Dr. Penny Rosenwasser is a social justice speaker, workshop facilitator, and author of the self-published book Hope into Practice, Jewish Women Choosing Justice Despite Our Fears (2013). She is a founding board member of Jewish Voice for Peace and a former Jewish Caucus Chair of the National Women’s Studies Association.
The discussion of antisemitism and its history is timely given the controversy concerning U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), one of the two Muslim women to have serve in Congress. Rep. Omar has spoken out courageously against the mistreatment of Palestinian families. Many people have interpreted Rep. Omar’s remarks as antisemitic. Her remarks were widely condemned, including by Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for being antisemitic. Others, however, have rallied behind Omar saying there’s nothing wrong with pointing out the influence of money on Capitol Hill or the difficulties faced by people who seek peace, justice, and security for both Israeli and Palestinian families.
Dr. Rosenwasser teaches an Anti-Semitism/Anti-Arabism class with a Palestinian colleague at the City College of San Francisco and belongs to Kehilla Synagogue. Transplanted to Oakland, California, from Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C., Penny is also a member of the European American Collaborative for Challenging Whiteness and works as an event organizer and fundraiser. A former performing folk musician, KPFA radio host/producer, women’s music networker, festival organizer, and diversity workshop leader, she’s been active on issues ranging from ending nuclear power and weapons, to feminism and queer liberation, to peace and racial justice, especially focusing on Israel-Palestine, including leading four women’s peace delegations to that region.
Penny speaks and leads workshops about antisemitism and the intersections with white nationalism and white supremacy, as well as giving talks about her book.