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Holocaust

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Rokhl Auerbakh

Rokhl Auerbakh Made Me Rethink Holocaust Remembrance

Maya "Zuni" González

Reading Auerbakh's essays in the original Yiddish in the lead-up to International Holocaust Remembrance Day changed my perspective.

Topics: Holocaust
Young woman with dark hair and black sweather standing in front of a pillar

Where Are They Now? RVF Alum Isabel Kirsch

Sarah Biskowitz

JWA talks to Rising Voices Fellowship alum Isabel Kirsch for our series marking the 10th anniversary of the fellowship.

Collage of Jewish Women Who Died in 2023

Jewish Women Whose Memories I’m Carrying into 2024

Judith Rosenbaum

The year 2023 brought the deaths of several powerful and influential Jewish women, whose insights and voices changed the world and are all the more painful to lose in this difficult time. 

Collage of open book, torn paper, and Jewish star

Reading Beyond Holocaust Literature: Prioritizing Jewish Joy

Halleli Abrams Gerber

Learning about the Shoah became a constant as I explored my local libraries. This sent me the message that Jewishness was inextricably linked to suffering. What if it wasn't?

Topics: Fiction, Holocaust
Woman with puppets on each hand staging a puppet show

Women Shaping Jewish Life in Germany

Donna Swarthout
Doris H. Gray

Women are at the forefront of efforts to change the perception and reality of Jewish life in Germany. 

Woman standing in front of a building

Separate Trips to Poland Brought My Mother and Me Closer

Isadora Kianovsky

My mother and I had always been close. But separate trips to Poland deepened our connection. 

Helen Epstein

Born to two Holocaust survivors from Czechoslovakia, Helen Epstein has spent her life building an impressive journalistic career. She has also explored her own lived experiences, as well as the repercussions of intergenerational trauma from the Holocaust, on both her own family and the families of other survivors, in several memoirs and non-fiction books.

Jill Freedman in Jewish Cemetery

Q & A with Susan Chevlowe, curator of "Missing Generations: Photographs by Jill Freedman"

Jen Richler

JWA talks to Susan Chevlowe, curator of a new exhibition of photographs by Jill Freedman that documents the destruction and resurgence of Jewish life after the Holocaust.

Collage of Lily James in The Exception on purple patterned background

The Exception's Antisemitism Is, Unfortunately, Not An Exception

Olivia Gnad

Between using atrocities as a way to create romantic drama and its rush to excuse antisemitism, The Exception is a movie that never should have left the writer's room.

Magda Schaloum

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Roz Bornstein interviewed Magda Altham Schaloum, on June 5, 2001, in Mercer Island, Washington, for the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Schaloum shares her experiences growing up in Hungary, including enduring antisemitism, the impact of anti-Jewish laws, her family's separation and deportation to Auschwitz, her survival through slave labor camps, and her life after the war, including immigrating to Seattle and building a new life with her husband and children.

Judith Chalmer

Project
DAVAR: Vermont Jewish Women's History Project

Sandra Stillman Gartner and Ann Buffum interviewed Judith Chalmer in Winooski, Vermont, on November 3 and December 8, 2005, as part of DAVAR’s oral history project. Chalmer discusses her family's history, her creative path as a writer, and her reflections on her Jewish identity and the role of women in Judaism, inspired by her father's experiences during the Holocaust and her efforts to honor those who helped her family.

Jill Weinberg

Project
Women Who Dared

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Jill Weinberg on January 31, 2005, in Chicago, Illinois, as a part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Weinberg talks about her upbringing, involvement in Jewish communal service, experiences in Israel, work at the Jewish Federation and Holocaust Museum, and her commitment to bridging Jewish and Indigenous heritage.

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.

Mindy Weisel

Project
Washington D.C. Stories

Deborah Ross interviewed Mindy Weisel on October 19, 2010, in Washington, DC, as part of the Washington D.C. Stories Oral History Project. Weisel reflects on her childhood, the impact of her family's Holocaust legacy, and her journey as an artist to express emotions, find beauty amidst darkness, and foster person-to-person connections for hope and healing.

Holocaust Remembrance Candle

What Does Good Holocaust Education Look Like?

Elana Moscovitch

Teaching kids about the Holocaust should inspire them to fight injustice and change the world.

Karina Urbach and the Cover of her Book

Reclaiming Europe’s Jewish Past and Present

Savoy Curry

The Nazis stole Alice Urbach’s cookbook. In her new book, her granddaughter, Karina, reclaims Alice’s story—and Jews’ rightful place in European life.

Jane Sickles Segal

Project
Women Whose Lives Span the Century

Roberta Burstein interviewed Jane Sickles Segal on August 14, 1997, in Brookhaven, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Whose Lives Spanned the Century Oral History Project. Segal shares her family history, including her mother's conversion to Christian Science, her grandparents' immigration from Germany, her college experience, and life in Chillicothe and Boston, discussing topics such as the rise of Nazi groups in the US and her involvement in Jewish community councils.

Anne A. Jackson

Project
Women Whose Lives Span the Century

Pam Goodman and Fran Putnoi interviewed Anne A. Jackson on February 4 and May 19, 1997, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Whose Lives Spanned The Century Oral History Project. Jackson recounts her personal journey, including her close relationship with her sister and the impact of her death, her experiences during the war years, raising her children, and her lifelong passion for art.

Heroines, Rescuers, Rabbis, Spies

Q&A with Sarah Silberstein Swartz, Author of "Heroines, Rescuers, Rabbis, Spies: Unsung Women of the Holocaust"

Emma Breitman

JWA sat down with Sarah to discuss her new book, Heroines, Rescuers, Rabbis, Spies: Unsung Women of the Holocaust and the importance of continued Holocaust education.

Topics: Holocaust, Feminism
Collage of Stars of David and pens on dark blue background

We Need Better Holocaust Education

Sam Mezrich

If non-Jews had more understanding of what our people went through, it would take a lot of emotional labor off the shoulders of Jewish kids.

Rachel Finkelstein's The Herstory shows images of the artist, her daughter, her grandmother, and her great grandmother superimposed onto an identification card.

Rachel Finkelstein's Queer Feminist Holocaust Art

Emily-Rose Baker

Through its exploration of gender, sexuality, nationality, and intergenerational trauma, the work of artist Rachel Finkelstein is a reminder of the power that art holds as a form of activism.

Episode 82: When Jewish Women Talked to the Dead

In this season of ghosts and haunted houses, we’re taking you back to a time when communicating with the dead was a popular way to spend an evening. Séances were the main practice of the spiritualist movement, which is based on the belief that when people die, they survive as spirits, and that we can talk to these spirits with the help of a medium. The movement had its heyday in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and Jews all over the world, from London to Brooklyn to Cairo, were at the forefront. Scholar Sam Glauber-Zimra explains why spiritualism had such appeal among Jews, what rabbis had to say about it, and why Jewish women were prominent as mediums. 

Mental Maps—Involuntary Memory by Penny Hes Yassour

From the Archive: Penny Yassour, "Mental Maps—Involuntary Memory"

Deborah Dash Moore
Mimi Jessica Brown Wooten

The Posen Library shares Penny Hes Yassour's depiction of a 1938 German railway map.

Ilona Friedman

Project
General

Isadora Kianovsky interviewed Ilona Friedman on July 30, 2022, in Tampa, Florida, as part of the Jewish Women’s Archive General Oral History Project. Friedman discusses her childhood in Budapest, her family's experiences during World War II, immigration to the United States, her education and career in the medical field, her relationship to Judaism and music, her travels to Israel and Russia, and recent volunteer work.

Blanche Narodick

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Pamela Brown Lavitt interviewed Blanche Narodick on June 6, 2001, in Seattle, Washington for the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Narodick reflects on her childhood, education, professional life in Chicago, marriage, involvement with Jewish organizations, experiences during World War Two, work with the American Red Cross, friendships, and personal philosophy on life.

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