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Family

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.

Us and Them

It’s a warm spring Saturday night, and I am standing in a tot lot, knee deep in toddlers. It’s past seven, and the late light is starting to smudge. As I gaze across the garish reds, blues, and yellows of the bulky play structures, across the immovable iron fence, I spot a 20-something couple walking by on the street. They are light on their feet, smiling, arm-in-arm, and I think: They’ve just had sex. A late afternoon session, bodies sweaty, faces flushed, their hair tousled by a post-storm breeze from the window. A prelude on their way to a chic bistro and a boisterous bar. The young man and I trade squinting looks, both trying to make sense of what we see. After a beat, he gives up and rejoins his partner’s earnest banter.

Growing Girls: Three Things

Thanks to another successful mixture of time, biology, and good fortune, we welcomed another baby girl into our family a few weeks ago. For those of you who are counting, that makes five kids- we led off with two boys, and since then have been on a girl binge. 

Now listen, I’m not a sociologist, or an academician, or a statistician when I talk about kids, society, and gender. With that in mind, as I reflect on being a parent to three girls, these are not to be interpreted as blanket statements about boys/girls/gender, but they do reflect my experience.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Family." (Viewed on October 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/family>.

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