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.
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.