About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for "America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today"

McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
May 23, 2019 

Good evening, and welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and I’m pleased you could join us for today’s program, whether you are here in the theater or joining us through Facebook or YouTube.

We are presenting this program in partnership with the Capital Jewish Museum in celebration of Jewish Heritage Month, and we thank them for their support

Tonight’s conversation is one of many programs we’ve developed to tie into our new exhibit in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery: Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote.

Before we get started, I’d like tell you about two other programs coming up soon in this theater.

On Tuesday, May 28, at 7 p.m., Henry Louis Gates, Jr., will discuss Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow, his book about the struggle by African Americans for equality after the Civil War.

And on Tuesday, June 4, at noon, Kaitlin Sidorsky, author of All Roads Lead to Power: The Appointed and Elected Paths to Public Office for U.S. Women, will examine how many more women are appointed, rather than elected, to political office.

Check our website, Archives.gov, or sign up at the table outside the theater to get email updates. You’ll also find information about other National Archives programs and activities.

Another way to get more involved with the National Archives is to become a member of the National Archives Foundation. The Foundation supports the work of the agency, especially its education and outreach programs. Visit its website—archivesfoundation.org—to learn more about the Foundation and join online.

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I mentioned earlier that we’ve just opened a new exhibit upstairs. Rightfully Hers is the cornerstone of our centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

The exhibit tells the story of women’s struggle for voting rights and explores the roles of women from a variety of backgrounds.

One of the women featured in a “Suffragist Spotlight” is Rose Schneiderman. Schneiderman was born into a Jewish family in Russian Poland that moved to New York City in 1890, when she was a child. In 1906, she was elected as an officer in the New York Woman’s Trade Union League and was instrumental in the 1909 garment workers’ strike. Insisting that wage-earning women needed the vote to fight against low wages, long hours, and unsafe working conditions, Schneiderman’s powerful oratory played a crucial role in winning woman suffrage in New York in 1917.

Women like Schneiderman contributed to the growth of the nation throughout American history. Tonight we’re privileged to hear about several of them from author Pamela Nadell and Wendy Turman of the Capital Jewish Museum.

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It is now my pleasure to welcome to the stage Howard Morse, the president of the Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum. Projected to open in 2021, the Capital Jewish Museum will explore the past, present, and future of Jewish life in Washington.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Howard Morse.