Jewish Women Trailblazers: Tanuja Budraj ’21 and Fede Cedolini ’22 Create Online and Traveling Exhibit with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford

Fede Cedolini ’22 and Tanuja Budraj ’21 discuss archival documents at the Jewish Historical Society.

Over the summer, Trinity College students Tanuja Budraj ’21 and Fede Cedolini ’22 worked in partnership with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford on a new exhibit, “Trailblazer: Connecticut Jewish Women Making History.” This traveling exhibit, which opens September 3rd and runs through October 2nd, 2019, highlights the stories “women’s rights activists, artists, journalists, and health and education reformers in the Hartford area and beyond who overcame obstacles of gender, social class, and religious identity to make changes that continue to impact our lives today.”

The students began their work by delving into the archives available to them at the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford, the Hartford Public Library, the Connecticut Historical Society, and the Trinity College library– their task was to identify important photographs, newspaper articles, and documents to piece together the lives and stories of each trailblazer. These materials were the basis for creating both a traveling paneled exhibit as well as an expanded online version of the exhibit which will be on the Jewish Historical Society’s website. Community partner Estelle Kafer says she hopes the online version of the exhibit will be used as an educational tool that can reach much larger numbers of people than a physical exhibit.


We were able to catch up with Tanuja and Estelle on site at the Jewish Historical Society this summer. When reflecting on the project, Tanuja said having the exposure to lots of digital tools and being able to identify her skills as historian has been a major benefit to her.

I think [this experience] is giving me a preview into what history degree holders do, and what they could do, and now I can say I’ve had an experience working in an archive, which is very important in historical work whether you’re writing a book, or teaching, or doing archival work. I’ve also developed better research skills and the program has exposed me to what it’s like to be a researcher 9-5. -Tanuja Budraj ’21



The Public Humanities Collaborative (PHC) is a summer research opportunity that brings together students, faculty, and individuals and organizations in Hartford to work on public humanities: the study of how people interpret stories of our human experience. PHC is a component of Trinity College’s Summer Research Programthat is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. To learn more, visit or contact Director of Community Learning

To learn more about the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford, visit