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Marcia Cohn Spiegel

Marcia Cohn Spiegel was one of the first to speak out about alcoholism and domestic violence in the Jewish community, using her own experience to help others. Spiegel came to two simultaneous realizations that changed the course of her life: the absence of women from Jewish writing and prayer, and the fact that her husband was an alcoholic. At the time, many in the Jewish community denied Jews could be alcoholics, addicts, or abusers, making it almost impossible to find treatment or support. Spiegel earned a social work degree from the School of Jewish Communal Service at HUC-JIR with her thesis “The Heritage of Noah, Alcoholism in the Jewish Community.” She has written and spoken extensively on alcoholism, domestic abuse, addiction and rape, and has taught at the University of Judaism, UCLA, and synagogues throughout the US, as well as Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Great Britain, and Australia. Having participated in a number of feminist workshops and spiritual groups, Spiegel chose to mark her 60th birthday with a Simhat Hokhmah (ceremony of wisdom), for which her friend, songwriter Debbie Friedman, wrote her iconic Mi Sheberakh prayer to help Spiegel heal and find renewal.

Marcia Cohn Spiegel
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Marcia Cohn Spiegel
Date of Birth
October 16, 1927
Place of Birth
Chicago, Illinois

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Marcia Cohn Spiegel." (Viewed on December 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/spiegel-marcia-cohn>.

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