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Photo: Shira Gorelick

About me

Joan Roth is an internationally acclaimed photographer, photojournalist, ethnographer, and portraitist.  For over five decades she used her camera to affect change for women who wouldn’t otherwise be seen.  Her work includes homeless women in New York City, the U.S. Women’s Movement from the 1970s to today, and the diverse lives of Jewish women around the world. 

 

She is most well known for her seminal work on Jews in Ethiopia and publication on Jewish Women: A World of Tradition and Change, a topic which she continues to work on to the present day.  She has made a distinct impact on the lives of women cementing her place in a line of photographers who have used film to create art with a conscience.


 

Current Features

 

Gloria Steinem

Writer, Political Activist,

and Feminist Organizer

"Joan Roth has looked at the Jewish world as if women mattered and therefore as if everyone mattered. Across all boundaries of geography and language, there is not only a common world of belief, but a common world of women. We see into its intimacy through her eyes."

Alice Shalvi

President Emerita of the

Israeli Women's Network

“[Joan Roth] has the gift for seeing the significant moment, the meaningful gesture, and the fleeting look, which convey an in-depth character, a lifetime of experience, and an entire culture. [Her] gaze is a female gaze and, in the capacity to penetrate below the surface to the essence of women's lives, it is a feminist gaze, which does not objectify, but rather empathizes, sympathizes, and identifies with the subjects of her work.”

Ed Geffner

Former Executive Director of the Manhattan Project

“Joan Roth was a pioneer in uncovering the problem of homelessness among women. She photographed and interviewed many women living in the streets in the 1970s, a time of little interest and virtually no understanding of what was happening to these women, and contributed invaluable information about the way they live, and how some of them become homeless…Her work called public attention to what turned out to be the tip of the iceberg of an important social problem. We have continued to work in the field of adult homelessness and consider Ms. Roth's early reports to be of significant value.”

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