Founded 25 years ago and based in New York City, The Remember the Women Institute is dedicated to including women in history. We tell women’s stories from their own point of view, integrating them into history and collective memory. Special emphasis is on women in the context of the Holocaust, as well as violence against women.
Remember the Women Institute is celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2022.
Our projects, events, and publications focus on women during the Holocaust and genocide, as well as violence against women.
Since our inception, the Institute has influenced academic research and publications, as well as popular culture, by encouraging the inclusion of all of humanity in historical and commemorative representations. The projects of the Institute include carrying out research, creating exhibitions, co-publishing books, presenting symposiums and programs, organizing panels at conferences, and cooperating with individuals and other institutes and organizations for events, films, and exhibits.
Among our many projects and events, one highlight is our international group art exhibition, VIOLATED! Women in Holocaust and Genocide, which featured 30 artists and 47 artworks at the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York City, April 12-May 12, 2018. This exhibition included artwork depicting sexual violence during the Holocaust, as well as during later genocides in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Iraq, and Guatemala.
The exhibition grew out of our research to identify Holocaust survivors and witnesses of sexual violence willing to bear witness. The 2010 publication of Sexual Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust (Brandeis University Press/University Press of New England, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute), edited by Sonja M. Hedgepeth and Rochelle G. Saidel, was the first book to be published on the subject. With contributions from historians, social scientists, literary and film critics, and psychologists, the anthology, co-published by Remember the Women Institute, opened a window into a world that had been virtually unknown. Other exhibits include Women of Ravensbrück, Portraits of Courage: Art by Julia Terwilliger for the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, FL, and an exhibit about Gemma La Guardia Gluck for Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York.
Our Women, Theater, and the Holocaust project has been ongoing, with annual presentations of original plays performed by professional actors and theater students, as well as several editions of our on-line Women, Theater, and the Holocaust Resource Handbook. In addition to the handbook, there are videos of some of the performances. We have had two stalwart partners for these presentations. Playwright Cynthia L. Cooper has written extraordinary plays and engaged professional volunteer actors and directors; and Dr. Meghan Brodie has brought us original presentations by her Ursinus College theater students.
While continuing our work on women and the Holocaust, we began focusing on sexual violence during that era. This led to our exploring sexual violence during later genocides, and then violence closer to home, domestic violence. Through the Consulate General of Israel in New York, we were introduced to Israeli artist Keren Goldstein. She and her colleague Adi Levy created an art installation entitled She’s Gone, which is based on the clothing of murdered victims of domestic violence in Israel. Remember the Women Institute added garments from the United States for exhibition in New York and Washington, D.C .
When the Covid-19 pandemic prevented our planned fall 2020 symposium and exhibition from taking place at the Roosevelt House Institute for Public Policy in New York City, we instead presented a webinar on the arts addressing domestic violence. A December 2021 mini-exhibition took place at the Strongin Collection, Washington, DC, along with a December 7 webinar presented by us along with the gallery and Moment Magazine. The Embassy of Israel to the United States cooperated with us for the Washington exhibition. A symposium about domestic violence is planned for April 11, 2022, at Roosevelt House.
In addition to Sexual Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust, books that have been published in cooperation with Remember the Women Institute include: The Jewish Women of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp (Saidel, University of Wisconsin Press, 2004, paperback 2006, Hebrew 2007, and Portuguese 2009); VIOLATED! Women in Holocaust and Genocide (co-edited by Saidel and curator Dr. Batya Brutin, paperback and on-line catalogs, 2018,); Mielec, Poland: The Shtetl That Became a Nazi Concentration Camp (Saidel, Gefen Publishers, 2012); Fiorello’s Sister: Gemma La Guardia Gluck’s Story (Gluck, ed. Saidel, Syracuse University Press, 2007), and the catalog for the Women of Ravensbrück, Portraits of Courage: Art by Julia Terwilliger exhibition at the Florida Holocaust Museum.
Remember the Women Institute has organized panels on women and the Holocaust that include: the groundbreaking workshop, “Beyond Anne Frank: Teaching about Women and the Holocaust,” at a Conference on Teaching the Holocaust, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem (2006); various panels at the Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust; the first session dealing with women and the Holocaust (2005) and with sexual violence during the Holocaust (2009) at the World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem; the first session dealing with sexual violence during the Holocaust, the Association for Jewish Studies (2010); and a special panel at a Women and the Holocaust conference in Warsaw, Poland (2011). We organized or participated in webinars during the COVID-19 pandemic, and had the opportunity to work internationally with people and universities in Israel, Great Britain, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
The 1997 founding of Remember the Women Institute followed research by founder Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel about Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp, including interviews with many survivors and on-site visits beginning in 1980.
Board of Directors
- Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska
- Dr. Elizabeth Baer
- Dr. Judy Baumel-Schwartz
- Barbara Becker
- Dr. Susan Benedict
Dr. Ellen Ben-Sefer
Dr. Eva Alterman Blay
Dr. Joyce Brenner
Dr. Meghan Brodie
Dr. Batya Brutin
Rabbi Tami Crystal
Dr. Karin Doerr
Dr. Insa Eschebach
Dr. Eva Fogelman
Dr. Myrna Goldenberg
Dr. Esther Hertzog
Dr. Sara R. Horowitz
Dr. Mary Johnson
Dr. Marcia Sachs Littell
Dr. Cheyenne (Darlene) Martin
Dr. Dalia Ofer
Dr. Nancy Ordway
Dr. Shulamit Reinharz
Jean Bloch Rosensaft
Dr. Rosa Ester Rossini
Dr. Marilyn Safir
Rachel Lulov Segall
Dr. Alice Shalvi
- Karen Shulman
- Dr. Miryam Sivan
- Dr. Nechama Tec
The Institute, a 501(c)(3) organization registered as a not-for-profit corporation in the State of New York in 1997, is seeking financial support from private foundations and individuals interested in supporting research and related academic and cultural activities that address women’s issues, Holocaust-related issues, and Jewish women’s issues.
Projects under the auspices of the Institute have received support from:
- The American Jewish Committee Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
- The Brazilian National Science and Technology Council (CNPq)
- The Consulate General of Israel in New York
- The Edward and Holli Gersh Foundation
- The Embassy of Israel to the United States
- The Five Millers Family Foundation
- The Georgette Bennett and Leonard Polonsky Family Fund
- The Gertrude and Philip Hoffman Philanthropic Fund of the Pittsburgh United Jewish Federation Foundation
- The Goethe Institute
- The Indian Trail Charitable Foundation
- The Lucius N. Littauer Foundation
- The National Endowment for the Humanities
- The Philadelphia Center on the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights
- The Phyllis Backer Foundation
- The Ruth Turner Fund
- The Schaina and Josephina Lurje Memorial Foundation
- The S.H. and Helen R. Scheuer Family Foundation
as well as numerous generous individuals.