Jewish Women's Archive

Rating: 4.95 stars   38 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Religion, Women

Location: One Harvard Street, Suite 200 Brookline MA 02445 USA

Mission: JWA documents Jewish women's stories, elevates their voices, and inspires them to be agents of change. A national non-profit organization founded in 1995, the Jewish Women’s Archive is devoted to making known the stories, struggles, and achievements of Jewish women in North America in order to enrich the way we understand the past and to ensure a more inclusive future. One of the first Jewish organizations to recognize and invest in the potential of the Internet, JWA has amassed the most extensive collection of material anywhere on American Jewish women, which be accessed for free by anyone with an Internet connection anywhere in the world. Its award-winning website, www.jwa.org, gets over 900,000 unique visitors a year and is a destination for people seeking knowledge, a sense of connection and community, and a way to affirm and enhance the legacy of American Jewish women. JWA.org offers an online Encyclopedia of Jewish women, a lively blog, lesson plans and other educational materials that can be downloaded for free, online exhibits on topics as diverse as Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution and Katrina’s Jewish Voices, several book and film guides, a growing collection of reminiscences of recently deceased Jewish women, a poster series, and numerous other resources for anyone interested in the experiences of American Jewish women, both celebrated and unheralded. In addition to its website, the Jewish Women’s Archive runs a biannual summer Institute for Educators, is the producer of “Making Trouble”, an acclaimed film about Jewish women comedians that has been screened at over160 film festivals and other venues and is now available on DVD, and sponsors public programs in partnership with other non profit organizations. Watch our YouTube introduction at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt9yRAAa4Ro.
Results: Created largest single collection of information on American Jewish women. Produced ”Making Trouble,” a film about six Jewish women comedians that has been screened at more than 160 film festivals and other venues around the world. Assembled the largest single repository of data related to the Jewish experience of Hurricane Katrina. Created Go & Learn; curriculum modules, which have been downloaded over 26,000 times; hosts annual Institute for Educators. Award-winning website (jwa.org) reaches over 60,000 unique Web visitors each month. Named one of the 50 most innovative Jewish organizations by Slingshot.
Direct beneficiaries per year: over 1,000,000 unique visitors who visit our website eachyear.
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 04-3293188-001
617-232-2258
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

As a university professor I find JWA an indispensable source for students. I teach at a large public research university. The majority of the students I teach are not Jewish and often no very little about Jews and Judaism. The JWA's historical timeline has been tremendously helpful to students in writing papers and reflecting on larger cultural issues. The presence of primary sources, bibliography and more in an easily accessible and beautifully constructed website is a great teaching tool.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

teaching and in my own research

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I love that the JWA is telling the stories of women doers and activists, many of whom have not been recognized publicly before. I love that it is frankly feminist in its perspective and that it melds the woman's Jewish story with her secular story--no other group does that yet each of us is a tapestry of these cultural threads. And if you haven't seen the excellent video about Jewish comediennes, "Making Trouble", get it right away--you're in for a treat.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Revitalize Jewish education for the 21st century.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Jewish Women's Archive is a visionary organization which understands the value of preserving and presenting Jewish women's history and stories in a completely accessible medium. The genius of its founder, Gail Riemer, which was almost revolutionary at the time of its founding, was to have the "Archive" in a virtual rather than a physical form... thereby making it both far more robust and far more accessible than a traditional archive. It provides an extraordinary resource for both casual and scholarly interests.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

truly exceptional individuals. Full of commitment and passion for this organization

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I am an education director of a large religious school, and also do a lot of teacher training in our local area. I use the website for planning curriculum content and activity ideas, as a resource for historical facts and information and to download copies of primary source documents. It is the only Jewish website that I have found where I can find primary source materials in depth, and then the added bonus is the lesson plans. Last year, I presented a workshop (titled "History Alive"on using primary souce documents to teach history in the religious school -the two places I used for research, materials and teaching ideas was JWA and the Library of Congress. I believe that the JWA website is equal to the material on the Library of Congress Website and combining materials from both sites allowed me to present activities and content that was well-rounded. The workshop was well-received by the 35 participants.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

using the website to create great lessons

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

add more and more!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

everything is right there on the website, and well-organized.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

have had personal contact with most of the staff, and all were kind, committed to the mission of the organization, listening to users of the website and their products and very helpful

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Archive ALL Jewish historic materials and make it accessible to the public on a free website. Also continue to run more and more training workshops showing people how to use the material and make history come alive. And then finally develop an web museu

Ways to make it better...

there was more primary source materials, and more lesson plan ideas.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

I would imagine it is money to hire people to make the archival information web accessible.

One thing I'd also say is that...

This is a great organization that serve the Jewish community well!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

This is one of the best and most comprehensive achival teaching tools on the net. Not only does the website contain interesting and useful information, it presents it in a way that is entertaining and eminently understandable. The material you can find here can be used, either via the "Go and Learn" curricula, or by independent design, across grade levels. The JWA has something for every type of educator interested in teaching about some of the greatest American women of the modern age.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

its application to my teaching. JWA has been an invaluable tool in the designing of ongoing Jewish after school programs for grades 4-12.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

gaining new ideas and ways to implement meaningful projects into our existing programs.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

beyond helpful and extraordinarily friendly.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the way the world thinks about American Jewish women.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I had the opportunity to participate in the "Institute for Educators" in Summer 2008 through a fully subsized scholarship. The experience I received cannot be put into words--from the well-knowledgable participants to the wealth of support offered from the staff, I came back to my congregational school armed with ideas to educate future generations of Jewish youth, both men and women! I continue to utilize the media and sources on the JWA website with students who might normally feel that experiences of Jewish women are not relevant to them. It is truly amazing to see their faces and hear their comments when they have an "aha" moment through their learning and realize the impact that history and women have had on their lives. I appreciate the continued connection with JWA staff, especially their excitement and resourcefulness in thinking outside the box for new ways to reach our Jewish youth. Todah Rabah to JWA for all that they do. It is an amazing organization that deserves all the support and recognition possible!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the JWA website, an unparalleled learning experience, a wealth of continued support

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

???

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Great resources, an opportunity to celebrate Jewish Women.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

educators, mentors, and colleagues who always made us feel like a part of the family.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide additional opportunities for Jewish educators and Jewish youth.

Ways to make it better...

my experience was complete

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial support during a tough economic time.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Thank you for all that you do.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

We LOVE JWA and their curricular materials, especially the Go and Learn fully-developed lesson plans. The Educators' Summer Conference gave us an opportunity to fully develop an educational program that I delivered and have been invited to do again. Their online archive is amazing as is their Oral History guidebook.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been invited to deliver for a second tiem the program I developed under the JWA's auspices.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The caliber of professors, instructors, and staff they brought to the summer conference.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

continue to pay generous stipends to their attendees. I truly felt my time was honored when I received a stipend.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Not only do I support the Jewish Women's Archive and its mission, but I have had the pleasure of personally benefitting from their work. My granddaughter was given an assignment to write about a Jewish woman made an important contribution to American life. Through the Jewish Women's Archive, she found several women in sports, commerce, and community life whom she admired but didn't know where Jewish. She now regularly refers her friends to the JWA website and aspires to become a Jewish woman who will make her own important contributions. Her 23 first cousins (girls and boys) have joined her as fans of the Jewish Women's Archive, too.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand its work to include many more stories -- both first person and through documented research. It could also train more educators to include, in their cirricula, the role of women in shaping American Jewish life.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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