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Jewish Women's Archive

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Historical Organizations, Judaism, Religion, Women, Womens Studies

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.

Programs: In fy 15, we relaunched a redesigned website that improves the user experience, expands our capability to add information to the site, and improves mobile use of the site. We launched our first national cohort of the rising voices fellowship for teenage girls, and grew the number of participants by 50%. Over the past year, we have increased our social media presence by 21%. We also increased participation in our online learning programs by 25% and further developed our presence in the jewish educational communities of the san francisco bay area and new york city through two educator workshops.

Community Stories

41 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jewish Women's Archive is an excellent organization that provides a much-needed platform for women's voices. They provide excellent educational resources for the lay person and the scholar alike. JWA is a truly valuable resource that deserves lots of support!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

JWA is an amazing resource for all things about Jewish Women! The historic materials available on their site as well as their current contributions to the conversation about Jewish Women keep me motivated to support and encourage others to use JWA. The two most impressive and inspiring aspects of JWA are their innovative section called Power Couples [jwa.org/powercouples] and the Rising Voices fellowship[ jwa.org/blog/risingvoices.]

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a Museum Educator and PhD candidate in US History who stumbled upon JWA's "Living the Legacy" lesson plans while doing research into museum distance learning. I am extremely impressed with how thoroughly these lessons treat Jewish involvement in the Civil Rights Movement from a variety of perspectives, including Southern Jewish families, Northern participants in Freedom Rides, their families, their clergy, how these experiences were gendered, communicated through pop culture, and more. I was, in fact, so impressed, that I picked up the phone to compliment the person responsible. Etta King was extremely helpful in sharing the pedagogical thinking, successes and shortcomings of Living the Legacy, and followed up immediately with useful resources for me to use in designing my own materials.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I have used JWA for class teaching, professional development, and personal inspiration. I appreciate the staff members and their products. The website is neat, accessible, and engaging. Kudos to JWA!

DavidWojdyla

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I’m not Jewish. I’m not a woman. And yet I’m taking the time to write a review about Jewish Women’s Archive. Why? Because they’ve taken time to help me. Recently I visited their award-winning site to access some educational material. When I requested personalized assistance, the response was immediate and exceeded expectations. If there was a contest for “people behind-the-scenes of award-winning websites,” these folks would win.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Jewish Women's Archive has a great staff that readily provides materials for educators that are current and poignant. Tech savvy, friendly and providing workshops, this organization is a gem. As an independent eductor the resources and outreach have supported me in bringing the work of our tradtion forward. Thank you for being there.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

1 Johanna Y.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

this is a great website. even though I'm not an American I find it super useful, especially the history stuff. It's so important that women's history doesn't get lost. They do their best to preserve and keep women's history, and especially the history of Jewish women, who tend to be the unseen, unspoken holders up of Jewish tradition - without whom Jewish tradition wouldn't even exist!
The Jewish Women's Archive is just great.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a Jewish woman writer of books and TV, I am proud to add my voice to those telling how meaninful the JWA is to me and to women everywhere. I have found the people involved in this group very supportive and most friendly.

Rita Lakin, author

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

It's hard to know how to choose a catagory in the above "Your role." I settled on "client served," since that was my first encounter with JWA, and certainly continues today. As a supplementary school Jewish educator, I'm always looking for resources that will engage my students in their Jewish heritage. While searching for information on the Jewish role in the Civil Right Movement, I found their curriculum, rich in primary sources, It really helped me bring the experience of that time to my students.

I have since participated in the JWA Educator Institute where I was not only able to get valuable training in using their curriculum and sources, but became connected with other educators from across the country. JWA encourages educators to make the curriculum their own, supporting us with guidance to find the materials we need, and giving us a forum to bounce ideas off others.

Jewish Women's Archive is an organization that works hard to fulfill its mission to preserve so much of modern Jewish history. They are not concerned with just gathering material and storing it away. They understand the need to bring these stories to the next generations, who can learn from the past to take action in the present, thus making a better future.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love hearing voices of Jewish women reflected on the JWA blog. The topics are timely, the pieces well-written, and the take away is always a good one.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am researching a project involving one of the Warsaw Ghetto Fighters and the JWA were very helpful trying to help me track down a relevant publication. They were helpful and friendly.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am currently revising a training manual that will be used to help people who serve adults to find greater meaning and purpose and to see that aging years as a more positive time of life. I needed a story with a message, and the JWA kindly granted permission for me to use one of their stories. This means a great deal to me because it is a perfect fit for the topic we are talking about. I work for a non-profit department in our community hospital. I believe that this story will ripple out and touch the lives of others. Thank you JWA! Also, the response to my request was immediate.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a male and I live in far away Australia, but the JWA has been of great assistance to me in my work. I teach in a Presbyterian and Methodist all girls, Independent (private), secondary day and boarding school and I have often recommended my students to visit this site. The feedback from the girls has been extremely positive. They often say that even though they may not have found exactly what they were looking for, but the information and stories that they encountered there were so engrossing, informative and important that they could not drag themselves away from the site. The site has given the girls a greater world view!

Missy H.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The history of Jewish women in rural Minnesota is a unique one with unique challenges. Looking for documents and photographs in an archives or online is one matter. However, when I had the opportunity to interview a family about their mother, the JWA helped me find the right questions and techniques for an oral interview. They encouraged me in my research and answered my inquiry in a very timely manner.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I work for a non-profit in Kansas. We are encouraging uninsured people to enroll for health insurance on the Marketplace. JWA had a unique and invaluable photograph from 1964's Freedom Summer that we thought would help encourage volunteers. We contacted JWA and they were wonderful. They helped us get the permission we needed to use the photo. Many website are hard to contact and unresponsive but JWA was great!

Client Served

Rating: 5

A friend put me onto the Jewish Women's Archive when I was hunting for material for a Master's dissertation on Madam Gertrud Bodenwieser who was my dance teacher's teacher. I completed the MA but the material spilled over into PhD studies which I am pursuing presently. I have used the Archive's invaluable resources for numbers of leads and have been sent off on many research twists and turns, often making unexpected connections as a consequence. Furthermore, I have received prompt and very useful advice from Mr Stephen Benson with enquiries outside the scope of the Archive. I hope the work of augmenting the Archive continues so that younger researchers may avail themselves of its treasures and even contribute to it.
Jan Poddebsky
Sydney

2

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

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?