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.
I am a Jewish Feminist global activist who using the Jewish Women's Archives as a resource both personally and professionally as a public health nurse and health reporter.
It is where I can find academic resources, great tools for the global activism I am involved in and make a call to them when I need something for an interview or personal Jewish life event.
Glad they exist.
Without this organization, the stories of Jewish women would be lost . Since JWA was established, Jewish women are being reclaimed and are becoming part of the telling of history. The website offers accessible information and provides information and role models for girls growing up today.
Jewish Women's Archive is an extraordinary organization that does unique work and fills a much-needed role. No other organization is compiling now what will in future be the history of Jewish women, and nowhere else is there this rich treasure trove of information about Jewish women up till now - to explore, dip into, or immerse oneself in, depending on the need or the mood. It is an incredibly versatile and precious resource. JWA's Jewish Women's Encyclopedia in particular is something I make frequent use of, and refer others to. It is an extraordinary and wonderful piece of scholarship. I can barely imagine the landscape of Jewish feminist history and knowledge without the JWA.
What's remarkable about JWA: first, the only organization I've every dealt with in which everyone (board and staff) has put aside personal matters and concentrates on the JWA tasks at hand. Second--this lack of self-importance has made JWA flexible, open and remarkably effective. Its web-site and newsletters are always interesting, never static. I've learned a lot about the ways history intersects with private and public life. I'm particularly impressed with the way it uses direct means (meetings, study guides, conferences) in conjunction with web-based opportunities. Open 24/7, no appointments needed--who could ask for a better organization?
I helped create a pilot project for the archives at the beginning of its' exploration of how best to outreach to a broad audience for stories, funding and expansion of a core idea and ideal. It took shape as an oral history project, an art exhibit, and a historical exhibit and it involved three organizations working together to bring about this very rewarding community event. It was replicated in two other cities and proved to be a successful event.