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Zoe Benjamin

Zoe Benjamin was a twentieth-century Australian teacher who pioneered liberal ideas in early child education, child rearing, and child psychology. She wrote and lectured, both in person and over the radio, in depth on these topics. Her work gained such distinction that she was known overseas in England as well as Australia.

Bonus Episode: Granfran in the Uber

While we’re hard at work on our fall season, which launches Sept 12, enjoy this bonus episode from Joia Putnoi. Joia recorded this conversation with her grandmother Fran Putnoi, or “Granfran,” for a college class. It's about passing recipes and stories from one generation of Jewish women to the next. We think you’ll love it.

Line drawing of woman holding up a baby on blue and white background

Confronting the Jewish Mother Stereotype

Clara Sorkin

Is my over-reliance on my mother and her eagerness to support me subconsciously preserving the stereotype that has continually shaped our community in a negative light?

Topics: Motherhood, Children
Avatar the Last Airbender logo over purple background with Jewish stars

The Surprising Jewishness of Avatar the Last Airbender

Sam Mezrich

ATLA's Air Nomads are based on Tibetan Buddhism, according to the show’s creators. Yet I also feel that there are also a lot of similarities between the Air Nomads and the Jewish people.

 

Topics: Television, Children

Renee Brant

Project
Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Renee Brant on July 18, 2001, in Newtown Highlands, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Brant discusses her upbringing, activism, and career in addressing sexual abuse, emphasizing personal growth, and promoting mental health services in medicine.

Judith Wolf

Project
Women Who Dared

Julie Johnson interviewed Judith Wolf on February 23, 2005, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Wolf reflects on her Jewish upbringing, volunteer work, religious schooling, and efforts to establish educational resources for disabled children in Ukraine, emphasizing the role of women and Jewish values in her life.

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret film still: girl with hands clasped in prayer,

A Coming-Of-Age Story for Every Generation

Sarah Jae Leiber

The film, like the book on which it’s based, acknowledges that sixth-grade feelings are among the realest we ever feel.

Topics: Film, Fiction, Children

Episode 90: Reproductive Rights After Roe

When the Supreme Court issued the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v Wade, it eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion. As of April 2023, it is now essentially illegal to have an abortion in 15 states. That means limited to no access to terminating a pregnancy. But many people don't realize these bans also affect people who want to get pregnant. Jessica Kalb, Lisa Sobel, and Sarah Baron are among those people. They're suing their home state of Kentucky for its abortion ban, claiming it violates their right to grow their families and their religious freedom as Jews. In this episode of Can We Talk?, we bring you a story about the far-reaching consequences of the Dobbs decision, and three Jewish women who are fighting back. 

Ruth Finkelstein

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Marcie Cohen Ferris interviewed Dr. Ruth Finkelstein on August 30, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words project. Dr. Finkelstein reflects on her upbringing in New York City, her journey as a female medical student, her experiences as an obstetrician, balancing career and family life, and her engagement in the Jewish community and organizations like Planned Parenthood.

Peggy Charren

Project
Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Peggy Charren on July 23, 2001, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Charren talks about her family background, her advocacy for children's television programming through Action for Children's Television (ACT), her passion for literature, her marriage, and her reflections on her life and activism, including receiving prestigious honors.

Collage of character from Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse on gold background

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse Taught Me the Importance of Teshuvah

Clara Sorkin

When I thought about where I learned how to make amends, I realized it wasn't just from Hebrew school or from my family. It was, instead, one of my most-read books from childhood: Kevin Henkes’ Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.

Edith Furstenberg

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Marcie Cohen Ferris interviewed Edith Furstenberg on March 16, 2001, in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Furstenberg, born in Baltimore in 1910, shares her family history, educational experiences, a career in social work, marriage, and reflections on national political movements, including the Civil Rights Movement.

Florence Schornstein

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Florence Schornstein on July 31, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, for the Katrina’s Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Schornstein, a longtime political and Jewish community activist in New Orleans, discusses her involvement in politics, her experiences during Hurricane Katrina, her role in rebuilding the city, and her frustration with national services for their lack of support post-Katrina.

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. 

Meta R. Kaplan Buttnick

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Pamela Lavitt Brown interviewed Meta R. Buttnick on May 31, June 20, and July 17, 2001, in Seattle, Washington, as part of the Weaving Women’s Words Oral History Project. Meta, born in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1913, discusses her upbringing, education, marriage, and lifelong commitment to preserving Jewish history in Seattle through oral histories and archival projects.

Rebecca Benaroya

Project
Weaving Women's Words

Roz Bornstein interviewed Rebecca Benaroya on July 17, 2001, in Seattle, Washington, as part of the Weaving Women’s History Oral History Project. Benaroya reminisces on her upbringing in Seattle as the daughter of Turkish immigrants, her family's Jewish traditions, her marriage, parenting, and community involvement.

Carol Wise

Project
Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Carol Wise on July 8, 2007, in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of Katrina’s Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Wise discusses her involvement in the New Orleans Jewish community, particularly her experiences during Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent rebuilding efforts, emphasizing the importance of including women and addressing racial tensions.

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, was 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.

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