Children

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Argentina: Philanthropic Organizations

The networks of Jewish philanthropic groups, both in the capital and in the interior provinces, supported a wide range of charitable institutions to help keep families together.

Naomi Amir

“I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent,” read the badge on a big teddy bear physician Naomi Amir gave her young disabled patients to cuddle. The sentiment reflected her medical philosophy, which made her a pioneer in pediatric neurology.

Sue Alexander

At an early age Sue Alexander learned to attract other children’s interest and approval by telling stories. Her passion for storytelling and her understanding of the emotional ups and downs of childhood led her to write twenty-six books for children, notable for their appeal and variety. Alexander is also important for her pivotal role in the growth of an extraordinary international organization, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Helen Goldmark Adler

Helen Adler helped her husband establish the first model tenements at Cherry Street as well as the first free kindergarten in America, called the Working Man’s School, and later the Ethical Culture School at Fieldston. She took an active part in the visiting nurses’ service for the poor at the DeMilt Dispensary, the oldest clinic in the city, which Felix had initiated in 1877. With the assistance of a Dr. Koplik, she helped cut the infant death rate by having milk bottled safely at the Laboratory Department for Modified Milk for Tenement Babies, which Koplik and Adler founded in 1891.

BFFs...Forever

by  Andrea Medina-Smith

As the digital archivist here at the Jewish Women’s Archive, my duties include cataloging our multitudes of oral histories that have been recorded over the past 13 years. Each woman featured in our collection of oral histories has a story to tell; some stories are astounding, others capture the essence of a generation, but mostly they are beautiful and touching stories that resonate.

Topics: Children

Mars, Venus, and the Jews

by  Judith Rosenbaum

I just came across a fascinating series in Slate, challenging the science of sex differences. (It happens to be written and edited by two brilliant Jewesses - Amanda Schaffer and Emily Bazelon - whom I am privileged to know.) Schaffer and Bazelon take on what they call the new "sex difference evangelists" and offer powerful, data-driven rebuttals to their arguments on sex differences in the brain.

Babies, Babies, Babies

by  Lily Rabinoff-Goldman
Maybe like me, some of you tried to escape last summer’s heat in the movie theater, where you were privileged to see (about 20,000 times) the music video “I Wanna Have Your babies” by Natasha Bedingfield. You know, the one with the really smart chorus that goes “babies, babies, babies, babies, etc.” I had all but forgotten about that song until recently, when the theme of so much Jewish buzz in the press and on the internet seems to share the offspring theme.
"Free To Be You And Me" Album Cover by Marlo Thomas

Free to be...

by  Judith Rosenbaum

Today I'm celebrating the 35th birthday of one of my favorite childhood albums, "Free to Be You and Me." I've always loved this collection of songs and stories that envision a non-sexist world. As a young adult, I was proud to learn that Jewish feminist Letty Cottin Pogrebin was the editorial consultant for the album, book, and tv special (and the author of "Stories for Free Children" which I also loved). Lately I've had the happy opportunity to appreciate "Free to Be You and Me" a second time around, now as a mom. It's fun to hear the voices of Marlo Thomas, Diana Ross, Harry Belafonte, Alan Alda, and Mel Brooks - it's like visiting with old friends.

Topics: Feminism, Children, Music

What's in a Name?

by  Jordan Namerow

An article in last week’s New York Times Magazine about unisex or “gender-fluid” names caught my interest. I’ve always liked names (and playing with their spellings), and I happen to have one of those gender-fluid names myself.

Topics: Children

Goodbye, Barbie. Hello, Bratz.

by  Jordan Namerow

If the doll industry is any measure of today’s commodified standard of beauty, assimilation is out and multi-ethnic is in. Forty-eight years have passed since Barbie came to represent the ultimate American fantasy: a leggy, blonde-haired, teeny-waisted preeminence of elegance, with a flamingo pink sports car and Ken by her side. Despite Mattel’s attempts to recreate and diversify Barbie’s identity to reflect social trends and more eclectic “girl” activities, Barbie has had trouble keeping up with the times, even if she does wear a tallit.

The "bris-less" bris

by  Judith Rosenbaum

An article in this week's Forward describes the growing opposition to circumcision among American Jews, and the development of “bris-less” bris rituals. Although circumcision is generally considered a pretty elemental aspect of Jewish practice and identity for males, this story certainly wasn’t surprising to me. I’ve had many debates with Jewish friends about this issue, and struggled with the decision of whether to circumcise my son (we did, and I cried through the whole thing).

Topics: Children, Ritual

Blogging for domestic workers

by  Judith Rosenbaum

According to salty femme, today is Blog for Domestic Workers day, timed to support JFREJ’s Shalom Bayit: Justice for Domestic Workers campaign and Domestic Workers United, who are trying to institute a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in New York State. This legislation would guarantee basic labor rights to domestic workers, who are excluded from most federal and state labor laws.

Parenting Like the Talmud Told You?

by  Jordan Namerow

Last week’s New York Times article “So the Torah Is a Parenting Guide?” discusses the prolific use of the book The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children written by a Los Angeles clinical psychologist named Wendy Mogel.

Gowns for My Daughter

by  Michelle Cove

My daughter Risa is turning two next week. When my mother, a Jewish feminist who went to law school at age 40, asked me to accompany her to a toy store to pick a gift, I agreed. She asked me what Risa enjoyed most these days, and I admitted “dress-up.”

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