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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

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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!

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

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.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Since discovering JWA my teaching and personal life have been incredibly enriched. The work done by the JWA is much needed and fills the gap in knowledge about the experiences of Jewish women in America. What an incredible resource! I frequently find myself telling friends and collegues to check out the website.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a historian, I am deeply grateful to JWA for raising awareness of the important, vibrant history of American Jewish women, for contributing to the community by building an incredibly rich website, and for undertaking vital projects such as the oral histories of women from particular American Jewish communities.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

With minimal financial support, JWA has organized a treasure of previously neglected and largely unknown American history, made it accessible to the public easily via the Web, and vigorously promoted the availability and the value of this history. In its work, the JWA has activated and engaged a segment of the population that has not previously been involved in "history." Consequently, it has created a new market for new (neglected) American history. This is no small feat; and one of great importance in an age where "history" is yesterday and "ancient history" is last year.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Within its relatively short history, the Jewish Women's Archive has become a leader and a powerful voice not only in the Jewish community, but beyond. The JWA is making a significant impact, both in bringing much needed attention to the lives and voices of American Jewish women, but also as a leader in creative thinking and innovation in its uses of modern information technology. Through the vision of its director, Gail Reimer, and its dedicated staff, the JWA has become a trusted and indispensable resource for all in raising awareness and interest in the history of American Jewish women and in advocating for the rights and concerns of women of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Jewish Women's Archive provides wonderful materials for my students and for my own scholarship. The American Jewess on-line edition, which it makes available, is a fabulous resource, and has been used by many of my students as the basis for research papers. The Encyclopedia of Jewish Women, made available through its website, is an invaluable secondary source, which I use regularly. Its articles on American Jewish women are as a rule definitive and well-written. Anyone interested in American Jewish women should find material of value on the JWA website. Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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!