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Jewesses with Attitude

We remember Esther M. Broner

We were saddened to wake up to the news that Esther M. Broner passed away yesterday. A beloved novelist, playwright, ritualist, and feminist writer, Esther M. Broner was born on July 8, 1927, in Detroit, Michigan. Her writing, including Her Mothers (1975), A Weave of Women (1978) and many others, made her one of the most important teachers of Jewish feminism and feminist Judaism.

Esther Broner was perhaps best known as the author of the Women's Haggadah. She led the original Women's Seder where, each year since 1976, Gloria Steinem, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Bella Abzug, Grace Paley and several other "Seder Sisters" met to hold a feminist Passover seder. Her work inspired a generation of Jewish women to weave feminist values into Jewish ritual.

The following poem is from her work, Bringing Home the Light

I see the day fade like smoke,
like fog in the harbor.
Tomorrow, the fog will burn off
in the morning sun.
The boats will depart,
the trees emerge,
so I live in and out of my life,
so I border on yours,
on the pillow of the past
and the brink of the day. (p.168)

To lean more, read Letty Cottin Pogrebin's remembrance at The Forward.

How to cite this page

Berkenwald, Leah. "We remember Esther M. Broner." 22 June 2011. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on December 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/we-remember-esther-m-broner>.

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