Jewish History

Content type
Collage of Rachel Sassoon Beer on pale pink background

A Catalyst for Change: The Power of Written Language and the Media

Frieda Belasco

Rachel Sassoon Beer is an exceptional example of the value of activism through media. We can take inspiration from her bravery to defy social norms.

Episode 96: Can We Talk? 2022-23 Season Wrap

That's a wrap! In this episode of Can We Talk?, Nahanni Rous, Jen Richler, and Judith Rosenbaum recap the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 seasons—from a celebration at a queer Jewish chicken farm to the fight for Israel's "chained women" to reproductive rights after Roe, and much more. 

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.

Naomi Rosenblatt

Washington D.C. Stories

Deborah Ross interviewed Naomi Harris Rosenblatt on December 31, 2010, in Washington, D.C. as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Rosenblatt details her personal journey from witnessing the birth of Israel to her career in Washington, D.C., discussing her deep connection to Jewish identity, the intertwining of the Bible and psychotherapy, and her concern for the future of the Jewish people.

Marillyn Tallman

Women Who Dared

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Marillyn Tallman on February 2, 2005, in Chicago, Illinois for the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Tallman talks about her childhood, activism work, involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, and her Jewish life and Zionist beliefs.

Sherry Gorelick

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.

First Second Wave Jewish Feminist Conference in North America Begins

February 16, 1973

In February 1973, 500 women gathered in the McAlpin Hotel in Manhattan for the first second-wave Jewish feminist conference in North America. Speakers and attendees discussed Jewish religious observance, issues of sexuality, duties of community service, inequality in Jewish movement organizations, and experiences of growing up in Jewish families. The conference brought Jewish women of many backgrounds together under a shared feminist identity.

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.

Rothschild Family Tree

Why Are Women Left Out of Jewish Genealogy?

Abby Rickin-Marks

With all the information Jewish genealogical sites offer, why are women so often left out?

Death of Empress of Ethiopia Seble Wongel

December 4, 1567

Seble Wongel became Empress of Ethiopia after her marriage to Emperor Lebna Dengel in 1512 or 1513. Wongel was one of the more important and powerful female figures in Ethiopia during the time. She played a noteworthy role in the Ethiopian–Adal war and was known to leave a strong impression on foreigners. 

Ruth Anna Putnam

Adult Bat Mitzvahs

Shayna Rhodes interviewed Ruth Anna Putnam on December 20, 2004, in Arlington, Massachusetts, as part of the Adult Bat Mitzvahs Oral History Project. Putnam reflects on her journey with Judaism, including her memories of living in Germany during Nazi rule, her parents' immigration to America, her evolving relationship with Judaism, and her experience of having an adult bat mitzvah at the age of seventy.

Sapir Taib and her Safta

Celebrate the Heroism of MENA Jewish Women on Chag Habanot

Sapir Taib

During Hanukkah, Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Jews observe Chag Habanot, which celebrates female heroes

Trude Kranzler

Weaving Women's Words

Jean Freedman interviewed Trude Kranzler on April 28, 2002, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Kranzler recounts her experience as a Jewish child in Germany during the rise of Hitler, her family's escape to the United States, and her subsequent career as an educator, emphasizing the importance of education and creating a positive learning environment for students.

Marion Guttentag

Women Whose Lives Span the Century

Emily Mehlman interviewed Marion Guttentag on June 4, 1996, in Needham, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Whose Lives Span the Century Oral History Project. Guttentag reminisces on childhood memories of her family, school, and Jewish holidays, as well as her experiences working as a stenographer, reflecting on her career and cherished relationships.

Letter from Nāzuk bat Yosef

A Millennium of Jewish Women’s Voices

Sarah Bunin Benor
Abby Graham

HUC-JIR's Jewish Language Project shares their recent exhibit highlighting Jewish women’s voices throughout history in twenty Diaspora Jewish languages.

Sara Schlosser

DAVAR: Vermont Jewish Women's History Project

Sandy Gartner and Ann Buffum interviewed Sara Schlosser on January 19, 2008, in Wolcott, Vermont, as part of DAVAR's Vermont Jewish Women's Oral History Project. Schlosser discusses her family history, childhood, and journey to becoming a vegetarian, her experiences growing up in New Jersey, eventually starting her own family farm, and celebrating Jewish traditions with the local community.

Joan Nathan

Washington D.C. Stories

Deborah Ross interviewed Joan Nathan on July 12, 2011, in Washington, DC, as part of the Washington D.C. Stories Oral History Project. Nathan reflects on the significance of food to Jewish life, as she recounts her career as a cookbook author, cultural historian, and food writer who combines recipes with stories to educate about Jewish life, tradition, and history.

Julia Phillips Cohen and Sarah Abrevaya Stein win a National Jewish Book Award for “Sephardi Lives: A Documentary History”

January 14, 2014

On January 14, 2014, Julia Phillips Cohen and Sarah Abrevaya Stein won the National Jewish Book Awards’ Sephardic Culture Mimi S. Frank Award in Memory of Becky Levy for their book Sephardi Lives; A Documentary History, 1700-1950. The National Jewish Book Awards are the longest-running Jewish literature awards in North America.

Catherine Kahn

Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Catherine Kahn on October 17, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Kahn reflects on her family history, experiences growing up in New Orleans, her husband's illness, the evacuation during Hurricane Katrina, the impact of the storm on her and her community, and her return to New Orleans and her work.

 Protesters holding signs outside Supreme Court on Day Roe v Wade was overturned

The Limits of Framing Abortion Rights as a Religious Issue

Savoy Curry

The right to abortion has deep roots across religions. But framing the fight for bodily autonomy as a religious issue has limits.

Can We Talk? 2021-22 Season Wrap

That's a wrap! In this episode of Can We Talk?, Nahanni Rous, Jen Richler, and Judith Rosenbaum recap the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 seasons—from the story of an underground abortion collective in the years before Roe to the 100-year history of the American bat mitzvah to our "Word of the Week" mini-series, and much more. 

Collage of old photo of author's grandmother and her brisket recipe in a frame

A Recipe That Defies Time—Just Like Passover Itself

Savoy Curry

The ingredients are simple, but the connections to my family and to Jewish history run deep.

Collage with Image of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Pen

Abolish the Death Penalty in Honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ellie Friedman

This month especially, while remembering everything RBG accomplished, we should take the time to look into the lesser known parts of Justice Ginsburg’s long career.

Asude Kalebek as Rasel in Kulup

Missed Kulüp When It Came Out? You Can Now Binge the Whole Delicious Series.

Mirushe "Mira" Zylali

The show depicts Sephardic women in all their messy complexity. But when it comes to Turkey’s oppressed minorities, it could dig deeper.


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