Jewish Women in Modern America
In 2002, humanities and Judaics teacher Barbara Rosenblit and conceptual artist Sheila Miller, both members of the faculty at the Weber School in Atlanta, conceived of an innovative interdisciplinary project for high school juniors and seniors taking a seminar on the history of Jewish women in America.
Every year since then, each student in the class has interviewed a Jewish woman 75 or older, sometimes a family member, sometimes a total stranger. Ms. Rosenblit uses In Our Own Voices: A Guide to Conducting Life History Interviews with American Jewish Women, developed by the Jewish Women’s Archive, to help the students become capable oral historians.
Each student then works with Ms. Miller over a two month period to create a mixed-media work that reveals something important that they have learned about each woman’s character and life experiences.
Over the years, the women interviewed for the project have been honored with a variety of artistic forms, among them--shadowboxes, sculptural books, vintage handbags, lamps, ceramic dinner settings, and for several years, the dress form. The course culminates in an opening event public exhibition at the school.