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Women's Studies

Remembering Gerda Lerner: The "Mother" of Women's History

Gerda Lerner, pioneer in women’s history, remarkable public intellectual, and life-long activist, died this week in Wisconsin at the age of 92. A member of JWA’s Academic Advisory Council, she was enthusiastic about our mission of chronicling and transmitting the history of Jewish women. No historian was more identified with the field of women’s history. Receiving her Ph.D. at the age of 46, she wrote a series of groundbreaking books in which she almost singlehandedly created a conceptual framework for the field.

A few more stories for the road

As I prepare to leave my position as JWA’s Director of Public History after more than 12 years here, my mind keeps returning me back to the summer day in 2000 when I first stepped into the offices of the Jewish Women’s Archive. At the time, I was a disgruntled graduate student, disillusioned with life in the Ivory Tower and the academic study of women’s history. (Was a library really the best place to learn about women’s activism, I wondered?).

Nothing to Fear Here, It’s Just a Little Feminism

After five years of functioning within the pseudo-reality of “Big A” Academia, I often ponder questions of identity formation and self-understanding.

A Look at JWA at 16

The summer’s whizzed by and so has JWA’s fiscal year (which ends September 30th). As that date approaches, we’ve been taking a hard look at the numbers.

JWA releases "D.C. Stories": A new oral history exhibit for Jewish American Heritage Month

On April 20, 2006, President George W. Bush officially proclaimed May Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) to recognize Jewish contributions to American culture over the past 350+ years. President Obama’s 2011 proclamation declares that “this month, we embrace and celebrate the vast contributions Jewish Americans have made to our country… We remember that the history and unique identity of Jewish Americans is part of the grand narrative of our country…”

Adrienne Rich: navigating hope

The news of Adrienne Rich’s death yesterday at age 82 sent me immediately to my bookshelves and an extended swim through the currents of words she has left behind. All writers believe in the power of words—and maybe especially poets, whose words are fewer and so carefully chosen—but for me Rich’s writing particularly and persuasively argued for the ability of words, language, expression to create new realities, to change the world.

From Margin to March: What to make of Women's History Month

Here’s a not-so-secret little secret about me: I’m a major women’s history geek. I can go on about the stories of women’s lives for hours. Want to know about Emma Goldman?

Making trouble/making history at JWA's second annual luncheon

Sunday morning, as readers of the New York Times were mulling over a long and thoughtful article about Gloria Steinem's legacy, Steinem herself was with friends and fellow supporters of the Jewish Women's Archive to honor three remarkable Jewish women—Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Elizabeth A. Sackler, and Rebecca Traister — at JWA's second annual Making Trouble/Making History luncheon.

What can we learn from Jewish women partisans? Jewish Partisan Education Foundation announces 2012 Youth Writing Contest

Thanks to the success of feature film Defiance (2008), Americans now associate the history of Jewish partisans with the hunky Bielski brothers, played by Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jaime Bell. In the film's depiction of their society hidden deep in the forest women contributed by cooking and gathering food but not so much as leaders or fighters. The real story of female Jewish partisans--in the Bielski encampment and elsewhere--is, of course, much richer.

And the winner is... Women of Valor!

Leah Wolff-Pellingra is the winner of our contest to rename the History Makers series with her suggestion, "Women of Valor." As it happens, the series was originally titled Women of Valor when it was first introduced in 1997. JWA changed the name to "History Makers" in an effort to improve transparency and better characterize the women in the series in 2008. Inspired by Leah's suggestion, the Jewish Women’s Archive is returning the series to its roots and restoring the project’s original title.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women's Studies." (Viewed on January 23, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/womens-studies>.

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