Jewish Feminism Collections

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Advancing Women Professionals records, circa 1990 - 2015

Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community (AWP) was a national organization created to help women move forward professionally and to advocate for family friendly and gender equitable policies at Jewish organizations. Based in New York, the organization was founded by Shifra Broznick in 2001 and led various conferences and campaigns to promote change in the workplace, including the Conference for Change and the Better Work, Better Life and Men as Allies campaigns. AWP also created the Action Learning Teams, a networking program to help women prepare for challenges in the workplace. AWP closed in 2015. The AWP records include reports, publications, conference files, subject files, audiovisual materials and books created and collected by AWP between 2001-2015. The collection also contains a small amount of correspondence and meeting minutes.

(approximately 23 linear feet)

E.M. Broner papers, 1940s - 1990s

The collection concerns the writings, rituals, and correspondence of E.M. Broner. The component relating to the writings of E.M. Broner includes manuscripts and published books, articles, stories, and poetry. It also includes criticism, reviews, and publicity of E.M. Broner's work as well as her reviews of the work of other authors. A second component relates to E.M. Broner's rituals and includes sources of information used in the construction of her rituals and texts, photographs, recordings, and artifacts related to the rituals, particularly the Women's Seder and Women's Haggadah. A third important component includes the correspondence of E.M Broner with her associates and family.

(approximately 52 linear feet)

Collection finding aid

Sandra Butler papers, circa 1980 - 2006

This collection documents the activities of Sandra Butler, Jewish feminist author and activist from the San Francisco Bay Area. It is comprised of photographs, correspondence, journals, workshop materials, posters and audiovisual materials illustrating Butler's work on issues relating to violence against women, breast cancer, and the Israeli–Palestinian peace movement. Of note are the items documenting the Bay Area Women in Black (BAWIB), a chapter of the international peace organization, Women in Black. Butler was a co-founder of the Bay Area chapter and these materials include clippings, newsletters, pamphlets, photographs and buttons. There are also journals from her trips to Yugoslavia (1998) and Israel (2004) and correspondence, itineraries, and subject files from various speaking engagements in the 1980s and 1990s. In addition, the collection contains a significant amount of audio and video recordings of Butler's talks, interviews, and workshops, mainly about cancer and sexual abuse, from around 1985 to 1995. These recordings are a mix of cassette tapes (approximately 45) and VHS tapes (approximately 20). 

(approximately 3.5 linear feet)

Collection finding aid

Aviva Cantor papers, 1970 - 2005

The Aviva Cantor papers consists of research materials, records relating to organizations and conferences, publication drafts and correspondence, and recordings, all broadly related to Aviva Cantor's work as a feminist activist, particularly dealing with women's roles and feminist issues within Judaism.  The bulk of the collection pertains to Aviva Cantor's research, including notes, clippings, and collected scholarly articles; and to Aviva Cantor's own writing, including drafts of published materials, collected sources and notes, and publication correspondence and publicity. The materials range in date from the 1970s to the 1990s.

(13 linear feet)

Collection finding aid

Marcia Freedman papers, circa 1973 - 2007

The Marcia Freedman papers consist of journals, speeches, lecture notes, correspondence, manuscripts, typescripts, and research files created by Marcia Freedman, an American-Israeli activist and feminist. The collection also contains many articles about Freedman, including newspaper clippings, as well as book reviews for her memoir Exile in the Promised Land. Of particular note are materials documenting her feminist roots, files relating to her election to the Knesset in Israel in 1973 and her founding of the Women’s Party in Israel in 1977, as well as autobiographical writings throughout the collection. Material dates from the late 1960s to the 2010s. There is also some audiovisual material and born-digital mixed media files. Collection is predominantly in English, though there are also many newspaper clippings in Hebrew; some European languages are also represented.

(2.75 linear feet)

Collection finding aid

Lilith magazine records, circa 1976 - 2016

Material documenting the operations of Lilith, a Jewish feminist periodical that began publication in 1976. Documents include original notebooks, correspondence, interviews, manuscripts, ephemera and a book collection, that shed light on the research and resources behind numerous Lilith articles on topics ranging from Passover Haggadahs and conversion to Judaism to the Israeli feminist movement and women’s health. The collection also contains manuscripts, typescripts, and correspondence with Lilith writers and readers, including material from Jewish women worldwide who were interested in reporting on local news and culture for the magazine. Administrative files show the operations of Lilith and contain meeting minutes, mission statements, press releases, and fan mail, among other material.

(approximately 65 linear feet)

Collection finding aid

Ma'yan records, circa 1993 - 2012

The collection is comprised of eleven linear feet of material documenting Ma’yan, a Jewish feminist organization based in New York. The records include reports, strategic plans, meeting agendas, class and workshop material, program and exhibit files, photographs and more dating from 1993 to 2012. Of particular note are files and photographs of Ma’yan’s seders; Ma’yan seder press files; papers from its Jewish Feminist Research Group; and Bat Mitzvah workshop files. The collection is unprocessed. A preliminary inventory is available in the department.

(approximately 11.5 linear feet)

Collection finding aid

Project Kesher records, circa 1988 - 2015

This collection documents the work of Project Kesher, a  Jewish feminist organization that formed in 1989 to support women of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) in their exploration of Jewish identity and eventually transformed into a women's organization focusing on promoting women in leadership within their own communities. Materials include correspondence, board of director meeting files, reports, surveys, subject files, fundraising and marketing materials, press releases and more, dating from 1988 to 2015 and illustrating Project Kesher's grassroots organizing and training efforts. Of note are the files pertaining to the International Conference of Jewish Women, a conference held in Kiev, Ukraine in 1994, which brought together hundreds of women from the West and FSU. In addition, there are files from Voyage on the Volga (2004), an event marking the ten year anniversary of the first international conference, and from other programs planned and executed by Project Kesher, including Global Women’s Seders (1995-), mother/daughter retreats, women's exchanges and leadership trainings. The collection also contains files from Project Kesher's co-founders, Sallie Gratch and Svetlana Yakimenko that were created during the organization’s earliest years. 

(approximately 35 linear feet)


Sophie Tucker scrapbooks and other material, 1957-1966

The Sophie Tucker scrapbook collection contains scrapbooks compiled by Tucker and her assistants from the years 1957 until her death in 1966. Tucker meticulously kept scrapbooks spanning fifty years through her entertainment career, and this collection contains the materials from the end of this collection. The scrapbooks contain pieces pertaining to Tucker's professional and personal life during this time, including newspaper clippings, interviews, photographs, and correspondence, all attached to scrapbook pages. Tucker saved numerous greeting cards from various birthdays and holidays, as well as telegrams and letters. Her correspondence reveals her personal and public life--Tucker received messages from everyone from presidents to ordinary fans. Other correspondence materials include message of thanks for her many charitable works and donations, including for her contributions to Brandeis (she even received letters of thanks from Brandeis' first president, Abram Sachar) and the Brandeis National Committee. The materials collected here show Tucker's public image at the end of her life. Special Collections also holds some of Tucker's personal books, and an audio recording of Tucker.

(32.5 linear feet)

Collection finding aid

Fannie Hurst collection, 1889-1968

The Fannie Hurst collection holds an assortment of sources and resources on Fannie Hurst's professional and private life.

Print sources include a number of her published novels ("Back Street","Anatomy of Me", "Fool Be Still", etc.) in many languages, including Spanish, Italian, German, and French. In addition, there are numerous typescripts and newspaper articles written by or about Fannie Hurst.

The correspondence section of this collection holds letters exchanged between Fannie Hurst and avid readers, hundreds of organizations (including the American Civil Liberties Union, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and the National Broadcasting Co.), publishers (including Simon and Schuster, Harper and Brothers, and DoubleDay & Co.), universities (including Boston University, Brandeis University, New York University, and the University of Texas) and many individuals (including Fiorello LaGuardia, Francine Larrimore, and Beulah Livingstone).

Photographs are an important component of this collection, which includes hundreds of pictures of Fannie Hurst, some by renowned photographers such as Carl Van Vechten. Images of Ms. Hurst’s husband, celebrity friends, acquaintances, and her numerous pets are also available. Other items featured in this collection are Ms. Hurst’s personal diaries and ledger books, pamphlets, and record-keeping notebooks.

(65 linear feet)

Collection finding aid

Rose Jacobs collection, 1896-1966

The Rose Jacobs collection contains 7 linear feet of manuscript material and is dominated by a manuscript and supporting documents regarding the history of Hadassah. The supporting documents contain a variety of different materials, including notes and correspondence related to the history of Hadassah and Rose Jacobs’s involvement in the organization. The collection also includes correspondence between Rose Jacobs and Hal Lehrman about the manuscript as well as Rose Jacobs’s correspondence from the the 1960s.

(7 linear feet)

Collection finding aid

Erica (Ricky) Sherover-Marcuse papers

The collection is comprised of approximately 12 linear feet of material documenting the life and work of Erica Sherover-Marcuse, an activist and educator who is best known for developing and running Unlearning Racism workshops during the 1970s and 1980s. Sherover-Marcuse was also the author of Emancipation & Consciousness, a work of Marxist theory, and was married to the Marxist philosopher, Herbert Marcuse, from 1977 until his death in 1979. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College and her PhD from Goethe University. Her papers include correspondence, diaries, workshop materials, and notebooks, spanning all of Sherover-Marcuse’s life, from letters and notebooks created while in high school and college to journals she kept during the final years of her life. Of particular note are the materials documenting her various workshops, including Unlearning Racism.  

(approximately 12 linear feet)