Jewish History

Content type
Collection
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.

Image of Emma Goldman Over Pomegranate Patterned Background

Anarchy, but Make It Feminist

Lucy Waldorf

As I familiarized myself with Emma Goldman's work, I realized that anarcho-feminist philosophy is so potent because both movements share the same goals.

Roya Hakakian’s first book, Journey from the Land of No, is published

August 1, 2004

Author and poet Roya Hakakian was born in Tehran in 1966 and fled Iran with her family in 1985, seeking asylum in the United States. Hakakian is the author of two collections of Persian poetry, an acclaimed memoir, and essays on Iranian issues.

Collage with Image of Georgia Fried and Her Siblings Holding Volunteer Certificates for 2020 Polls in Columbus, OH

I Worked the Polls During the 2021 "Off-Year" Election: Here's Why It Matters

Georgia Fried

As last year's election came and went and my disillusionment peaked, I recalled all of the Jewish women who fought to get the right to vote.

Handwritten page with images and words to protect pregnant women and newborns.

From the Archive: Amulet for the Protection of Pregnant Women and Newborn Children

Deborah Dash Moore
Dory Fox

The Posen Library shares an eighteenth century amulet to protect pregnant women and newborn children.

Gail Twersky Reimer

Gail Twersky Reimer is a teacher, writer, editor, passionate advocate for the humanities, and visionary pioneer of Jewish feminism. Reimer founded the Jewish Women’s Archive in 1995 to ensure that Jewish women’s stories would become integral parts of the historical record. Under her leadership, JWA pioneered the use of virtual technology in collecting, chronicling, and transmitting knowledge of Jewish women’s lives.

Photo of Mirushe Zylali in her handmade entari

Reinventing Fashion: What’s Old Is New Again

Mirushe "Mira" Zylali

Fashioning my own dress in a traditional Ottoman style helped me reclaim my multilayered roots.

Samovar

My Samovar: A Connection to Soviet Jewry

Beth Dwoskin

A family samovar passed down through the generations is a connection to a Russian Jewish past.

Topics: Food, Jewish History
The Berber Bride in the Salon, by Esther Benmaman, 2002

Rethinking the Canon: Today's Moroccan Jewish Women Painters

Tamara Kohn

Who belongs in the canon? And who gets to tell the stories of Moroccan Jews?

Topics: Art, Jewish History
Encyclopedia Revision Collage

Celebrating JWA's Encyclopedia Revision and Expansion

Harriet Feinberg

In celebration of JWA's Encyclopedia expansion, scholar Harriet Feinberg shares a poem she wrote years ago about the resource.

Topics: Jewish History

Joan Nathan

Award-winning journalist and cookbook author Joan Nathan is a transformative figure in documenting and exploring the evolving Jewish experience both in America and around the globe through the powerful lens of food. A long-standing contributing writer to The New York Times and Tablet Magazine, Nathan is the author of eleven books, as well as hundreds of articles, podcasts, interviews, and public presentations about Jewish, global, and American foodways. 

Images of Jewish Women in Medieval European Literature

Medieval European representations of Jewish women by Christian authors reveal anxieties about Jews and their imagined intentions. Some of these writings portray young Jewish women as easily seduced by Christian men and Christian teachings; others depict a beautiful but malevolent Jewish woman who leads a Christian boy to his ritual death. Another motif, supposed sexual liaisons between a ruler and a Jewish woman, expresses Christian perceptions of Jewish threats to the Christian state.

Sephardi Women in the Dutch Republic

In the early modern period, Dutch Sephardim formed a community famous for its wealth, grandeur, and benevolence.

The article highlights the social, economic and religious position of Sephardi women in the Dutch Republic, arriving as immigrants from persecutions by the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions and their offspring, settled in generations afterwards. Their adjustment to normative Judaism is being discussed as well as their professional education and their contributions to Sephardi and Dutch society.     

Esther Brandeau

Esther Brandeau was born in southwestern France around 1718, descended from exiles of the Inquisition in Iberia. Brandeau passed as Christian and male across France for five years before setting sail as Jacques La Fargue. Doubly outed at or en route to Québec, Brandeau | La Fargue was ultimately deported from New France, purportedly for refusing to convert to Christianity.

Yiddish Duolingo graphic

What Does Duolingo Mean for Yiddish?

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

Yiddish is finally on Duolingo. What does that mean for the language?

Topics: Jewish History

Episode 63: JIMENA: Mizrahi and Sephardi Voices

The 20th century brought major disruptions to Jewish communities all over the world. In the Middle East and North Africa, over one million Jews fled places where Jewish communities had existed for over 2,000 years. The organization JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa) works to preserve the cultural memory and heritage of Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews. In this episode, producer Asal Ehsanipour and JIMENA's Executive Director Sarah Levin share highlights from some of the oral stories preserved in JIMENA's archive and talk about their own family histories.

Two Judahite Figurines from the Eighth Century BCE

From the Archive: Judahite Pillar Figurines

Dory Fox
Alison L. Joseph

The Posen Library shares two eighth century Judahite pillar figurines from their archive.

Topics: Jewish History

Episode 62: The Mystery of Esther Brandeau

In 1738, a young Christian man stepped off a boat in the French colony of Quebec and was doubly outed as a Jew and a woman. Esther Brandeau was born around 1718 in Saint Esprit, a Jewish community on the outskirts of Bayonne, France. Brandeau was the first documented Jew to have set foot on Canadian soil, but she didn’t stay long. Historian and performing artist Heather Hermant tells the story for Can We Talk? and for JWA's revised and updated edition of the Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women.

Riv-Ellen Prell

Anthropologist Riv-Ellen Prell initiated ethnographic study of ordinary American Jews that paid attention to religion, gender, ritual, and cultural performance. Her work addresses the primacy of gender in twentieth-century Jewish life and looks at economic and power relations often expressed through negative stereotypes of Jewish women.

White Puzzle Pieces on Blue Background

A 1,000-Piece Puzzle: My Jewish Ancestral History

Judy Goldstein

My ancestral history is like a 1,000-piece puzzle with half of the puzzle pieces missing.

Page from "Mir Forn" by Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman

From the Archive: A Page from Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman’s Book "Mir Forn"

Carole Renard

The Yiddish Book Center shares a page from Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman's children's book Mir Forn ("We're Off") from their archive.

Ginevra Blanis

Ginevra Blanis was a late sixteenth-century silk manufacturer of the Florentine ghetto and Siena. She left her mark as a founder of the young community with her philanthropy and in the public communication of what she considered Jewish values in the provisions of her will.

Title page of the Register of a Jewish Midwife by Roza, 1700s

From the Archive: Register of a Jewish Midwife

Deborah Dash Moore
Dory Fox

The Posen Library shares an eighteenth century midwife's register of births from their archive.

Frances Rosenthal Kallison

Frances Elaine Rosenthal Kallison was a horsewoman and historian, a cofounder of the Texas Jewish Historical Society, and the only Jewish woman in the National Museum and Cowgirl Hall of Fame.  A regional leader of the National Council of Jewish Women, she lobbied to end the poll tax and open pre-natal clinics for the poor. The exhibit she curated on Texas Jewry for the 1968 World’s Fair in San Antonio has been continually updated.

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