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Children

Sheryl Baron Nestel

Sheryl Baron Nestel’s activism in the childbirth reform movement led to her investigation of how race and racism affect healthcare.

Freedom Stories

The first books I ever fell in love with were the American Girl books. The American Girl Company as a whole was a big part of my childhood, and its influence is still with me today: if it weren’t for it and Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” I don’t know if I would have passed US History last year. Educational value aside, the books have held up as fantastic examples of children’s literature, with their beautiful illustrations, interesting historical notes in the margins, diverse characters (including their cast of thirteen young female protagonists), and, most importantly to me, simple but solid stories.

Sue Wolf-Fordham

Sue Wolf-Fordham’s experience as the parent of a special-needs child drove her to create resources for families of disabled children around the world.

Judy Wolf

Judy Wolf helped create a resource center for children with disabilities in the city of Dnepropetrovsk that not only transformed the lives of families there but became a model for special education throughout the Ukraine.

Peggy Charren

As founder of Action for Children’s Television, Peggy Charren balanced the need for quality children’s programming with a commitment to free speech for broadcasters.

Renee Brant

As a founding member of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, Renee Brant became a voice for those who could not speak for themselves.

Fanny Jaffe Sharlip

Fanny Sharlip was born in the small town of Borosna, Russia. In her memoirs written in 1947, she characterizes herself as a child "always hungry for knowledge. I asked too many questions. I was told over and over again that it was not healthy to know too much. I could not be harnessed by telling me that children don't have to know. That only made me more curious." Fanny loved school and was an excellent student. "I was very happy as only a child my age could be; I lived and breathed school.

A Tradition of Taking Risks

In traditional society, men are seen as the risk takers, while women are supposed to be docile homemakers. When women step up to the plate, it stands out. To me, the women who bravely put aside their fears and take matters into their own hands are the ones who make the difference and are role models for all people.

In the Torah, there is a story of two women, Shifra and Puah, and the risks they took to save the lives of some children in Egypt. These midwives worked for the Israelites and took orders from Pharaoh, who knew the two of them and specifically told them to kill any male children born to Hebrew mothers, but they chose to not listen to him. It’s not clear if these two women were part of the Jewish people or if they were Egyptians. Still, their story takes place for a reason, not just to explain how Moses survived, but also to bring a lesson to future Jews about courage and the impact of the risks they take.

Natalie Goldstein Heineman, a friend of children, is born

March 16, 1913

Natalie Goldstein Heineman was a voice for children at every level of government.

Dr. Ruth Finkelstein

A beloved doctor for generations of Baltimore women, Dr. Ruth Finkelstein promoted women's health and reproductive rights over a career that spanned half a century.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Children." (Viewed on December 13, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/children>.

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