Content type

Berta Singerman

Berta Singerman (1901-1998) was an Argentine actress and reciter of poetry, famous throughout the Ibero-American cultural world. Born in Russia to a family of traditional singers (chazanim), she immigrated to Buenos Aires, Argentina, when she was four years old.

Donald and Fran Putnoi

Soviet Jewry

Gabriel Weinstein, Tamar Shachaf Schneider, and Aaron Hersh interviewed Donald and Fran Putnoi in Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Fran and Dr. Donald Putnoi share their involvement with Action for Soviet Jewry, discussing their experiences with Rabbi Mehlman, missions to the USSR, treating patients, and their efforts in supporting Soviet Jews resettling in the United States.

Galina Nizhnikov

Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Galina Nizhnikov in Peabody, Massachusetts on January 12, 2003, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Nizhnikov talks about her upbringing in Russia, her family's Jewish pride, experiences with workplace antisemitism, involvement with refuseniks, the decision to leave Russia, and the struggles they faced to secure their departure.

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.

Ary Rotman

Soviet Jewry

Ary Rotman was interviewed on October 25, 2016, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Rotman shares his experiences of discovering the official process to leave the USSR for Israel, his struggles in securing a visa and becoming a refusenik, his arrest and time in jail, his eventual successful visa acquisition, and his adjustment to life in the United States.

Bernard H. Mehlman

Soviet Jewry

Tamar Shachaf Schneider, Aaron Hersh, and Gabriel Weinstein interviewed Rabbi Bernard H. Mehlman on November 1, 2016, in Brookline, Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Rabbi Mehlman shares his experiences delivering a heart valve in the USSR, arranging the evacuation of a refusenik, fundraising for Soviet emigre families, and providing support and education programs for newly arrived emigres at Temple Israel of Boston.

Janna Kaplan

Soviet Jewry

Alexandra Kiosse interviewed Janna Kaplan on July 8, 2016, in Waltham, Massachusetts, as part of the Societ Jewry Oral History Project. Kaplan recounts her experiences as a refusenik in Russia, her immigration to the United States, challenges as an immigrant, career struggles, Jewish identity, involvement in the Jewish community, interest in science, and reflections on the Six-Day War, Judaism, and feminism.

Barbara Gaffin

Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Barbara Gaffin in Boston, Massachusetts on July 11, 2000, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Gaffin, raised in a Jewish community, recounts her career in Jewish organizations, her perspective on the relationship between American Jews and Israel, her work in Ethiopia, and the prejudice and contradictions she encountered while helping others.

Diana Shklyarov

Soviet Jewry

Gabriel Weinstein and Aaron Hersh interviewed Diana Shklyarov on November 10, 2016, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Shklyarov discusses her desire to leave the USSR, her family's struggles with denied exit visas, her Jewish identity, experiences with antisemitism, her arrival in the United States, and the importance of Jewish identity in her life now.

Olga Shmuylovich

Soviet Jewry

Alexandra Kiosse interviewed Olga Shmuylovich on July 24, 2016, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Collection. Shmuylovich details her upbringing in the Soviet Union, her involvement in the Jewish artist movement, her artistic journey under the mentorship of Solomon Levin, her immigration to the United States, her artistic career in Boston, and her inspirations from Jewish culture and history in her artwork.

Sarah Kappelman Harris

Weaving Women's Words

Jean Freedman interviewed Sarah Kappelman Harris on May 24, 2002, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Harris shares her experiences growing up in Washington, DC, her relationship with Judaism, the influence of her foreign-born parents, her career in the retail industry, meeting Eleanor Roosevelt, her marriages, involvement in Hadassah, and reflections on customs, women's roles, and Judaism.

Nadia Fradkova

Soviet Jewry

Nadia Fradkova was interviewed in Massachusetts as part of the Soviet Jewry Oral History Project. Fradkova shares her experiences of growing up in the Soviet Union, facing antisemitism, resistance from her father, imprisonment in a labor camp and psychiatric hospital, and eventually immigrating to Israel and the United States.

Shannie Goldstein

Women Who Dared

Abriel Louise Young interviewed Shannie Goldstein on January 12, 2005, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Goldstein explores her family history, childhood in Lowell, Massachusetts, her Jewish education, her involvement in the Soviet Jewry movement, her undercover trips to the Soviet Union, her views on feminism, her battle with breast cancer, and her engagement in the Jewish community.

Ingeborg B. Weinberger

Weaving Women's Words

Jean Freedman interviewed Ingeborg Weinberger on May 20, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Weinberger discusses her Jewish upbringing in Germany, her escape from Nazi persecution to Bolivia and later Baltimore, her life in the United States, and her career with HIAS, all while reflecting on family, community, and the changing times.

Ronit Elkabetz

Ronit Elkabetz (1963-2016) was one of Israeli cinema's leading actors. Coming from the northern periphery, she played in some of the major Israeli films of the last decades. She is particularly remembered for the trilogy she directed with her brother Shlomi Elkabetz: To Take a Wife (2004), The Seven Days (2009), and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (2013), all addressing the issue of the oppression of Mizrahi women in the name of the Jewish religion.

Zoya Cherkassky

Zoya Cherkassky (b. 1976 in Kyiv, Ukraine) is a prominent Israeli artist. She works in a range of media and styles, synthesizing traditional painting techniques with vernacular tools and moving freely between allusions to the European canon and contemporary art. Her work is marked by humor, irony, and satire and at times has been controversial.

Kamala Harris speaking at the 2019 National Forum on Wages and Working People

"Do Not Come": Kamala Harris's Warning to Migrants

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

During a recent visit to Guatemala, Vice President, Kamala Harris issued a stark warning to would-be migrants: "Do not come."

Topics: Immigration

Achy Obejas

Writer, translator, and activist Achy Obejas was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1956 and moved to the United States with her parents six years later. She is known for stories with characters and themes related to gender, queer sexuality, Cuban-ness, and Jewishness, as well as migration, displacement, and diaspora.

Zohra El Fassia

Zohra El Fassia was a renowned singer and recording artist in twentieth-century Morocco. Her life story moves between the burgeoning colonial recording industry in the Maghrib to North African immigrant histories in the south of Israel. El Fassia’s soulful music and powerful persona have resonated with generations of artists and activists who look to her for the unheard stories of Jews in the Arab and Muslim world and of Mizrahi Jews in Israel.

Mexico-US border wall at Tijuana, Mexico

Keep the Pressure On: Jewish Activists Continue the Fight for Immigration Justice Under Biden

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

JWA's politics writer talks to Jewish activists from Never Again Action about keeping the pressure on the incoming presidential administration when it comes to immigration justice.

Henny Wenkart, 2019

Keep Your Doors Open: Lessons from Henny Wenkart

Susan Goodman

We interview Holocaust survivor Henny Wenkart and reflect on how the US has closed its doors who those who need sanctuary most.

Eli Wiesel Banner at the Jewish History Museum in Tucson

Jewish Diaspora in the Borderlands: An Interview with the Tucson Jewish History Museum

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

We talk to Josie Shapiro about the Tucson Jewish Museums's role in advocating for immigrant justice in Arizona and creating queer-affirming, feminist Jewish space.

High school student standing in front of a brick wall. She is holding a protest sign that says "To forget a Holocaust is to be killed twice," attributed to Elie Wiesel.

On Emancipation Avenue

Madeline Canfield

My friend wanted to get arrested, one morning in July, on the curb of the sidewalk along a street east of downtown Houston.

Boer women and children in a British concentration camp during the Boer war

A Concentration Camp By Any Other Name

Roz Tromley

A concentration camp by any other name is still a concentration camp.

"Gittel's Journey" Book Cover

A Passover Story: Lesléa Newman's "Gittel's Journey"

Dr. Helene Meyers

Gittel’s Journey overlaps with one of the central themes of Pesach: that having been strangers ourselves, we are ethically obligated to remember the stranger.

Topics: Immigration, Fiction


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