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Spirituality and Religious Life

Content type
Collection

Barbara Cole

Project
Women Whose Lives Span the Century

Rachel Alexander interviewed Barbara Cole on August 20, 1997, in Lexington, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Whose Lives Span The Century Oral History Project. Cole discusses her upbringing, Jewish cultural background, thoughts on religion, experiences at Smith College and work at Filene's, as well as her travels to the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia.

Meta R. Kaplan Buttnick

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Pamela Lavitt Brown interviewed Meta R. Buttnick on May 31, June 20, and July 17, 2001, in Seattle, Washington, as part of the Weaving Women’s Words Oral History Project. Meta, born in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1913, discusses her upbringing, education, marriage, and lifelong commitment to preserving Jewish history in Seattle through oral histories and archival projects.

Outlined drawing of high heels and Jewish stars on bright purple background

Finding My Hineni

Rosie Yanowitch

Hineni invites you to confront your own presence, and its unique and vital impact it has on any given point in time.

Outlined drawings of New York City skyline, Star of David necklace, and subway cars

Wearing My Star of David Necklace, Loud and Proud

Nora Auburn

The thought of wearing something that declared my Judaism felt strange.

Needlepointed tallit bag with hamsa on orange background

Stitching My Tallit Bag, Stitching My Identity

Clara Sorkin

With my grandmother and my mom in mind, I chose a design for my tallit bag that represents the influence that women have had throughout my life as a proud Jew.

View of mountain range on a pink checkered background

Why Do I Cry at Services?

Sonia Freedman

With all the joy in the room, I didn’t understand why my eyes would begin to water.

Collage of torah scroll, tallit fringes, and raised fists on a pink background

With My Tallit, Becoming a Jewish Woman

Tessa Cooperstein

There is a point of tension for me in both being valued in the Jewish community and being devalued by the Torah’s discussion and treatment of women. Owning my own tallit reminded me that I am valued twice.

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. 

Collage of shelf and candles on blue background

L’dor V’dor: How Ritual Plays into Grief

Judy Ruden

This is how we grieve: crying, laughing, brisket and Yahrzeit candles. Again and again and again.

Episode 81: Linke Fligl Ends With Love

On a hot, humid day in late August, Nahanni Rous joined a gathering at Linke Fligl, a queer Jewish chicken farm and cultural organizing project in New York's Hudson Valley. (Linke Fligl is a pun—Yiddish for "left wing.") For the past seven years, queer Jews have celebrated holidays, farmed, and built community on this ten-acre, off-the-grid piece of land—but the project is coming to a close. In this episode of Can We Talk?, we walk the land at Linke Fligl, talk to people at the final gathering, and hear from founder Margot Seigle about how the project started and why it's ending.

Photo of Daniela Gesundheit and her album cover, featuring a woman with her face in her hands and the words "Alphabet of Wrongdoing" in jumbled letters

Q & A with Daniela Gesundheit About her New Album, "Alphabet of Wrongdoing"

Sarah Jae Leiber

JWA talks with musician, vocalist, and composer Daniela Gesundheit about how her new album, Alphabet of Wrongdoing, makes the sacred accessible. 

Postcard of a family of four dressed in Kittels

Frolicking Maidens and the Hidden History of the Kittel

Leora Krygier

The kittel is commonly worn by men on Yom Kippur, but their ancient use by young maidens to attract husbands is little known.

Yossi Nemes

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Rabbi Yossi Nemes on July 13, 2006, in Metairie, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Rabbi Nemes recounts his experiences during Hurricane Katrina, including hiding in his flooded house, escaping to Memphis with help from the Jewish community, and his acts of kindness, while discussing Hasidic teachings and faith.

Joan Nathan

Project
Washington D.C. Stories

Deborah Ross interviewed Joan Nathan on July 12, 2011, in Washington, DC, as part of the Washington D.C. Stories Oral History Project. Nathan reflects on the significance of food to Jewish life, as she recounts her career as a cookbook author, cultural historian, and food writer who combines recipes with stories to educate about Jewish life, tradition, and history.

Sara Mayeux

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Sara Mayeux on September 21, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Mayeux talks about her family, moving between cities, meeting her husband in California, their decision to move to New Orleans, her involvement in the Jewish community, and her role in the city's recovery after Hurricane Katrina.

Deborah Markowitz

Project
DAVAR: Vermont Jewish Women's History Project

Sandra Stillman Gartner and Ann Buffum interviewed Deborah Markowitz on July 12, 20005, in Montpelier, Vermont, as part of the Vermont Jewish Women's Oral History Project.  Markowitz explores her Ukrainian heritage, family history, the influence of music, her Jewish education, her commitment to Tikkun Olam, her role as Secretary of State in Vermont, and her efforts to improve civic engagement and support victims of domestic violence.

Theodore Lichtenfeld

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Theodore Lichtenfeld on August 21, 2007, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Lichtenfeld reflects on his upbringing, ​​his arrival in New Orleans as a rabbi, the challenges faced during the storm and its aftermath, and his optimism for the future of Shir Chadash and the New Orleans community.

Malka Lew

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Malka Lew on October 12, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Lew talks about her Orthodox Jewish upbringing, her transformation to an observant lifestyle, surviving cancer surgery before Hurricane Katrina, evacuating to Houston, and finding strength in her faith.

Frank Levy

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Frank Levy on September 3, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Levy recounts his family history, connection to New Orleans, the discovery of Judaism, a career in education and theater, experiences during Hurricane Katrina, involvement in relief efforts through interactive theater, support of the Jewish community, and the post-storm changes.

Alan Krilov

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Alan Krilov on October 18, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina’s Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Krilov, a member of the Chabad community, recounts his challenging experience during Hurricane Katrina, including his evacuation and subsequent efforts to rebuild his life and reconnect with the Jewish community.

Janet Krane

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Janet Krane on November 2, 2006, in Metairie, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina’s Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Krane recounts her experience during Hurricane Katrina, including the challenges faced at Memorial Hospital and the controversy surrounding euthanized patients, as well as her reflections on family, community, and rebuilding New Orleans.

Catherine Kahn

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Catherine Kahn on October 17, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Kahn reflects on her family history, experiences growing up in New Orleans, her husband's illness, the evacuation during Hurricane Katrina, the impact of the storm on her and her community, and her return to New Orleans and her work.

Barbara Jacobs

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Barbara Jacobs on November 5, 2006, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as part of the Katrina's Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Jacobs recounts her Reform upbringing in Indiana, her experiences in New Orleans, including Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, her love for music, the loss of her home and piano, and her strong connection to New Orleans, Judaism, and her family.

Ventura Franco Israel

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Roz Bornstein interviewed Ventura Franco Israel on May 31, 2001, in Seattle, Washington, as part of the Weaving Women's Words project. Israel reflects upon her family history, the challenges they faced after the death of her father, her marriage, her experiences as a working mother, and her thoughts on Jewish values, intermarriage, and the Seattle Sephardic community.

Statue of Maimonides in Córdoba, Spain

Jewishness Itself is a Home

Isadora Kianovsky

Over the course of my semester abroad, I realized that, even though I wasn’t at home, I wasn’t without a home, either.

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