Jewish Women Get a Place on the Map

By The Shmooze

Published March 24, 2010, issue of April 02, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The home of a Jewish woman who supported the Confederacy. The deli owned by the mother of America’s most famous Jewish film director. The synagogue where your mom had her bat mitzvah. These and other sites are part of a new virtual mapping project showing locations that are important in Jewish women’s history. “On the Map,” a new interactive tool on the Jewish Women’s Archive Web site, is supported by Google Maps. The site allows individuals from around the globe to participate. Contributors can add information and photos about locations and the women connected with it. The entry is then added to a master map. Two weeks into the project, the map has already acquired 50 locations of importance in Jewish women’s history, from California to Austria.

COURTESY OF JEWISH WOMEN’S ARCHIVE

“[Jewish people] know this history because they live in it. These places aren’t necessarily… typical memorials, they could be any sort of place where history related to Jewish women happened,” said Gail Reimer, executive director of JWA. “We’re exploring Jewish women’s history in a new way.”

The map pinpoints places such as Galveston, Texas, where Rosanna Dyer Osterman helped found the first Jewish community in Texas in the mid-19th century and aided Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, and Maennerchor Hall in Philadelphia, where a spelling bee was held to raise funds for the first Hebrew Sunday school. The map will soon include The Milky Way, a deli run by Steven Spielberg’s mother.

Most of the additions to the map so far have come from JWA staff, historians and activists, which JWA hopes will act as the seeds of a larger crowd-sourcing project. The site will become “a source for lots of possibilities,” Reimer said, including walking tours and a resource for Jewish travelers. “We’re not just about history that was neglected, we’re about thinking about history differently.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
  • From The Daily Show to Lizzy Caplan, here's your Who's Jew guide to the 2014 #Emmys. Who are you rooting for?
  • “People at archives like Yad Vashem used to consider genealogists old ladies in tennis shoes. But they have been impressed with our work on indexing documents. Now they are lining up to work with us." This year's Jewish Genealogical Societies conference took place in Utah. We got a behind-the-scenes look:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.