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Norma Weinberg Spungen 1927-2014

Norma Weinberg Spungen 1927-2014


Norma Spungen
served as the archivist of the Chicago Jewish Archives at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership for more than a decade, assisting scholars in their research into Chicago and American Jewish history.

"She was a remarkable source of inspiration for scholars doing research at Spertus Institute," recalled Dr. Tobias Brinkmann, Malvin and Lea Bank Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and History at Penn State University, who conducted a great deal of research at Spertus Institute for his dissertation.

Mark Akgulian, Spertus Institute Director of Operations and Business Development, praised the work she did to make the Chicago Jewish Archives a better research tool. He also recalled that "because she was working in a climate-controlled space [kept cool to protect documents], she dressed in winter gear most of her time in the office. She attracted many volunteers to join her in her work."

Ms. Spungen curated and assisted with major exhibits mounted at Spertus Institute on many important themes in Jewish history. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Jewish Historical Society. She received a BA and MA in Education from Northwestern University as well as a BA and MA in Jewish Studies from Spertus Institute.

She was herself a prolific writer with an interest in Jewish women who were active in social service and philanthropy. Her research appeared in articles in Illinois Library Journal and Jewish Social Studies and she lectured widely on topics in Jewish history.

She is remembered as “an exceptionally lovely person — warm, intelligent, funny, and very serious about her work,” by Kathy Bloch, Spertus Institute Director of Collections.

The entire faculty and staff extend condolences to her family and appreciation for all that she did in her work and for the Institute.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Norma Spungen

Photo courtesy of Yale University, where
a fellowship advancing women’s health
is endowed in Norma Spungen's name.