Ruth Berman and Connie Kurtz papers
Scope and Contents
- 1950 - 2018
- Berman, Ruth (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Donald Goldmacher, producer of Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House; the film's original title was"Ruthie and Connie: More Than a Love Story," has retained copyright in perpetuity to all the audiovisual material related to this documentary.
Biographical / Historical
Constance Kurtz was born July 19, 1936 to Rose Levy and Elias Levy. After graduating from high school, she worked in Brooklyn, NY and in Jerusalem, Israel; her job descriptions have included bookkeeper and election campaign volunteer. Ruthie and Connie met in their Brooklyn neighborhood in the late 1950s and became fast friends; both were in traditional marriages and both had children. In 1970, Connie moved to Israel with her family. When Connie returned to the U.S. for a visit in 1974, she and Berman fell in love and began the challenging process of coming out, divorcing their husbands, and beginning a life together as a lesbian couple. The process propelled them into becoming politically active for gay and lesbian rights, and in 1988 they sued the New York City Board of Education for domestic partner benefits (Berman was a health and physical education teacher at a Brooklyn high school), winning the landmark case in 1994. Connie passed away in June of 2018 after a long battle with cancer.
Both Berman and Kurtz are certified counselors and in that capacity founded The Answer is Loving Counseling Center, where they have served for over twenty years. They travel widely, offering workshops that focus on skill-building towards a more functional life, including workshops for gay men and lesbians and their families. They have started branches of Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in Florida and New York. They also run a T-shirt business: Not So Subtle Ts, and they host a web site (ruthieandconnie.com). In 2000, they began serving as co-chairs of the New York State NOW Lesbian Rights Task Force, and they are members of the GLBT synagogue of the Congregation Beth Simchot Torah. Ruthie and Connie have appeared on national radio and television, including The Donohue Show, Geraldo Rivera, Bill Boggs, and WBAI. In 2002, filmmaker Deborah Dickson made a documentary film about Berman and Kurtz, titled Connie and Ruth: Every Room in the House (produced by Donald Goldmacher).
21 linear feet (13 unspecified boxes (likely record cartons), 2 letter document boxes, 1 flat oversize box)
11 items (11 DVDs, 10 loose and 1 in original packaging)
0.0978 Gigabytes (digital files)
Language of Materials
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
This collection contains materials received from the donor in digital form that are not currently available online. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request access to this digital content.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Acc: #05S-32 was donated by Donald Goldmacher, producer of Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House; the film's original title was"Ruthie and Connie: More Than a Love Story." There is a separate COG for his accession.
Digital copies are available for select recordings. Please contact us for more information.
The 2018 addition has not been processed, in the sense that archival arrangement and description beyond creating minimal box lists has not been done. The arrangement and description of materials may change in the future as iterative processing occurs. Researchers are encouraged to document their citations with this in mind.
The contents of computer media in this collection has been copied to networked storage for preservation and access; the original directory and file structure was retained and file lists were created. One disk could not be copied.
- Activists (LGBTQ) -- New York (state)
- Berman, Ruth
- Civil rights (LGBTQ)
- Computer media
- DVD-Video discs
- Dickson, Deborah
- Domestic partner benefits--New York (State)--New York
- Electronic records
- Goldmacher, Donald
- Jewish lesbians
- Jewish women
- Kurtz, Connie
- Lesbian activists
- Lesbian and queer women
- Lesbian community
- Lesbian feminism
- Lesbianism -- United States
- Lesbians -- United States
- New York (N.Y.)
- Ruthie and Connie : every room in the house / a film by Deborah Dickson; produced by Donald Goldmacher
- Ruthie and Connie: every room in the house
- Significant others
- photograph albums
- Finding aid to the Ruth Berman and Connie Kurtz papers
- Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
- Finding aid prepared by Burd Schlessinger; updated in 2018.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2017-07-26T17:48:18-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
- 2018-12-04: Container list and descriptions added for latest accession; updated collection-level notes to current standards
- 2020-04-01: Description added for born-digital content.
- 2020-04-24: Added accessions 05S-16, 05S-32, 06S-40, updated dates and S and C note.
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063