Celebrating the Lives of Jewish Women: Patterns in a Feminist Sampler

Rachel Josefowitz Siegel, Editor, Ellen Cole, Editor
Rachel Josefowitz Siegel, Editor, Ellen Cole, Editor Haworth Press $62.95 (333p) ISBN 978-0-7890-0086-6
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The essays collected in this volume are woven together to form an embroidery of the lives of Jewish women. Each essay explores what it means to be a Jewish woman living in either America or Canada, and each is filled with the thoughts, wishes and reflections of Jewish women in North America. The book's first section contains essays that explore the meaning of family in Judaism; it opens with a freshly written essay by a 15-year-old about her experience of growing up as a rabbi's daughter and ends with a reflection on the role of the grandmother in the Jewish family by a Canadian Jewish grandmother. The second section explores the displacements brought on by Jewish migrations and the roles that Jewish women have played in adapting their families to new cultures. The third section focuses on the struggle of women to establish personal identities; for example, Rabbi Elisa Goldberg writes about her journey to becoming a Reconstructionist Jewish rabbi, while Evelyn Beck chronicles the shaping of her identity as a Jewish Lesbian Feminist. A fourth section focuses on the relationship between Jewish women and Jewish education; a central essay features a 48-year-old woman's reflection on her bat mitzvah. A final section explores anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, sexism and violence against women. These essays offer fresh perspectives on what it means to be a Jewish woman in the late 20th century. (Sept.)
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