Pamela Goldman, born on July 30, 1965, is a Jewish artist and sculptor known for her unique creations and exploration of personal identity. Growing up in Maplewood, New Jersey, Pamela was the only daughter in a family of two brothers. Her parents, of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, placed a strong emphasis on education and hard work. Pamela's father was a businessman, continuing the family legacy of leather outerwear manufacturing that his grandfather had started during World War II. Raised in a Reform Jewish household, Pamela's family led a primarily secular lifestyle, with little emphasis on religious observance or dietary restrictions. However, as she grew older and attended college at Barnard, Pamela embarked on a journey of self-discovery and a search for her Jewish identity. She began to question the meaning of being Jewish and delved into studying Torah and the concept of leading a life of mitzvahs, acts of kindness. As a Jewish feminist, Pamela is passionate about promoting equality and challenging societal expectations. In recognition of her commitment to tolerance and acceptance, Pamela was approached to be part of the Rosa Parks Wall of Tolerance project, organized by the Southern Poverty Law Center. This initiative aims to honor individuals who embody the ideals of tolerance and fight against prejudice. Pamela's involvement in this project represents her dedication to promoting understanding and respect among all people, regardless of religion, race, or background.
Pamela grew up in a Reform Jewish family in Maplewood, New Jersey. Her family placed a strong emphasis on education and working hard to attend a good college. Pamela's father and grandfather were in the leather outerwear business, and her mother was a Vassar graduate with high expectations for her. Pamela discusses her early awareness of her Jewishness, growing up in a Jewish neighborhood, and attending a private school where she faced some teasing for being Jewish. She reflects on her spiritual journey and how she explored her Jewish identity through Torah study and the pursuit of acts of kindness. Pamela also talks about her experiences as a Jewish woman, the role of women in Judaism, and her artistic endeavors as a sculptor and artist. She mentions her involvement with the Wall of Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and her desire to see her artwork displayed in museums. Pamela concludes by expressing her hopes for personal growth and the pride she wishes to earn from her parents.
How to cite this page
Oral History of Pamela Goldman. Interviewed by Jayne Guberman. 30 October 2005. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on December 11, 2023) <https://jwa.org/oralhistories/goldman>.
Oral History of Pamela Goldman by the Jewish Women's Archive is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://jwa.org/contact/OralHistory.