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Barbara Dobkin receives Honorary Degree

May 5, 2011

Barbara Dobkin, the Founding Chair of the Jewish Women's Archive, receives an honorary degree from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Joan Berman Cutler, 1930 - 2010

by Ellen Cutler Calmas

Let me start by apologizing publically to my mother for using the “G” word, “grandmother,” in the papers.

She was “Joany” to everyone, including all our children.

She was Joany to so much of Boston.

She was the prettier half of Joan and Ted, and half of an amazing couple that brought about so many full-fledged improvements for the City of Boston.

As so many people have suggested, my mother was a presence. Not only that she had a presence, but that she was one.

Isabelle Charlotte Weinstein Goldenson, 1921 - 2005

I am profoundly grateful to the Israel Cancer Research Fund for honoring my mother, Isabelle Charlotte Weinstein Goldenson, as a Woman of Action. She would have been beyond grateful because, quite frankly, she never received credit during her lifetime for all that she accomplished. She was constantly eclipsed by my father's visibility (although he never sought recognition himself). Theirs was a partnership of sixty years. He was a business visionary; she was an eleemosynary visionary. He convinced the motion picture industry to produce television.

Beatrice Holtzman Schneiderman, 1904 - 1996

She was the smartest woman I have ever known, but she could flirt with the best of them, batting her eyelashes and putting on plenty of Southern charm. That was my grandmother, Mama Bea, who was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1904, and who died in 1996 at the age of 91.

Lenore Pancoe Meyerhoff, 1927 - 1988

"What a rare find is a capable wife! Her worth is far beyond that of rubies." In traditional Jewish homes, the husband often sings "The Woman of Valor," Eyshet Hayil, twenty-two verses from Proverbs 31:10-31, to his wife just before Shabbat Kiddush. Frequently the text of choice for women's eulogies and unveiling ceremonies, it is often scorned by feminists. As a paean to the virtues of wife as tireless, devoted servant, it may ring a bit hollow to our 21st-century ears. Yet, perhaps there's good reason to revisit the text.

Patricia A. Barr, 1950 - 2003

My friend Pat Barr died this summer at the age of 52. I am writing about her a mere nine weeks after our last conversation. Her death is too recent—her absence too stark—for me to write about her as if she were a character from history, or someone whose telephone number I don't know by heart. Nor can I write easily, cheerfully, as if she were alive.

Priscilla Strauss, 1914 - 2007

The first word that comes to mind as I think back on close to two decades of interaction with Priscilla Strauss is "vibrancy." It's not that her obituary in the Boston Globe was inaccurate when it mentioned that she was "very dignified," "stylish," "meticulous," "gracious" and "compassionate." All true. But they fail to convey the warmth and commitment to the community that epitomized everything Priscilla did.

Lois Levin Roisman, 1938 - 2008

My mother, a leader in Jewish philanthropy and a Judaic poet and playwright, didn't believe in God. She was not interested in organized religion. But she was a deeply and inspirationally Jewish woman.

Jane Morningstar, 1919 - 2008

Jane Nathanson Morningstar was born in Boston in 1919 to Ida (Alpert) and Edward Nathanson. From her parents she learned the importance of community, of education, and of Jewish identity and continuity. As she took their legacy and put her own stamp on it, she instilled those values and passions in her family by her steadfast example. Her late husband, Otto Morningstar, joined her and supported her in her community activities, but Jane always took the lead. Her vision and dedication were absolutely clear and unwavering.

Sally Lilienthal, 1919 - 2006

There's no quick nor easy way to fathom the loss to the world of Sally Lilienthal's departure on October 24, 2006. She was a mover, a builder and a leader with many followers. She left the world a tangible legacy of visionary ideas that became local and global institutions.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Philanthropy." (Viewed on February 1, 2015) <>.


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