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Marcie Cohen Ferris interviewed Rose Pines Cohen on April 24, 2001 in Baltimore, Maryland as part of the Weaving Women's Words project.
Born in 1911 into a family with deep rabbinic roots, Rose Pines Cohen was raised, after the early death of her mother, by her grandparents in Lithuania. She and her siblings were reunited with their father in Baltimore in 1922, where Rose continued her Hebrew and Judaic studies in the Talmud Torah schools of South Baltimore. By her early teens, Rose began teaching Hebrew school and received her teaching diploma from Baltimore Hebrew College, embarking upon a long and dedicated teaching career. Originally interested in accounting, Rose turned to teaching when she learned that accounting classes met on Saturdays-Shabbat—making it impossible for her as an Orthodox Jew to attend school. Rose married Moses J. Cohen in 1937 and took a hiatus from teaching after the birth of their three children, Rachel, Sylvia, and Louis. She later served as principal of Beth Yehuda's Hebrew School and taught at Beth Israel Congregation before retiring from Jewish education in 1970. Rose worked as a secretary for the Baltimore City Public Schools and continues to be active in numerous communal organizations, including the Jewish Museum of Maryland and B'nai Jacob Shaarei Zion Congregation.
In the early 2000s, the Jewish Women's Archive conducted oral history interviews with 30 Jewish women living in Baltimore and another 30 in Seattle. Born in the early decades of the 20th century, these women lived through decades of political, social, and economic upheaval, as well as dramatic changes in expectations and opportunities for women. Doctors and lawyers, teachers and saleswomen, judges and social workers, homemakers and community volunteers, the narrators represent a wide range of backgrounds, affiliations, and experiences of American Jewish women. To find out more and to see the online exhibits based on this project, visit Jewish Women's Archive/baltimore and Jewish Women's Archive/seattle
The complete audio recordings and transcripts of the interviews are available on the Internet Archive.
This project was made possible in part by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Brenda Brown Lipitz Rever Foundation, and the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, Inc. In Baltimore, the project was a collaboration with the Jewish Museum of Maryland; in Seattle, with the Museum of History and Industry.
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