Christopher C. Gorham
Author of The Confidante:
The Untold Story of the Woman Who Helped
Win WWII and Shape Modern America
Monday, January 29 • 6:45 PM • Online
In a profile in The New York Times, a reporter described his subject as “a slip of a woman … her hair carefully dressed, her clothes chic.” As for her manner, “She radiates a spirit of friendliness.… Her straightforwardness inspires confidence, her informality cuts red tape.”
The year was 1935, and the woman was Anna M. Rosenberg, age thirty-three, Regional Director for New York of President Roosevelt’s New Deal agency, the NRA.
Rosenberg played vital roles advising presidents through the Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Civil Rights movement, the Great Society, and more. Today, Anna Rosenberg is mostly unknown.
Nevertheless, the story of this “pint-sized hurricane” is a remarkable one. It is told in an engaging, dramatic manner that allows the author to convey the dynamism, energy, and determination Anna Rosenberg gave to all her activities, as well as the gratitude she felt towards her adopted country.
Christopher C. Gorham is a lawyer and teacher of modern American history at Westford Academy, outside Boston. He has degrees in history from Tufts University and the University of Michigan, where he studied under legendary labor historian Sidney Fine. He has a J.D., summa cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law, where he served on the editorial staff of the Syracuse Law Review. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post and online journals.
Co-Author of Listen, World!
How the Intrepid Elsie Robinson
Became America’s Most-Read Woman
Monday, March 25 • 6:45 PM • Online
Jewish people revel in debate, airing their opinions, often disagreeing – always questioning. This type of dialogue frequently takes place face-to-face, but Jewish-style debate has a 2,000-year-old tradition of fueling discourse on the page. Readers are active participants and central to the conversation. Without readers, there can be no exchange of ideas.
Elsie Robinson, the most-read woman in America and the highest-paid woman writer in the William Randolph Hearst media empire, embraced this practice when she launched her nationally syndicated Listen, World! column nearly 100 years ago. For more than thirty years, between 1924 – 1956, Elsie shared her points of view with over twenty million readers – blasting gender inequality, racism, antisemitism – and invited readers to “talk back” by printing their fiery letters in her pages. A decade before Gloria Steinem was born and 40 years before Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique, Robinson used her writing as a form of tikkun olam–righting wrongs and speaking truth to power. This book, the first biography of Robinson, reveals the struggles and triumphs of this long-forgotten pioneer.
Allison Gilbert is co-author of Listen, World!, the first biography of American writer Elsie Robinson. The New York Times raves, “One does not tire of spending time with Elsie Robinson”, and The Wall Street Journal proclaims the book “an important contribution to women’s history.” Allison and her husband met at sleepaway camp and live happily outside NYC with their two children.
About the Moderator
Dr. Amy K. Milligan is the Batten Endowed Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Women's Studies and the director of the Institute of Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding at Old Dominion University. She is an ethnographer who is particularly interested in the folkloric manifestations of selfhood and identity on the body and uses these questions of bodylore to explore lived experiences of gender, sexuality, and religion. She also specializes the study of small or marginalized Jewish communities. Her present research centers on the experiences of small Jewish communities in Alabama, with a special focus on Temple Mishkan Israel in Selma, AL.
Thanks to the generous support of the Bartel Family, in honor of their parents and grandparents, Alan & Dolores Bartel, the following accessibility accommodations are available for this community program. Accommodations must be requested at least a week prior to the event.
Author of The Stockwell Letters
Part of the Lee & Bernard Jaffe Family
Jewish Book Festival
Monday, Nov. 13 • 7:30 PM •Simon Family JCC
Based on the true story of female abolitionist Ann Phillips and her connection to Anthony Burns, a young man who briefly escaped American slavery and rocked the nation with his astoundingly heroic story
A passionate advocate of abolition from her earliest years, Ann Phillip’s activism was derailed just before her twenty-fourth birthday when she fell sick with a mysterious illness. In order to protect her fragile health, her husband, the famous abolitionist Wendell Phillips, forbade her from joining any further anti-slavery outings. Even so, when fugitive slave Anthony Burns is apprehended in Boston, Ann is determined to help him, no matter what it costs her.
With a particular focus on the predicament of nineteenth-century women who wanted to effect change despite the restrictions society imposed on them, The Stockwell Letters takes a deep dive into the harrowing conditions of the antebellum South and the obstacles faced by abolitionists who fought tirelessly to eradicate slavery. A fast-paced, arresting recounting of America’s not-so-distant history, the story will stay with readers long after the final page.
Jacqueline Friedland is the author of the award-winning novels Trouble the Water and That’s Not a Thing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and NYU Law School, she practiced as an attorney before deciding to pursue writing full time. Jacqueline lives in Westchester, New York, with her husband, four children, and two very bossy canines.
We look forward to seeing you for the Unsung SHEroes of History series!
The programs with Christopher C. Gorham and Allison Gilbert on Monday, January 29 and Monday, March 25 at 6:45 PM will be hosted on Zoom. An email with information on how to access the Zoom call will be sent out prior to the programs.
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Senior Director, Jewish Innovation
United Jewish Federation of Tidewater
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