Children

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Collection

Episode 85: Teens and Mental Health in the (Post)Pandemic

Teens were already struggling before COVID. When the pandemic hit, things just got worse. In this episode of Can We Talk?, we speak with Vanessa Kroll Bennett, co-host of The Puberty Podcast, parenting writer, and mother of four, about teens and mental health—before, during, and after the pandemic—gender differences, and what caregivers and Jewish communities can do to help. We also hear directly from teens about how the pandemic affected them and how they're doing now. 

Episode 80: Toxic Hookup Culture in Jewish Youth Groups and Summer Camps

Jewish summer camps and youth movements are a time-honored tradition—tens of thousands of Jewish teens participate. But a group of young Jews is calling out what they say is a “toxic hookup culture” in many of these institutions. In this episode of Can We Talk?, Jen Richler talks with Dahlia Soussan, Ellanora Lerner and Madeline Canfield, three of the founders of Jewish Teens for Empowered Consent, about how they hope to change the culture. Please note, there are sexual references in this episode.

Jewish Women and Intermarriage in the United States

Marriages between Jews and people of other faiths have long fascinated scholars, clergy, and communal leaders, who often considered the choice of a Jewish spouse as an indication of the strength of ethnoreligious identity and commitment to perpetuating Judaism and the Jewish people. However, many Jewish women who intermarry in the United States continue to identify Jewishly, engage in the Jewish community, and raise Jewish children.

This entry uses gender as category of analysis and change over time to illuminate the experience and meaning of interfaith marriage for Jewish women in America. It describes how women navigated their ethnoreligious identities when they married Gentile men, the influences of feminism, the rise of ethnic consciousness, and parenthood.

Jennifer Sartori holding her baby baby daughter

For Jewish Adoptive Mothers Like Me, Mother’s Day is Anything But Simple

Jennifer Sartori

The “Hallmark holiday” stopped being torturous after I adopted my daughter. But it will always be complicated.

Baroness Germaine de Rothschild

A member of one of France’s most privileged Jewish families, Germaine de Rothschild (née Halphen) was a noted philanthropist, accomplished musician, author of two books, and mother of four. Most significantly, she orchestrated France’s Kindertransport efforts, helping provide refuge to between 350 and 450 Jewish children.

Therese Shechter stands in front of a bunch of strollers in My So-Called Selfish Life

Childfree, with No Regrets and No Apologies

Dr. Helene Meyers

Full of insights from experts and the joyously childfree, this film expands our understanding of reproductive justice.

Rachel Kest with her two children

Kids Are Struggling. As Parents of Kids with Disabilities Already Know, Schools Can Help.

Rachel Kest

For tips on how to help kids thrive, look no further than parents of kids with disabilities—and Maimonides.

Sarah Rodrigues Brandon

Sarah Rodrigues Brandon (1798-1828) was born poor, enslaved, and Christian on the island of Barbados. By the time of her death thirty years later she was one of the wealthiest Jews in New York and her family were leaders in Congregation Shearith Israel. This entry explains Sarah’s life journey and highlights how her story relates to that of other women of mixed African and Jewish ancestry in early America.

Louise Glück

Louise Glück, American poet, essayist, and educator, is the recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature, as well as numerous other awards for her writing; she also served as poet laureate of the United States from 2003 to 2004. One finds the personal, the mythological, and the Biblical woven intricately throughout Glück’s oeuvre.

Valentina Vaysfeld at an October Revolution celebration, 1937

How a Trip to Ukraine Helped Me Decide to Have Children

Zhanna Slor

A trip to Ukraine helped this writer decide to have children.

Rising Voices Fellow Lila Zinner in Fifth Grade

American Education: Classrooms, Competition, and Corruption

Lila Zinner

This education system, this one-sided method of teaching, this constant competition, is not working.

Topics: Schools, Children
Ruby Russell in First Grade

Who Gets To Choose

Ruby Russell

In 2007, with long chestnut pigtails sprouting from the sides of my head, I attended my first day of kindergarten at a public school just outside of Boston. I was enrolled in what was called the Choice Program, an institution that four years later would implode with scandal.

Topics: Schools, Children
Lila Zinner in Fifth and Eleventh Grade

Reclaiming “Bossy”: How Sexism Shaped Who I Am

Lila Zinner

As a child, I was loud and outspoken. I prided myself on my intelligence and eagerness to learn; I truly had killer confidence. I told people I was going to be “the dictator of the world” when I grew up. But as time went on, it became increasingly apparent that the education system didn’t have room for a personality like mine. Well, at least when that personality belonged to a girl.

Julie Rezmovic-Tonti, with Jessica Kirzane

Julie Rezmovic-Tonti teaches middle school Jewish history and serves as Outreach Coordinator at Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax, Virginia. She has a BA in Women's Studies from the University of Maryland and an MA in Jewish Studies from Siegal College. She also studied at Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo and the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.  She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with her husband, three children, typewriter, pottery wheel, and garden.

Images of TV Jewish Moms (2018)

The (Jewish) Madonna Complex

Savoy Curry

The Jewish mother loves her children more than anything else, and in this, she wants a better, easier life for her children than she had. Whether that is as origin to our Jewishness, or as learned behavior in the face of bias and antisemitism, it imprints on our mother role and repeats across generations.

Topics: Children, Motherhood
Fixer Upper Logo

Does Fixer Upper Need Fixing Up?

Sofia Gardenswartz

HGTV’s Fixer Upper is my guilty pleasure. I could watch the iconic married duo Chip and Joanna “Jo” Gaines renovate houses for hours. They take run-down homes in Waco, Texas, and turn them into something straight off of Pinterest or Etsy. But while the show is certainly entertaining, I take issue with some of the more subliminal messages the show portrays.

Topics: Television, Children
Zootopia Poster

A Feminist Tail Fur All

Daniella Shear

As the oldest of three children, I often see movies directed towards a younger age demographic with my family. For my sister’s ninth birthday party, we took her and a couple of friends to see Zootopia. I walked away from the movie feeling excited, and proud of Disney for their newest movie.

Topics: Children, Film
Rising Voices Fellow Emma Mair at her Bat Mitzvah

The First Hero

Emma Mair

Robert Lappin, Jewish philanthropist and the man who’s foundation sent me to Israel this past summer, has said that interfaith families who choose to raise their kids Jewish are the heroes of Judaism. With Jews making up only .2% of the global population, Judaism is both the oldest and the smallest monotheistic religion, meaning that families who tackle raising their children Jewish in this Christian-normative society are much needed. 

Topics: Children, Bible
Rising Voices Fellow Daniella Shear in Fourth Grade

An Open Letter to Phyllis Lambert

Daniella Shear

I have wanted to be an architect for as long as I can remember. What started as pretending that my doll and I were real estate agents and playing with Legos and other types of blocks (I had them all), turned into a dream for my future. I don’t know when I started saying that I wanted to be an architect; what I do know is that I’m still saying it today. 

Image of Carole King, 2008

Tribute to a Natural Woman

Dorrit Corwin

Carole King has been a constant source of inspiration and fascination to me since I first listened to “You’ve Got a Friend” in second grade and was entranced by the live performance of Beautiful in Los Angeles. As a young Jewish girl hoping to one day pursue music journalism, I have learned many lessons from King as both an artist and as a strong, independent female.

Topics: Children, Music, Memoirs

Vivian Maier

Although Vivian Maier’s exceptional photographs came to light only after her death, she is now celebrated as a visionary self-taught street photographer.

Marjorie Fisher

Marjorie Switow Fisher found inventive ways to improve children’s lives, from funding mobile dental clinics to using summer jobs as an opportunity for career training. Fisher majored in art at Marjorie Webster Junior College and graduated at the top of her class.
Henrietta Szold and her Parents, Lake Placid, 1897

Shout out to Feminist Fathers!

Bella Book

I like to think that some men are born feminists, some become feminists, and some have feminism thrust upon them when they become the fathers of daughters. While in an ideal world, men would support women regardless of women's relationship to them, alas, sometimes it takes having a daughter before men realize just how unbalanced, and unequal, the world can be when sexism enters the mix. Some fathers (the best fathers in my opinion) decide to change the world in order to correct this inequality. They educate their daughters, create new traditions, teach them how to use power tools, and never tell them they should expect less from the world simply because they are women.

Topics: Children
Rising Voices Fellow Sarah Biskowitz with Grandmother Helene

A Girl Grows Up in Brooklyn

Sarah Biskowitz

“It was the magic age of growing up in Brooklyn,” my grandmother Helene told me as she recounted her idyllic 1940s and 1950s childhood. “A lot of people came out of Brooklyn, and it was a great place to grow up…Bernie Sanders was in my class...Ruth Bader Ginsburg graduated a year ahead of my brother…” 

Justina Machado

A Tale of Two Quinces: How One Day at a Time Blends Tradition and Modernity

Katy Ronkin

One Day at a Time is about a Latino family…Oh wait, you thought I was talking about that show from the seventies about a single mother raising her daughter? Well I am. Sort of. The Netflix reboot of One Day at a Time (ODAAT) tells the story of Penelope Alvarez, an army vet, current nurse, and single mother who shares the screen with her two children and her mother. 

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