaith Relationships

D. B. Ashkenazi

It was the first time I’d hung out with “other Muslims” and not felt stressed about being Jewish. My girlfriend’s mom recognized me wholly as a Jewish woman and as a woman of her same culture. I had nothing to prove. I was enough.

Lenora "Leni" LaMarche

Weaving Women's Words

Roz Bornstein interviewed Lenora LaMarche on May 24 and June 25, 2001, in Mercer Island, Washington, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. LaMarche shares her family history, Sephardic culture, and experiences growing up in the Seattle and Los Angeles Jewish communities, highlighting her education, comedic talents, work during World War II, raising a family, and involvement in various organizations.

Leslie Simon

Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Leslie Simon on July 14, 2007, in Lafayette, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Simon shares her firsthand account of Hurricane Katrina, from the decision to evacuate to seeking shelter in the Superdome, reflecting on the storm's profound impact on her perception of home, government, and spirituality.

Yemema Seligson

Women Whose Lives Span the Century

Joan Rachlin interviewed Yemema Seligson on January 7, 1998, in Brookline, Massachusetts, for the Women Who Lives Spanned the Century Oral History Project. Seligson reflects on her family's immigration, her mother's work as a seamstress, childhood memories, the friendship with linguist Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, her career journey, and her current life, activities, and friendships.

Jeffrey Smith

Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Jeffrey Smith on July 16, 2007, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Smith talks about his Jewish upbringing, the effects of Hurricane Katrina, his family's conversion to Judaism, their evacuation experience, and his work representing Jewish individuals on death penalty cases, reflecting on racism and his hopes for his children.

Florence Gross

Women Whose Lives Span the Century

Rachel Alexander interviewed Florence Gross on July 11, 1997, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Whose Lives Spanned The Century Oral History Project. Gross shares her family history, childhood memories, career path as a social worker, marriages, volunteering experiences, and her lifelong connection to Temple Israel, reflecting on the role of Judaism in her life.

Illustration of Family Tree With Empty Boxes

Understanding Epigenetics as a Descendant of Holocaust Survivors

Elle Rosenfeld

As a kid growing up in a tight-knit Jewish community, “l’dor v’dor” (from generation to generation) was a phrase I heard on a weekly basis. Now, I see this sentiment in a new light.

Marion Eiseman

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.

Clementine Kaufman

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.

Vivian Cahn

Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Vivian Cahn on October 21, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Cahn tells her experiences of growing up in the South, moving to New Orleans, evacuating during Hurricane Katrina, and the challenges and recovery efforts faced by the Jewish community in rebuilding the city after the storm.

Semah Unterman

DAVAR: Vermont Jewish Women's History Project

Ann Buffum and Sandy Gartner interviewed Semah Unterman on August 12, 2005, in Belmont, Vermont, for the Vermont Jewish Women's History Oral History Project. Unterman discusses her family, childhood activism, experiences during the war, career in education and local politics, the importance of critical thinking, and her daughter's illness and travels.


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