Jewish History

Content type
Collection
Photography then, photography now

A Picture and A Thousand Words

Lisa Kahn

I have more or less thought that contemporary photo culture was a bit over-the-top. But I have a newfound appreciation for people’s obsession with taking photos of everything. I’m not fully letting go of my criticism of its ability to deceive--but rather than thinking of photography as cheapened, I am now choosing to appreciate its democratic value.

Topics: Jewish History
Flyer for Betty Friedan's 1963 Presentation in Detroit

From the Archives: To Volunteer or Not to Volunteer? The Betty Friedan Conundrum

Robbie Terman

Betty Friedan helped pave the way for women in the workforce, and the world is better for it. But, contrary to her early advice, we should not forget the contributions of volunteers to our society.

Cropped Image of RBG portrait

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Michigan, and Me

Bella Book

When I think of William W. Cook’s virulent desire to refuse admission to all Jews at the University of Michigan ... I am comforted and emboldened by the thought of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. William W. Cook would not have liked the notorious RBG.

Boat Stock Image

Ask Emma: New Beginnings, and Long-Distance Love

Emma G.

I’m about to start law school in another city, and I’m really excited. The only problem? I will be leaving my partner behind, so our relationship will be long-distance for three years. I’m really nervous about it.

Hannah Gadsby and Omi

How Hannah Gadsby Helped Me Reclaim My Omi’s Story

Zoë Shannon

I thought Omi’s story should have been collected because I thought I knew what her story was. I had created an easy narrative that both mythologized and sanctified her. Unknowingly, I forged an account of Omi as a “perfect woman” who spent her days working and her nights taking care of her son.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 Promo

J.A.P. - Jewish American ... Proletariat?

Lisa Kahn

I am not, by an stretch of the imagination, a princess, dripping in designer merch after swiping my dad’s credit card. My mom grew up in an a working-class home with four sisters and was raised almost solely by her mother.

Rachel Kadish with the Weight of Ink

Video Interview with Rachel Kadish

Emily Cataneo

“What does it take for a woman to not be defeated when the whole world is telling her to sit down and mind her manners?” This is the question that Rachel Kadish, author of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award-winning historical novel of The Weight of Ink, wanted to answer when she sat down twelve years ago to write this ambitious and mesmerizing novel.

Rena Lubin and Her Mother as Young Girls

The Power of Personal Histories

Rena Lubin

As an aspiring oral historian, I’ve always gotten chills when listening to recorded interviews. I love the interviewer’s inviting questions, the way the interviewee may leap into a narrative, the chance for the listener to peer into the interviewee’s past, and the powerful, sometimes nostalgic, recollection of a story.

Episode 23: Can We Talk? Season Wrap

As they wrap up another season of Can We Talk?, Nahanni Rous and Judith Rosenbaum look back on their favorite episodes and interviews. They reflect on how the podcast has addressed both timely events and timeless stories—and they look ahead to an exciting new season in 2018-2019!

Winding Road Stock Photo

Ask Emma: Pulling Up Your Big-Kid Bloomers, and Running for the Hills

Emma G.

A friend I haven’t seen for over a year is planning to visit my city and stay for two weeks. Do I have an obligation to host her?

Gail Twersky Reimer

By collecting the history of Jewish women in the Jewish Women’s Archive, Gail Twersky Reimer ensured that anyone with an internet connection could get a more accurate, inclusive story of the Jewish community.

Stock Image of An Iron

Ask Emma: Pushy Parents, Domestic Chores, and the Fall of Capitalism

Emma G.

I am a student on a college campus and I too fight for women's issues. What advice do you have to make my work more effective?

Votes for Women and March for Our Lives Composite

Stories Don't Stop

Bella Book

March is almost over, and we all know what that means. 

We’re done. Finished. 

We came, we saw, we hashtagged WomensHistoryMonth and now we can retreat to our feminist lairs, cackling and dreaming of government-subsidized maternity leave and free tampons.

Toothbrushes

Ask Emma: Gift-giving, Sharing Toothbrushes, and Roommate Woes

Emma G.

Is it okay to expect a S.O. to be willing to share their toothbrush?

Gerda Lerner at Sarah Lawrence College

10 Quotes from the Jewish Founder of Women's History Month

Abby Richmond
Bella Book

Here are some choice quotes on marginality, what progress looks like, and why women’s history matters, from the Jewish woman who started it all!

Silence Breakers Throughout History Composite (Color)

Historical Silence Breakers

Bella Book

Here are just a few of the Jewish women throughout history who spoke out, breaking long-held silences about social issues and women’s disenfranchisement. Their stories remind us that change happens when women use their voices, loudly and together.

Story Aperture Online Training

Story Aperture, a new project of the Jewish Women’s Archive, enables people of all ages to collect and share the untold and underrepresented stories of Jewish women through mobile technology.

Sheryl Sandberg with Option B

Finding Strength From Our Foremothers

Sheryl Sandberg

Like many Americans, I owe an enormous debt to my ancestors who traveled here in search of a better life. Their courage created my family’s future. And in particular, I feel a special bond to the long line of women, stretching back generations, whose boldness and sacrifices made my life possible. 

Medical Care at the Fresh Air Camp

From the Archives: Who Will Tell Your Story?

Robbie Terman

The lyrics caught my attention. It was a quiet day in the archive and a volunteer asked if she could play the Hamilton soundtrack. As a history buff, I’ve been fascinated by the musical since it hit Broadway. But on this day, it was one song in particular that spoke to me: “Who lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story.”

Topics: Jewish History
Cropped Rokhl Holzer

Feminists For Halloween

Emily Cataneo

These days, “witch” is no longer just the epithet you hurl at, say, an older female candidate for president; the fed-up feminist sector of our popular culture is proudly claiming it for its own.

Susan Goodman Headshot

Acting Our Age with Susan Goodman

Abby Richmond

While her life’s work is a testament to her commitment to helping people grow older with dignity, respect, and independence, Susan Goodman’s latest project is remarkable in both its scope and specificity. Currently, in order to be interviewed on Susan’s blog Acting Our Age, you must be a woman 85 or older.

Henrietta Szold and Julia Aronson Travel to Palestine aboard the Guiseppe Verdi, 1920

Make America Great Again

Emily Cataneo

I love the past. I have not one but three typewriters. I had a penchant for corsets in high school and now will dress as a flapper any chance I get. I can’t stop reading about the Romanovs, or about 1920s Berlin when life was a cabaret, or about those secretly tawdry Victorians.

MRA-Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony's Secret Pro-Life Agenda

Emily Cataneo

Did you know that Susan B. Anthony was a bomb-throwing pro-life crusader who believed that aborting babies was tantamount to murder?

Topics: Jewish History
Emma Goldman Mug Shot, 1901

Every Emma Needs Her Sidekick

Emily Cataneo

Despite how it may seem, activists like Emma Goldman do not manifest from thin air in times of turmoil to fight the good fight. Their activities and missions take coordination, planning, behind-the-scenes work, the kind of thankless logistical tasks that don't make for good stories.

Topics: Jewish History
Mrs. Sidney Allen

From the Archives: The Challenge of Identification

Robbie Terman

I recently received a research request for a photograph of a woman named Gertrude Glogower. At the time, the only thing I knew about her was that she was a past president of the Greater Detroit section of the National Council for Jewish Woman, whose records we hold.

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