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Sabina Vajraca and a poster from Sevap/Mitzvah

Q & A with Sabina Vajraca about her New Film, "Sevap/Mitzvah"

Mirushe "Mira" Zylali

JWA chats with Sabina Vajraca about her new film Sevap/Mitzvah, inspired by a remarkable true story of female friendship and our common humanity.

Episode 106: A Pocket of Hope: Israeli Women Building a Shared Future

“From the deepest crises come the clearest visions…We're fighting for our lives. We're fighting for our future,” says Sally Abed from Standing Together, a grassroots political movement in Israel. In this episode of Can We Talk?, we hear from Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel who are working on shared society initiatives, even in the midst of the war. Sally, as well as Hanan Alsanah, Ayesha Ziadna, Khitam Abu Bader, and Racheli Geffen, talk about how the war has affected their lives, work, and identity; the unique qualities women bring to social justice work; and their vision for a shared future. Jen Richler recorded their remarks during a women’s mission to Israel in January 2024 co-organized by the Jewish Women’s Archive.

Episode 101: The Women's War Room

Israel has been at war with Hamas for nearly a month. Israeli and Palestinian casualties are devastating–and mounting. In Israel, women are on the front lines of a major grassroots mobilization: providing emergency relief to a country in crisis. An army of volunteers of all ages and genders has stepped in to organize clothing, food, and housing for displaced Israelis; students and therapists are working with traumatized kids; and programmers are building apps to connect people with services. Many of these efforts have emerged from organizations that originally formed to protest the Netanyahu government's proposed judicial reforms. They’ve now shifted gears to respond to the current crisis in Israel. In this episode, we speak with Lee Hoffman Agiv, Field Operations Manager of the feminist organization Bonot Alternativa (Building an Alternative), who’s coordinating efforts from Bonot’s “war room.”

Marilyn Paul

Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Marilyn Paul on July 27, 2000, in Lexington, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Whose Lives Spanned The Century Oral History Project. Marilyn's journey from a childhood in Lexington with a distant connection to Judaism and Israel to her eventual involvement in public health work in Gaza challenged her perspective on management culture, gender dynamics, and Palestinian-Israeli collaboration, ultimately shaping her unique bond with Israel and her career in organizational management, which she plans to continue alongside her husband through consulting for nonprofits in Israel, while reflecting on the cultural differences she's observed between Israeli and American societies.

Flora Benenson Solomon

Flora Benenson Solomon’s deep commitments to welfare and Zionism traversed geographical boundaries and social groups. From her efforts to improve the lives of Jewish and Arab communities in Palestine to the her work on behalf of garment workers in England, Solomon maintained an unwavering commitment to Zionism, which acted as a sustainer of Jewish identity in England.  

Merle Feld

Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Merle Feld on July 19, 2000, in Northampton, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Feld recounts her upbringing in Brooklyn, her involvement in the Jewish community, her work in facilitating Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, and the profound impact of her activism on her life and career as a writer and public figure.

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.

Photo of wall covered in hamsas, on a yellow patterned background.

Unity through Symbolism: The Hamsa

Leila Nuri

As a teen with a Muslim-Palestinian father and a Jewish-American mother, the hamsa has always meant a lot to me.

Topics: Crafts, Family, Palestine

Mirra Burovsky-Eitingon

Mirra Burovsky was the first Jewish actress to star in the mainstream Russian theater. Her stormy life and career brought her to center stage of Jewish cultural, intellectual, and social ferment in Tsarist and revolutionary Russia, Weimar Germany, and mandatory Palestine. Her third marriage, to psychoanalytist Max Eitingon, and the career of her son Yuli Khariton, “the father of the Soviet atomic bomb,” created the background for a continuing espionage controversy.

Hannah Floretta Cohen

Hannah Floretta Cohen was the first woman president of Britain’s traditionally male Jewish Board of Guardians for Jewish Poor Relief. She also promoted many other Jewish and non-Jewish charitable organizations to promote women's education, to benefit the sick and the elderly, and to encourage investment in the Palestine Mandate, through her public speaking, financial expertise, and administrative skills.

Jerusalem by Efrat Shvili

When Someone Mentions Israel

Ellanora Lerner

For years, these two views of Israel felt like an unquestionable binary to me, and I didn't know where I stood.

Topics: Israel, Palestine
Four Gadna participants in Sde Boker.


Isabel Hoffman

I was en route to Gadna, a military simulation run by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) for camp groups, gap year programs, and high school semesters abroad.


Revisiting Israel

Elana Moscovitch

Elana Moscovitch revisits Israel after living there as a child and makes new discoveries through her daughter's eyes.

Topics: Israel, Palestine

Episode 16: Women Wage Peace (Transcript)

Episode 16: Women Wage Peace (Transcript)

Zioness at the D.C. Dyke March

Lessons from the D.C. Dyke March

Sophie Hurwitz

What can we learn from the debate about Jewish and Israeli symbols at Pride?

Fallen "Israel" Sign, New Orleans, Louisiana, May 9, 2006

Writing on the Walls

Yana Kozukhin

NYU’s Birthright trip did not give me answers. If anything, it only gave me more questions. And for that, I am grateful.

Topics: Israel, Palestine

Episode 16: Women Wage Peace

Are women the key to peace in the Middle East? In this episode, we hear voices from Women Wage Peace, a powerful new movement in Israel demanding peace with the Palestinians—and insisting on women's place at the negotiating table. Uniting women from across the country and across the political spectrum, the movement hopes that it can solve the country’s most intractable issues. As one member says: "There are a lot of problems that only women can solve."


Rehearsing For a Better World

Molly Pifko

YTheater is a program that Haberman co-founded in the hopes of finding a way for Israeli and Palestinian youth to work together and build a community. 

"True BU" Campaign Image

Marwa Sayed, a Leader in the Community

Elisabeth Eigerman

Marwa Sayed was the first Hijabi I ever met. I was a freshman in high school and she was a junior. A force to be reckoned with, she terrified me. She had strong convictions for equality and justice from which she did not back down. I served on student council with her at Boston University Academy (the high school we both attended) for two years, and during that time she led the charge to abolish the dress code and to establish gender neutral bathrooms. 

Long-lost Poem by War Heroine Hannah Szenes is Found

September 2, 2012

A poem by WWII hero Hannah Szenes was discovered 68 years after her death.

Peace Movement in the United States

Throughout the twentieth century, Jewish women played a major role in American peace organizations and movements. Jewish women have also been in prominent roles advocating for peace between Israel and Palestine, both in the Knesset and with private organizations.

Suffrage in Palestine

The fight for women’s suffrage in Palestine was a fierce one, pitting determined women activists with international support against the obstinance of ultra-Orthodox groups from the Old Yishuv. In 1920, fourteen women were elected to the National Assembly, and after years of thwarted efforts to revoke women’s suffrage, the 1926 Assembly decreed full equal rights for women in all areas of civil, economic, and political life.

Religious Zionist Movements in Palestine

Religious Zionism, distinguished from the secular Zionists by its religious nature and from the ultra-Orthodox community by its Zionism, consisted of two major movements in the Yishuv: the Mizrachi and the Ha-Po’el ha-Mizrachi, a trade union. Women created their own organizations within these movements but distinguished themselves from the men through their support of women and their interests.

Photography in Palestine and Israel: 1900-Present Day

Although women photographers long struggled for recognition and appreciation in Palestine and Israel, in recent years awareness of their roles and contributions to photograph has increased. The activity of women photographers who focus on gender issues has increased dramatically, while female curators and academics are gaining new perspectives on Jewish female photographers, re-evaluating their role in the development of photography in Israel.

Peace Movements in Israel

Though Israel has been involved in a state of protracted conflict and in a cycle of wars since well before its establishment in 1948, a massive peace movement emerged only in 1978. Throughout the years, the various Israeli peace movements and organizations have focused on anti-militarism and electoral politics, as well as on broader cultural shifts within Israeli society.


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