The Women of the Collections

Celebrating the contributions of Jewish American women for Women's History Month

In honor of Women’s History month, the staff at AJHS have jumped at the opportunity to reflect on the women represented in our collections, and how the holdings of the AJHS document the history of Jewish women in America. We are very proud of the fact that our archival, library, and museum holdings contain ample materials documenting the lives of American Jewish women; we preserve the personal papers of women and their families, and our large organizational collections thoroughly record the often unsung work of women who frequently form the backbone of their respective communities. We see this work not just in the archival collections, but also in the library, where the cookbooks of sisterhoods and community organizations show the bonds of friendship and shared purpose. We can look at the museum objects and marvel at the baseball from Tibby Eisen, right-handed batter in the AAGPBL,  The All-American Girls’ Baseball League. Or we can gaze at the handwritten notebook of Emma Lazarus, a woman so dear to the Society that we named our annual award in her honor. Whether you want to explore the roles of Jewish women in entertainment, philanthropy, politics, or even sports, AJHS has materials that will fit the bill. And after working in these collections every day, I feel as though I know these women myself, and I see the paths they blazed for so many women today. 

To further recognize these contributions, and highlight the amazing women in our collections, we will be creating blog and social media posts to introduce these accomplished (and often colorful) women to you. Later this month, we will feature a blog post about the women of the American Jewish Congress and their groundbreaking activism. We will also talk about the life and career of Representative Nita Lowey, whose archival collection is a new and exciting addition to the holdings of the AJHS. Make sure you visit the blog and social media to explore these stories and more; we think you will come to know and appreciate these women as we do. 

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