Memoirs

Content type
Collection

Carrie Fisher

While Carrie Fisher was best known for her early film roles, she spent most of her career as a script doctor, shaping characters for others to play.

Liana Finck

Liana Finck finds new angles of approach into her life and Jewish history through her whimsical and expressive autobiographical cartoons.
Linda Cohen, with father, in Vermont

Finding Your God's Work: The Gift of Loss

by Linda Cohen

When my father died in 2006, I spent six months in a place that felt unbalanced, out of sync, and unsettled. I needed to sit with the feelings I was having and be present with the opportunity that grief had offered me.  It's baffling to me that today an entire decade has passed since my father's death. The journey and life lessons that have come from this loss, and other losses since, have forever changed me.

Topics: Memoirs

Lee M. Hendler

Beyond her work as the current chair of her family’s charitable foundation, Lee M. Hendler has continued her parents’ legacy by becoming a philanthropist and teaching her children and grandchildren the importance of service to others.
Treyf: My Life as an Unorthodox Outlaw Book Cover

A Pious Longing

by Elissa Altman

It was a compulsion, a need, a desire so thick that it coated my tongue like halvah; even now, at moments when I least expect it, it creeps up on me and demands my attention, my need for acknowledgement as the pious woman I like to believe I am.     

Topics: Memoirs

Jazz Jennings

Through her YouTube channel and reality TV show, Jazz Jennings is working to increase public understanding and acceptance of transgender teens like herself.
Elie Wiesel

Lessons from Elie Wiesel

by Dr. Sima Goel

Although I never met him in person, I felt Elie Wiesel was the voice of my own suffering and sorrow; I, too, had fled a repressive regime, leaving home and family behind. I saw in him the possibility of taking my misery and translating it into a hopeful future where humanity could work together and embrace the common good.

Topics: Holocaust, Memoirs

Naomi Levy

Both in her writing and from the pulpit, Naomi Levy has drawn upon her own experiences of weathering crisis to give others the tools to survive.

Erica Jong

In her 1973 novel Fear of Flying, Erica Jong created the term “the zipless fuck” to question whether modern women, like men, could finally have sex with no strings attached.

Elizabeth Swados

One of the youngest playwrights ever to have a play produced on Broadway, Liz Swados was unafraid of tackling heavy subjects like politics, racism, and mental illness.

Sheyna Gifford

Sheyna Gifford’s passion for both scientific exploration and writing has enabled her to work for NASA in many different capacities, from science journalist to health and safety officer on a year-long simulated mission to Mars.

Judy Batalion

An Interview with "White Walls" Author Judy Batalion

by Bella Book

A scholar, writer, and comedian, Judy Batalion has a knack for finding the humor in family. As the daughter and granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Batalion grew up in Montreal with her parents, a younger brother, and a house that was overflowing and chaotic with the results of her mother’s aggressive collecting. With insight and kindness, Batalion's book traces her messy origins, the complicated relationship between being a daughter and mother, and how to live with humor and authenticity in the world, and within our families. We were lucky enough to discuss the release of White Walls with Judy during her ongoing tour.

Naomi Levy

After suffering tragedies in her own life, Naomi Levy used her skills as a rabbi and writer to give others the tools to move on.

Betty Berzon

Two years after psychologist Betty Berzon came out as a lesbian in 1971, she won the fight to have the American Psychiatric Association declassify homosexuality as a mental illness.

Janis Ian

Folk musician Janis Ian won a Grammy in 1975 for her song “At Seventeen,” then won a second in 2013 for Society’s Child, her spoken word autobiography.

Joy Ladin

Poet and scholar Joy Ladin is the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox institution, Yeshiva University’s Stern College.

Kate Bornstein

Through performance art pieces like Kate Bornstein Is a Queer and Pleasant Danger and The Opposite Sex is Neither, Kate Bornstein questions society’s understanding of gender as a binary.

Liz Lerman

Hailed by the New York Times as “One of the most articulate and compassionate of social commentators in the arts today,” choreographer Liz Lerman has drawn inspiration from such unlikely sources as the US defense budget and a Department of Energy report on nuclear waste.

Sarah Silverman

Comedian Sarah Silverman has used her raunchy and irreverent deadpan humor as much to raise awareness about issues like women’s health as to entertain.

Chelsea Handler

When her confession in a DUI class left people rolling in the aisles, struggling actress Chelsea Handler launched a brilliant new career as a comedian.

Gloria Steinem, 2010, with "My Life On The Road" Cover, 2015

Book Review: My Life on the Road

by Tara Metal

It feels so unimaginative to write that Gloria Steinem is my hero. But, Gloria Steinem is my hero. She’s the woman I most admire, and the only consistent guest at my fantasy dinner party. Reading her new memoir, My Life on the Road, is probably the closest I’ll ever get to actually having dinner with Gloria. 

Jessica Posner Odede

Jessica Posner Odede first came to Nairobi with dreams of volunteering with a theater program, but her experiences in the slums of Kiberia drew her to co-found Shining Hope for Communities, creating a girls’ school as a hub for social services ranging from medical aid to clean power and water initiatives.

Sara Riwka B'raz Erlich

Sara Riwka B’raz Erlich’s vivid writing draws inspiration from her work as a psychiatrist, her Jewish heritage, and her experiences in South America and Israel.

Gusta Dawidson Draenger

Defiant to the end, Gusta Dawidson Draenger wrote Justina’s Diary, her account of the partisan struggles against the Nazis, on toilet paper in a Gestapo prison and inspired others to persevere when all hope seemed lost.

Frances Kroll Ring, 1916 - 2015

F. Scott Fitzgerald asked if she knew anyone in Hollywood. She didn't. He told her to open the top drawer of his dresser, where there were dozens of half empty gin bottles. She shrugged. Satisfied that Grandma wouldn't rat him out to tabloids or judge his drinking, Fitzgerald hired her that day.

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