Discussion Questions

Mamaleh Knows Best

by Marjorie Ingall

  1. Discuss Ingall’s recipe for raising a successful child: what, according to her, are the necessary ingredients? What might you add to her list? Is there any part of her recipe that you might follow?
  2. Ingall states “Jewish-style child rearing is good not only for kids but also for parents.” What do you think she means by this? Would it work for you?
  3. Ingall dismisses the stereotype of the Jewish mother as a construct of Jewish men (and male comedians) at a particular point in American history, which has run its course. Do you agree that the stereotype is no longer culturally relevant? Why or why not?
  4. In Chapter 4, Ingall advises parents to encourage their kids to debate and argue. Why does she think this is important? Do you agree?
  5. Ingall tells the anecdote of a Nobel laureate who was asked as a child “did you ask a good question today?” Why is asking questions more important than answering them? Would everyone agree with this advice to children? Why are questions important within the Jewish tradition specifically?
  6. What is your takeaway from Mameleh Knows Best? Did you learn something new? How might you parent differently after reading the book?
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Discussion Questions ." (Viewed on July 20, 2019) <https://jwa.org/programs/bookclub/discussionquestions/mamaleh-knows-best>.

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