Friday, March 9, 2012

Program Recap: Jewish Women in Sport

Last Tuesday, we, the Goethe-Institut, and the Washington Jewish Film Festival hosted a panel discussion and film screening revealing the little-known history of Jewish women in sport. The discussion, graciously hosted by our friends at the Goethe-Institut, included Dr. Linda Borish of Western Michigan University, a historian and the film's executive producer, and historian Dr. Pamela Nadell of American University.

We first learned of Dr. Borish's film when she came to our archives to do research many years ago. In fact, she used some images from Jewish Community Center scrapbooks in the film. The archivists and I cheered when we saw the pictures from our collections!

Drs. Borish (sitting, right) and Nadell (sitting, left) had a wonderful dynamic during the discussion, enlightening the audience about the achievements and obstacles faced by Jewish women athletes. I learned a lot of new information, and had a lot of food for thought. For example, I found out how quite a few female Jewish athletes boycotted the 1936 Olympics in Berlin--even though it could be their only chance to compete at that level. I learned about the gender, ethnic, and religious issues with which Jewish women athletes grappled.

Afterwards a group of us joined Drs. Borish and Nadell for a lively lunchtime discussion. Miss the program? Never to fear, the Goethe-Institut kindly recorded the audio for us. We're finishing cleaning up the audio, so keep an eye out for it on our website!

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