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Jewish History

Making Space Where There is None

To ask for the space you need is a daunting, terrifying task. But to take the space you need without permission? That’s even more challenging. Emma Goldman and Avigail Antman are two women who refused to settle for less, and who weren’t afraid to demand more. 

Photographic Memory

I never paid much attention to our history when I was younger. I felt very disconnected from my Jewish past, as I had little grasp of what the Holocaust really was and what it meant to be Jewish, especially growing up in an area with few Jews.

May the Faith Be With You

Because I didn’t have support, because I felt alone, I didn’t confront my teacher about his words that day or about the lack of Holocaust education. I didn’t take a stand, either, when I found the words “JEW HUNTER” scrawled on the leg of a desk. Nor did I speak up when I found the same horrifying phrase on a different desk a few weeks later.

Am I Welcome at the Wall?

The first time I visited the Kotel (Western Wall), I cried. I know, this is nothing unusual. This historic place often invokes intense spiritual connection or deep reflection from its visitors, moving them to tears. I was certainly overcome by emotion, but for a completely different set of reasons.

Ten Thoughts About Antisemitism and the Women’s March

Judith Rosenbaum, Executive Director of JWA, shares her thoughts on the Women's March leaders and their associations with Louis Farrakhan. She writes, "I don’t have any easy or solid answers, but here are 10 brief thoughts to add to the conversation."

Baking Babka, Taking in Tragedy

My pocket buzzes again. “Did you not see the news?” I feel my entire body tense, my fingers shaking as I struggle to open Twitter. In a moment, I am inundated—11 dead, maybe more.

When I wake up, I decide to make a babka.

Don’t Fence Me In

I feel proud of my Jewish and feminist beliefs as separate and intersecting parts of my identity and yet, especially after what happened at the march, I shy away from labeling myself a “Zionist.” Maybe it’s because I’m really not a Zionist, or maybe it’s because I’m afraid of the consequences that come with such a label.

Episode 25: A Visit to Pittsburgh

A couple hugs outside Tree of Life Synagogue

On October 27, 2018, a gunman killed eleven Jews during Shabbat services at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. While taking lives, the gunman shouted that “all Jews must die.” That morning, he had posted on social media that Jews were responsible for bringing immigrants into our country. Can We Talk? Producer Nahanni Rous went to Pittsburgh with a group from her synagogue, and attended a funeral for two victims of the attack. She shares this reflection.

A Rabbi Revisits Terror: Reflections on Pittsburgh

Despite the despair that comes easily these days, we must continue to believe that change is possible and that we have the responsibility to bring it about. Thankfully, we find ourselves at a moment when there is one obvious way to exercise this responsibility—in these final days of the election season, we must dedicate ourselves to getting out the vote.

Looking at the Kotel Through a Feminist Lens

I remember being four years old and writing notes to God to put into the fake Kotel we had constructed at my preschool. It was about three feet tall and made out of colorful building blocks, but to me, that was as good as it got.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish History." (Viewed on March 26, 2019) <https://jwa.org/topics/history>.

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