World War II

Content type
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.

Image from JIMENA Sephardi and Mizrahi Toolkit

JIMENA's New Sephardi and Mizrahi Education Toolkit

E.S. Danon

JWA talks to Sarah Levin, executive director for Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA) about its new Sephardi and Mizrahi Education Toolkit. 

Naomi Rosenblatt

Washington D.C. Stories

Deborah Ross interviewed Naomi Harris Rosenblatt on December 31, 2010, in Washington, D.C. as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Rosenblatt details her personal journey from witnessing the birth of Israel to her career in Washington, D.C., discussing her deep connection to Jewish identity, the intertwining of the Bible and psychotherapy, and her concern for the future of the Jewish people.

Bernice Stern

Weaving Women's Words

Pamela Brown Lavitt interviewed Bernice Stern on June 22 and July 31, 2001, in Seattle, Washington as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Stern discusses her Seattle upbringing, involvement in the Jewish community, activism in social justice causes, political engagement, and her roles as a councilwoman and grandmother.

Denise Khaitman Schorr

Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Denise Khaitman Schorr on June 14, 2000, in Natick, Massachusetts for the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Schorr talks about her childhood in Paris, experiencing growing antisemitism and the Nazi occupation, joining the resistance, working as a social worker after liberation, immigrating to the USA, and her ongoing efforts to share her story and educate others.

Charlotte "Lotta" Scheiberg

Women Whose Lives Span the Century

Emily Mehlman interviewed Charlotte Scheiberg on July 1, 1996, in Cambridge, Massachusetts as part of the Women Whose Lives Span the Century Oral History Project. Scheiberg discusses her upbringing in Germany, her immigration to the United States, her return to Germany in 1985, her experiences during World War II, acts of kindness she and her mother performed, and her involvement as a volunteer in the Fellowship of Jewish and Arab Youth.

Sylvia Willard

DAVAR: Vermont Jewish Women's History Project

Sandy Gartner and Ann Buffum interviewed Sylvia Willard on June 29, 2005, in Rutland, Vermont, as part of the Vermont Jewish Women's Oral History Project. Willard shares her family history, growing up in Vermont, her passion for theater, involvement in the Jewish community, meeting her husband Howard, and their successful ventures in the retail industry.

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. 

June Salander

DAVAR: Vermont Jewish Women's History Project

Ann Zinn Buffum and Sandra Stillman Gartner interviewed June Salander on June 29, 2005, in Rutland, Vermont, as part of DAVAR’s Vermont Jewish Women’s Oral History Project. Salander recalls her immigration to the United States from Poland as a young girl, settling in Harlem, attending Hebrew School, and her active life as a Red Cross volunteer, Hebrew School teacher, real estate broker, and baker, culminating in her Bat Mitzvah at age 89.

Blanche Narodick

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.

Marthe Cohn, Holocaust survivor who spied on the Nazis, publishes her memoir

March 28, 2006

After keeping her story secret for years, thinking nobody would believe her, French Holocaust survivor Marthe (Hoffnung) Cohn published her memoir Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany, on March 28, 2006.

Madeleine Kunin

DAVAR: Vermont Jewish Women's History Project

Ann Zinn Buffum and Sandra Stillman Gartner interviewed Madeleine Kunin on May 1, 2006, in Burlington, Vermont, as part of DAVAR's Oral History Project. Kunin shares her journey from Switzerland to the United States, her career in journalism, her involvement in Vermont politics as the first woman governor, and her role in education under the Clinton administration.

Ventura Franco Israel

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.

Alice Siegal

Weaving Women's Words

Roz Bornstein interviewed Alice Siegal on July 10 and July 19, 2001, in Seattle, Washington, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Siegal discusses her family, upbringing in Seattle, involvement in social justice, education, marriage, and career, reflecting on the changing Jewish community and her Jewish identity.

Berlin "Stumbling Stone" to commemorate Holocaust victim with rose and sign reading "never again" placed on top

I Visited Six European Jewish Communities to Explore My Own Identity

Zia Saylor

My travels in Europe helped me reconcile some of the tensions in my Jewish identity.

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.

Liz Kleinrock Instagram Still (with Brené Brown quote "if you're not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I'm not interested in your opinion"

Learning Asian Jewish History Helped Me Make Space for Both My Identities

Liz Kleinrock

In learning the rich history of Jews in Asia, I finally found a sense of belonging.

Episode 77: Word of the Week: Yenta

How did a popular Yiddish woman's name come to mean gossip and busybody? In the first of our new Word of the Week mini-series, we trace the evolution of the word yenta. Producer Jen Richler talks with Fiddler on the Roof scholar Jan Lisa Huttner, comedian Judy Gold, author Lizzie Skurnick, and TikTok star and Torah commentator Miriam Anzovin. And in a special cameo...Yente the Matchmaker herself!

Collage with Image of Molly Picon from "Yidn Mitn Fidl," Background of Wallpaper of Shooting Stars

Activism Through Art: Molly Picon's Legacy

Abigail Gilman

I think about Molly Picon, and how she utilized her love of storytelling to bring laughter to those who needed it, to foster pride and compassion in the Jewish community, and to fight to keep Yiddish theater alive.

Photo of writer's grandmother as a child on left; grandmother and writer on right

My Jewish Grandma’s Christmas Pierogis

Marissa Wojcik

With each handcrafted pierogi, my grandma honors her husband's traditions while holding on to her strong Jewish identity. 

Jewish Women Partisans

The testimonies of Jewish women partisans present a more complex gendered picture of partisan activism than the conventional portrayal of an exclusively male arena of armed guerillas. Women smuggled guns and ammunitions, fought in armed combat, engaged in reconnaissance activities, mobilized resistance, documented partisan activities, tended the wounded, and rescued and sheltered fellow Jews.

Hélène Cazes Benatar

Hélène Cazes Benatar was a Moroccan-born human rights lawyer who rescued thousands of refugees in North Africa during World War II. She was a life-long advocate for individual rights and political equality, especially for disenfranchised Maghrebi Jews. During World War II, she fought to protect victims of pro-Fascist Vichy rule; post-war, she promoted the migration of Moroccan Jews to Palestine and elsewhere.

Episode 56: The Light of Days: Judy Batalion (Transcript)

Episode 56: The Light of Days: Judy Batalion (Transcript)

Episode 56: The Light of Days: Judy Batalion

"They were women who carried cash in their garter belts and dynamite in their underwear," says Judy Batalion, the author of The Light of Days, a new book about Jewish women resistance fighters in World War II who "blew up Nazi supply trains and shot and killed Gestapo men." She's also co-writing the screenplay for a Steven Spielberg movie based on the book. In this episode of Can We Talk?, we talk with Judy about what made some women well suited to certain roles in the resistance and why their stories aren't better known today.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox

Read the latest from JWA from your inbox.

sign up now