Family

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Collection
Leora Krygier and her grandmother Rachel Halperin, 1970

"Put a Lid on It": My Grandma’s Feminist Formula

Leora Krygier

My grandma's advice has stuck with me: "Be the pokreshke," the pot lid.

Topics: Family

Joan Nathan

Award-winning journalist and cookbook author Joan Nathan is a transformative figure in documenting and exploring the evolving Jewish experience both in America and around the globe through the powerful lens of food. A long-standing contributing writer to The New York Times and Tablet Magazine, Nathan is the author of eleven books, as well as hundreds of articles, podcasts, interviews, and public presentations about Jewish, global, and American foodways. 

Sephardi Women in the Dutch Republic

In the early modern period, Dutch Sephardim formed a community famous for its wealth, grandeur, and benevolence.

The article highlights the social, economic and religious position of Sephardi women in the Dutch Republic, arriving as immigrants from persecutions by the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions and their offspring, settled in generations afterwards. Their adjustment to normative Judaism is being discussed as well as their professional education and their contributions to Sephardi and Dutch society.     

Six year old in pink dress seated next to elderly man dressed in a suit, sitting in pews at a synagogue

My Grandfather: Guide in My Jewish Feminist Journey

Simone Feinblum

It may seem strange to credit my 87-year-old grandfather for the development of my Jewish and feminist identities, but he helped me gain the confidence to speak my mind and advocate for myself.

Emma Mordecai

Emma Mordecai (1812-1906) navigated direct challenges to her Jewish faith and to her southern ideals by remaining loyal to both. She responded to the Civil War, which stirred antisemitism in the South and especially threatened Richmonders, with renewed commitments to Judaism and to the ideals of the Old South.

Episode 54: Mamalas: Building Jewish Families (Transcript)

Episode 54: Mamalas: Building Jewish Families (Transcript)

Nan Goldin

Starting in the 1970s, Nan Goldin used her camera to document her own life and that of her friends, her alternative family. Her pictures revealed intimacy and violence, love and abuse, sexuality and addiction, in the downtown punk scene of New York in the 1980s, a world subsequently devastated by AIDS. She adopted a slide show format to be a mirror to her friends, and ended up mirroring their lives to the outside world.

Episode 54: Mamalas: Building Jewish Families

The election of Kamala Harris to the Vice Presidency has sparked excitement in the Jewish community. Not only will she be the first woman and person of color to serve in the role, but she also has Jewish family. Kamala and the Harris/Emhoff family highlight an important demographic reality in the American Jewish community: the majority of Jewish families in America today include women who don’t identify as Jewish. In this episode of Can We Talk?, we’ll hear the stories of three women who, like Kamala, are not themselves Jewish, but play essential roles in creating Jewish households and raising Jewish children.

Photo of Dr. Martens Boots

In Their Footsteps: Stomping in the Boots of My Feminist Foremothers

Goldi Lieberperson

My Doc Martens are so much more than just shoes.

Topics: Feminism, Family
Illustration of DIfferent Hairstyles

My Relationship with My Mom and My Hair: How They Both Have Grown

Shoshanna Hemley

When I think back on mornings spent sitting on a stool in the kitchen before school, pouting as my mother detangled my thick hair, I’m glad she wrestled those knots for me. 

Topics: Activism, Family
Photo of Rising Voices Fellow Maddy Pollack's Grandmother Linda Pollack

Stories from My Bubbe

Maddy Pollack

Every time she speaks, it’s as if my grandmother, my bubbe, is delivering an address.

Topics: Family, Religion
"Lady Lilith" by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1866.

My Many Moms Are My Matriarchs

Sasha Azizi Rosenfeld

Matriarchal leadership is often portrayed negatively, like in the story of Lilith. My moms have proven to me that we need more of it.

Rising Voices Fellow Lilah Peck with her sister Adina

"Lech Lecha": My Sister’s Journey from Charlotte to Jerusalem

Lilah Peck

My sister went to seminary in Jerusalem after graduating high school, both geographically and symbolically far from her Charlotte roots.

Family members gathered around baby sitting in a chair

My Aunt Tiki and My Disability Rights Activism

Dahlia Soussan

My Aunt Tiki inspires my disability rights activism; yet sometimes, I fail to speak up.

Topics: Activism, Family

Inés of Herrera

Inés of Herrera was a twelve-year-old prophetess whose message of salvation appealed to the conversos of Castile at the end of the fifteenth century. The Inquisition was anxious to quickly deal with this threat, trying many girls and women as heretics as of 1500; their confessions reveal details about this movement.

Episode 41: Coming of Age with Judy Blume

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Judy Blume's classic teen novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, a story that normalizes the experiences of teenage girls: what it’s like to have your first period, your first bra, your first kiss… what it’s like to feel uncomfortable in your own body and confused about who you are. Margaret, who comes from an interfaith home, with one Jewish parent, goes through these teen rites of passage and also grapples with her religious identity. Judith Rosenbaum and Nahanni Rous recently re-read the book with their own pre-teen daughters, Ma'ayan and Shalvah.

Stuffed Grape Leaves

On Rolling Grape Leaves

Maddie Solomon

Traditions live on in places and foods, which have the unique ability to root people in their heritage.

Topics: Family, Food
Oil painting depicting the Brooklyn Bridge

On Survival: My Grandma and I Are Both High-Risk

Julia Métraux

My grandma has thrived despite the odds. I’m afraid she won’t survive this.

Topics: Family, Writing
Detective stock photo

A JWA Scavenger Hunt

Dina Adelsky

Participate in JWA's virtual scavenger hunt, and explore the stories of Jewish women from history.

Topics: Education, Family
Rebecca Lubetkin Holding Grandchild Ilana Drake

My Grandma's Fight for Equitable Education

Ilana Drake

My grandmother, Rebecca Lubetkin, has genuinely transformed society, giving young people opportunities that have revolutionized education and, as a result, the workplace.

Photograph of Persian Jewish man, sepia tone.

Airport Insecurity

Sasha Azizi Rosenfeld

Everything about me screamed American Ashkenazi Jew except the middle name on my passport.

Topics: Family, Israel
Ilana Drake standing in a passageway on the Bell Tower of St. Paul's Church, Munich cityscape below.

Raising My Hand High

Ilana Drake

The teacher told us to raise our hands if we were Jewish. I didn’t know what to do.

Mezuzah mounted on wooden door frame. Scroll visible, in a test tube-like vial corked on light blue wood decorated with pomegranates and Star of Davids.

My Matriarchal Mezuzah

Eleanor Harris

Inhaling the sweet scents of Nachalat Binyamin in Tel Aviv, I searched for the perfect new mezuzah. 

Topics: Family, Israel, Ritual
Grandmother coloring on paper with her grandchildren. They sit on and around a red couch.

My Time on the Line

Neima Fax

ENFP. Extraversion, intuition, feeling, perception. Four words that, according to the Myers-Briggs personality test, define me as a person.

Rachel Schinderman and her mother

Feed Your Child

Rachel Zients Schinderman

Not having a bar mitzvah for my son felt like the kind thing to do. It felt Jewish.

Topics: Family, Jewish Law

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