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Family

“Can We Throw the Skirt Out?” A First-Generation Story

I am first generation American, as were most children and, for that matter, many of the teachers, in our public school. Not coincidentally, the word perseverance appeared often on our vocabulary lists. We used it in sentences, like “If you don’t have perseverance, you will not amount to much”—but I already knew that before I started kindergarten. Perseverance was my Aunt Jennie’s word of the day, every day. 

A Flipped Father’s Day: Ask Not What You Can Buy For Your Father, Ask What Your Father Can Buy For You

I’ve reached the age where if there’s something I want, I’ll buy it. I’ll see a soccer jersey on TV and order it online. I’ll buy a book and read in on my Kindle without thinking twice. I don’t need to go through the charade of asking and waiting, and will at the same time happily accept all of the trinkets and art projects that wind their way home through my kids’ backpacks.

Jeanne Manford

In 1973 Jeanne Manford’s fierce love for her gay son in the face of national condemnation of homosexuality led her to create a support network for other families, Parents of Gays, later known as PFLAG.

Now That I'm a Mommy, Can I Keep My Women Friends?

I didn't anticipate losing friends when I became a mom. Perhaps I was naive, perhaps I was too focused on achieving a dream. Years of infertility treatments followed by years waiting for our adopted daughter took their toll. Being around young families then was painful, so I built close relationships with women who had chosen not to have children. Some had fertility issues, some not. All felt judged by society for not "achieving motherhood." 

Carol Wise

In her work with United Way, Carol Wise worked intensively to restore childcare facilities and rebuild playgrounds throughout New Orleans.

Florence Schornstein

As director of New Orleans’s Parks and Parkways Department, Florence Shornstein mobilized the community to replant the lush greenery that helped define the city.

The Dream That Was Meant To Be

Looking down at my beautiful daughter in my arms, I sometimes wonder what on earth took me so long. Bringing her into our lives was a long journey that did not begin with agency and governmental red tape, but with a dream I was afraid to let die. The decision to end our efforts with infertility treatments, though they that were slowly killing my husband and me, was incredibly difficult.

Carol Wise

Frustrated with Jewish organizations that geared their offerings for women’s involvement around the interests and schedules of stay-at-home mothers, Carol Wise forged a more welcoming place for professional women in the Jewish community.

Anne Heyman

Inspired by the youth villages that allowed Israel to welcome staggering numbers of orphans after the Holocaust, Anne Heyman created the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village to shelter orphans of the Rwandan genocide.

Viola Spolin

Searching for play therapies that could reach at-risk children, Viola Spolin created the “Theater Games” that gave rise to improv theater.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Family." (Viewed on August 31, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/family>.

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