Speaker Lauren Strauss
Entrance with Museum Admission
At the end of the Civil War, Jewish community leaders and historians rushed to document the bloody sacrifices made by “men of the Hebrew faith” to the nation’s greatest struggle. However, the contributions of American Jewish women—Northerners and Southerners—have only recently begun to be appreciated. As nurses, teachers, homemakers, merchants, and even convicts and spies, these Jewish daughters of the Union and the Confederacy were deeply involved in their country’s fate at a crucial moment in its history. Despite deep fissures between Jewish women in the North and South, the very strength of their passions highlights the extent to which they embraced their identity as Americans, not only for its wartime relevance, but also for a longer-term understanding of Jewish integration into American society.
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