Marriage

Content type
Collection

Cheryl Moch

Long before gay marriage became a reality, Cheryl Moch dared to dream a gay marriage fairy tale.

Idit Klein

As executive director of Keshet, a non-profit dedicated to creating a welcoming and supportive Jewish community for GLBTQ Jews, Idit Klein built the organization into a national leader in making the Jewish community more inclusive.

Anna F. Solomon

Anna worked side by side with her husband. She ran Solomonville's store and the local hotel, all while raising their six children in a refined and cultured home in the midst of the desert southwest. Anna died in San Diego, California, in her late eighties on May 4, 1933.

Rachel Calof

Rachel first landed in New York. From there, she and Abraham journeyed to join his family already living on homesteads in North Dakota. They arrived in Devil's Lake in 1894. Rachel's memoir highlights her growing regard for her husband and her own struggle in adapting to the difficult conditions in which found herself. The early years were especially difficult—no privacy, extreme financial hardship, minimum fuel and food to get through the harsh winters.

Frieda Piepsch Sondland

A designer of haute couture, Frieda Sondland used her creative skills to survive the Holocaust. Born in Berlin, Germany in 1921, she married Gunther Sondland when she was sixteen and a half years old. When she was seventeen, and pregnant with her first child, Frieda and her parents were forced to leave Germany for South America. Frieda supported herself and her daughter by working as a clothing designer in Montevideo, Uruguay. Eight years later, Gunther joined them. Frieda and Gunther moved to Seattle in 1953 to reunite with Gunther’s family who had emigrated there after the war. In Seattle, Frieda worked in the alterations department for both John Doyle Bishop, and Frederick and Nelson until she and Gunther opened their dry cleaning and alterations business in West Seattle. In 1957, their son, Gordon, was born. Since arriving in the United States, Frieda has become a beloved and active member of Seattle’s Jewish community.

Missode Israel Piha

Born in Tishmay near the Isle of Rhodes, Greece where she was raised, Missode Piha spent her childhood in a tight-knit Sephardic family of which her father was Hazzan [cantor]. In 1928, she met and married her husband, Sam, an American visiting his family in Rhodes, and leaving her family behind, moved to the United States with him. First settling in Atlanta, Georgia, they moved to Seattle in 1932 where they raised four children and Missode became a beloved volunteer and member of Seattle’s Sephardic community and Congregation Ezra Bessaroth. Missode Piha died on October 17, 2003.

Alix Kates Shulman

The idea was simply this: that a woman and man should share equally the responsibillity for their household and children in every way...

Marge Piercy

The poems in The Art of Blessing the Day were written over a 20-year period.

Rivka Haut

While these attempts did much to increase knowledge about agunah agony, this unjust situation is still widespread.

Tamara Cohen

We knew that Jewish feminism needed to be suffused through all of Jewish practice so that it would be impossible to ignore.

Audrey and Jeff Cohen

What's In a Name: Audrey Cohen

Audrey Cohen

"You're changing your name? I'm surprised."
"Why are you surprised?"
"I don't know. You just seem like the kind of person who wouldn't."

I had this conversation with my friend Ben a few months before my wedding, after I mentioned that I was planning on taking my husband's last name. Presumably, what Ben meant when he said "the kind of person who wouldn't" was educated, career-oriented, politically progressive- someone for whom getting married was a pleasant parallel track to other goals instead of an ambition in and of itself. Apparently, it's difficult to believe that a woman with a career, who strongly believes in women's equality, would take her husband's name.

As we continue to develop our series on names, please let us know if you are interested in sharing your story.

Topics: Feminism, Marriage

Love, Marriage, and Names

Jordyn Rozensky

Being based in Boston, the Red Sox are a pretty big deal. I’m not a sports fan, but I get the allegiance.  (And, I get that that the Red Sox Nation is an important part of our city’s identity—feel free to ask me about the fireworks that kept me up late last night following the Red Sox World Series win.) Which is why I found a statement I heard at a wedding last weekend particularly illuminating.

The bride, a New Yorker and Yankees fan, was marrying a Boston Red Sox fan. During the toasts her sister shared, “it is easier for someone in our family to change their last name than to change their sports team.” Marriage and the decision to change, not change, hyphenate, combine, invent, or otherwise alter one’s last name is a controversial one.

Topics: Marriage
Mimi Garcia

What's In a Name: Mimi Garcia

Mimi Garcia

Ken and I talked about our names for a long time before we got married. He always said he wanted everyone in our new family to have the same last name—particularly when we had kids. And I would say, "Okay, you are always welcome to be a Garcia." I said that as a joke, but I really meant it. 

I've worked long and hard to create Mimi Garcia. I often joke, "It's a good brand and I've worked hard to make it. I don't want to change it." 

Topics: Marriage
Hannah White

The Power to Name Myself

Hannah Pearlman

Changing my name is a choice that I can make. I can keep my name if I want, or change it, or come up with something entirely different. By deciding to take my soon-to-be-husband’s last name, I am naming a particular moment in my life, my transition from single to married. I am changing my name, not because that is what I am expected to do, but because I am signaling a unified partnership, as we are both helpers to each other. Adam isn’t naming me, like the birds and the beasts. I am claiming the power to name myself.

Topics: Marriage, Motherhood

A Jones by Any Other (Married) Name

Abigail Jones

I recently got engaged, and despite the fact that my byline is short and simple, figuring out what to do about my last name will be tricky.

Topics: Marriage
Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder's Family

Let’s Get Real About Marriage and Parenting

Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder PhD

“Being a diplomat is no career for a woman who wants to have a family,” said the consul.

“By the time you’re ready to get married he’ll be married,” said my mother.

“Don’t put off having children,” said the prominent professor.

Woman in Field with Rainbow

Tu B'Av: The Morning After

Gabrielle Orcha

I have always loved Tu B’Av, a holiday that honors the ancient tradition in which maidens, dressed in white, gather and dance in the fields and vineyards, intent on meeting their beshert, their soul mate. Per tradition, the unmarried men of the village came out in droves and watched the women dance. There is a discrepancy regarding who “chose” whom during those ancient times. Perhaps it was mutual: eyes and hearts locking in, the couple leaving together to embark on their life of male-female partnership.

Topics: Feminism, Marriage
Ketubah

Reclaiming the Ketubah as a symbol of equality and women's independence

Allyson Block

The evolution of the Ketubah in the Jewish tradition has taken an interesting turn in recent times.

Gay, Jewish New Yorkers: Mazel tov to the newlyweds!

Kate Bigam

Maybe you’ve heard: As of last Sunday, same-sex marriage became legal in the state of New York. The law, which passed in June, went into effect over the weekend.

Let’s recap some of the Jewish highlights this new law brought about, shall we? There are quite a few of them!

Domestic Abuse: “That Doesn’t Happen Here”

Kate Bigam

I confess that even at age 26, my usual reading list consists of young adult science fiction novels, usually set in the future (see: The Uglies series, The Hunger Games series, The Mortal Instruments series, and so on. Stop judging me – I want to be a YA author!) Recently, though, I challenged myself to break out of my comfort zone and read a few more adult novels, which led me to “The Murderer’s Daughters.”

"Donovan's Big Day" front Cover by Lesléa Newman

New York's Big Day

Leah Berkenwald

We were thrilled to see gay marriage pass in New York this weekend, just in time for the release of Lesléa Newman’s new book, Donovan's Big Day. Lesléa Newman is the author of the classic children's book Heather Has Two Mommies, which has helped a generation of childern see their families represented in the books they read. Her new book takes the work a step further by familiarizing the experience of watching one's parents get married.

Rabbi Kleinbaum at Gay Marriage Demontration

Reinventing Rituals: June, a month of Pride and same-sex marriages

Elyssa Cohen

June is full of irony: not only is June Pride month, but it is also the unofficial start to wedding season. So many are still fighting for equal marriage. As I write this, lawmakers in Albany are struggling to garner enough votes to make same-sex marriage legal in New York state (see resources to get involved at the end of this post).

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum stands up for gay marriage in the face of Jewish prejudice

Leah Berkenwald

Yesterday a scuffle broke out between a group of Rockland Hassidic men and Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. The incident occurred during a protest outside the New York state senate where a gay marriage bill is currently under debate.

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