JWA needs donors like you to continue sharing stories and inspiring change. $18 helps keep JWA online for one day. Support JWA by making your end of year gift today!
Close [x]

Show [+]

Barbara Cohen

In children’s books like Molly’s Pilgrim, Barbara Cohen confronted taboo subjects of assimilation, racism, and cancer with both sensitivity and remarkable honesty. Cohen graduated Barnard in 1954 and earned an MA from Rutgers in 1957. She taught high school English until 1972, when the acclaim for her first book, The Carp in the Bathtub, gave her the confidence to quit teaching and write full-time. She wrote predominantly on Jewish themes: a boy banned from bar mitzvah classes because his mother isn’t Jewish, a friendship between Israeli and Palestinian boys, and perhaps her most famous work, Molly’s Pilgrim, where a Jewish girl discovers how to connect her immigrant roots to the Thanksgiving story instead of feeling she has to erase her identity in order to belong. The movie based on the book won an Academy Award for live short subject in 1986. Cohen wrote thirty-two books and garnered awards from the National Library Association, the Association of Jewish Libraries, and the National Jewish Book Award, continuing to push boundaries until the end: two years before her death from cancer, she published The Long Way Home, about a young girl dealing with family tensions after her mother’s mastectomy.

Topics: Teachers, Fiction
0 Comments

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Children's author and educator Barbara Cohen (1932-1992).

Institution: Rita Berman Frischer.

Date of Birth
Birthplace

Asbury Park, NJ
United States

Date of Death
Occupations
Writer, Educator

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Barbara Cohen." (Viewed on December 10, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/cohen-barbara>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

Can We Talk?

listen now

Get JWA in your inbox