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Family

My Grandmother's Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was my grandmother’s favorite holiday, and there’s an almost mythical story about the first time she celebrated it.  My grandmother was born in Lublin, Poland, survived the Holocaust, and lived in a displaced persons camp in Germany for six years after her liberation.  In the DP camps she married my grandfather, who was said to be handsome and tall, though his visa says he was 5’7. While still living in the camp, they had their first child, my uncle, Yitzchak. And in 1951 they came to the United States. It was November when their boat set sail across the Atlantic. As my grandmother told it, the boat docked in New York on Thanksgiving Day. But before docking, they were served a Turkey dinner. 

Edith Altschul Lehman

Both with her husband and in her own right, Edith Altschul Lehman funded endeavors from building schools in Israel to creating a children’s zoo in Central Park.

Miriam Belsky Solotaroff

Miriam Belsky Solotaroff made headlines in 1937 when she “rocked the school board” of New York for insisting on maternity leave to care for an adopted baby, a privilege only granted to biological mothers at the time.

Shirley Kaufman

Shirley Kaufman used her Jewish heritage to create evocative poetry, exploring biblical matriarchs, her own mother’s immigrant past, and the tensions of daily life in modern Israel.

Laura Z. Hobson

Laura Zametkin Hobson’s unconventional life became fuel for her remarkable novels, including the highly popular Gentleman’s Agreement in 1947.

Selina Dolaro

A noted opera singer and theater producer, Selina Dolaro proudly defended her choices as a single mother making a living in the arts.

Sandy Sasso

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso was the first woman rabbi ordained by the Reconstructionist movement, which was one of many firsts in her career.

Dorothy Dinnerstein

Dorothy Dinnerstein earned her place as a major feminist thinker with her groundbreaking 1976 book The Mermaid and the Minotaur: Sexual Arrangements and Human Malaise.

Jessie Bernard

Sociologist Jessie Bernard anticipated feminist theory by discussing the differences between men’s and women’s experiences and arguing that quantitative studies did not accurately represent women’s stories.

Lessons From My Daughters

My first daughter made me a father (with significant help from my wife). I felt unprepared then, and still do, on occasion, even though she is now 21. For example, I am still unprepared when she calls in a funk about tomorrow's final exam (in which she ended up doing more than fine, thank you).

Our son was born six and a half years after our first daughter, and our second daughter was born six and a half minutes after him. Ask me about twins another time, or boys; this time my assignment is daughters. My daughters have taught me about dance, and fashion, and the photosynthesis cycle, and scuba diving, and inductive geometry. They have taught me that observation is not judgment, that you don't have to be a feminist to support feminism, and, distressingly, that the world is cruel to women in ways that men only know when we worry about our daughters.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Family." (Viewed on December 19, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/family>.

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