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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. 

Children in Gorbals, Glasgow

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Children in a courtyard in the Gorbals, Glasgow, by an unknown photographer. The author's father Sam is the little one in the front looking to the side, her uncle Ben is in the first row, far left and third from left is her uncle Harry. Fay stands at the center of the photograph holding Max, who died at age eight in America.
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Children in a courtyard in the Gorbals, Glasgow, by an unknown photographer. The author's father Sam is the little one in the front looking to the side, her uncle Ben is in the first row, far left and third from left is her uncle Harry. Fay stands at the center of the photograph holding Max, who died at age eight in America.

Lauren Shapiro with her Aunt Jennie

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In front of the Lauren Shapiro's home in the Pelham Parkway housing projects with her Aunt Jennie.
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In front of the Lauren Shapiro's home in the Pelham Parkway housing projects with her Aunt Jennie.

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Rachel King on Shari Lewis, 2015

This Week in History: On August 2, 1998, children's television mainstay Shari Lewis died. Rachel King discusses why Lewis's most famous creation, Lamb Chop, continues to have such enduring appeal.
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This Week in History: On August 2, 1998, children's television mainstay Shari Lewis died. Rachel King discusses why Lewis's most famous creation, Lamb Chop, continues to have such enduring appeal.

Thumbnail of Rachel King on Shari Lewis, 2015

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Thumbnail of This Week in History: On August 2, 1998, children's television mainstay Shari Lewis died. Rachel King discusses why Lewis's most famous creation, Lamb Chop, continues to have such enduring appeal.
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JWA use only on jwa.org

Thumbnail of This Week in History: On August 2, 1998, children's television mainstay Shari Lewis died. Rachel King discusses why Lewis's most famous creation, Lamb Chop, continues to have such enduring appeal.

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.

Carol Wise with Roswell Weil

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Carol Wise with Roswell Weil.

Photo courtesy of Carol Wise.

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Carol Wise with Roswell Weil.


Photo courtesy of Carol Wise.

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Eliana Melmed

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Eliana Melmed.

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Eliana Melmed.

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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.

Carol Wise Beside JWA Poster in the Abandoned Congregation Beth Israel in Biloxi, June 21, 2007

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Jewish Women's Archive (JWA) former board member Carol Wise stands beside JWA's Women of Valor poster of Hannah Solomon in the abandoned Congregation Beth Israel in Biloxi.

This photograph was taken by Jayne K. Guberman, Director of Oral History at the Jewish Women’s Archive, on June 21, 2007.

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Jewish Women's Archive (JWA) former board member Carol Wise stands beside JWA's Women of Valor poster of Hannah Solomon in the abandoned Congregation Beth Israel in Biloxi.

This photograph was taken by Jayne K. Guberman, Director of Oral History at the Jewish Women’s Archive, on June 21, 2007.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Family." (Viewed on February 14, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/family>.

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