Reading the Archives

Blog

When Plans Go Awry

“Sources like student publications, class notes, and teachers’ lesson plans are equally as important. They demonstrate what happened in schools in great detail, while official documents tend to provide a much broader picture.”

Read More »

Ephemeral Treasures

After a summer hiatus during which we strategized and brainstormed (and wrote grant applications), we’re back with more material from the archives!  This week, I’m highlighting some materials donated by individuals from personal archives: class

Read More »

Extra-curricular Memories

The choir on stage at YIVO, March 24, 2019. L-R: Naomi Seidman, Michelle Miller, Roni Mazal, Dainy Bernstein, Rivky Grossman, Batya Okunov, Basya Schechter. Photo: Steve Beltzer. Two weeks ago, Naomi Seidman wrote about the

Read More »

A Songbook Come Alive

Among my favorite Bais Yaakov finds in the YIVO archive, and one I discovered almost at the very start of my journey, is Undzer Gyzang: Lider far Bais Yaakov shuln, Basya Farbands, un Bnos Agudath

Read More »

When a Book Is Not Really Done

There’s something a little ambivalent and paradoxical about the process of seeing a book you’ve worked on for years finally appear in print. It’s certainly gratifying to finish a book and watch it take its

Read More »

When Bais Yaakov Girls Were Movie Stars

On February 22, 1933, the Yiddish daily Hayntige nayes published a news report with the eye-catching title: “The Agudah Is Making Its Own Films: It aims to turn Bnos-Yaakov girls into movie stars.” As the

Read More »

In the Birnbaum Archives

The great scholar and historian Yosef Hayyim Yerushalmi once wrote: History is the faith of fallen Jews. But what of Jews who are not fallen? Have they no need for history? Might history be a

Read More »

From Sister to Sister: #1

SHIDDUCHIM LETTERS This is the first installment of a column from The Bais Yaakov Journal called “From Sister to Sister,” translated from the Yiddish by Sandra Chiritescu.  “Shidduch Letters” appeared in issues 78 and 79

Read More »

Was Bais Yaakov a Feminist Movement?

In 1934, the Agudah secured the right to distribute a share of certificates for immigration to Palestine, from Zionist organizations that had previously controlled them. But the certificates were precious and competition for them was

Read More »

Report Card Revelations

What can a few simple report cards tell us about Bais Yaakov schools? A lot, actually. One of the purposes of the Bais Yaakov Project website is to foster scholarship of the Bais Yaakov movement

Read More »

Book Release

The book that helped inspire this website: Sarah Schenirer and the Bais Yaakov Movement: A Revolution in the Name of Tradition, by Naomi Seidman, is available for purchase here. Use the discount code in the

Read More »

The World of Sarah Schenirer: 1

Sarah Schenirer’s 1935 death was accompanied  not only by an outpouring of grief, but also by a burst of literary activity, commemorating her life and work. Much of this material appeared in the Bais Yaakov

Read More »

Acting Like Bais Yaakov Girls

Bais Yaakov girls in Kolbuszowa performing in a Purim play. Bais Yaakov students perform in a play called ‘Joseph and His Brothers.’ Among the hundreds of oral histories collected by the Spielberg Shoah Foundation are

Read More »

Book Talk, Concert, Website Demo

We’re going live on March 24, 2019! Join us for a lecture by Naomi Seidman, a choir led by Basya Schechter, and a demo of the Bais Yaakov Project website. More information and tickets here.

Read More »