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Mothers

Not Your Average Grandma

Many people view grandmothers as sweet, docile old ladies, whose sole purposes are to bake cookies and knit sweaters for their grandchildren. While it’s true that my Grandma Brenda does greatly enjoy spoiling and feeding her grandchildren, there’s so much more to her story.

The Power of Resilience

Change: the act or instance of making or becoming different. Change can be wonderful. Change can be terrifying. Change can be exciting, but change is never easy. Whether we want it to happen or not, change doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye. It takes time and effort. I learned this lesson when I decided to start a new position for my temple’s USY (United Synagogue Youth) board. 

An Interview with "White Walls" Author Judy Batalion

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.

Judy Gold

Standup comedian Judy Gold won two Daytime Emmys for her work writing and producing the Rosie O’Donnell Show in 1998 and 1999.

Feiga's Choice: Tracing One Family's History of Resilience from South Africa to Ukraine

Tess Peacock comes from a long line of strong Jewish women. As a South African human rights attorney, she believes passionately in equality and dignity for all. It’s a value she learned from her mother, Judy Favish—a former anti-apartheid activist now on staff at the University of Cape Town where she works to ensure equal access to education for all.  Judy’s mother was a pioneering doctor working in the townships. Her father Mannie was an attorney known for his integrity, compassion, and pursuit of fairness. But it was his mother—Feiga Shamis—to whom Judy and Tess feel they owe their strength, resilience, and commitment to human rights.

Jeanne Manford

In 1973 Jeanne Manford’s fierce love for her gay son in the face of national condemnation of homosexuality led her to create a support network for other families, Parents of Gays, later known as PFLAG.

Now That I'm a Mommy, Can I Keep My Women Friends?

I didn't anticipate losing friends when I became a mom. Perhaps I was naive, perhaps I was too focused on achieving a dream. Years of infertility treatments followed by years waiting for our adopted daughter took their toll. Being around young families then was painful, so I built close relationships with women who had chosen not to have children. Some had fertility issues, some not. All felt judged by society for not "achieving motherhood." 

Frances Hart Sheftall

When her husband and son were captured by the British, Frances Hart Sheftall managed to earn money and raise her family alone through bouts of yellow fever, a smallpox epidemic, and the upheaval of the Revolutionary War.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Mothers." (Viewed on January 20, 2019) <https://jwa.org/topics/mothers>.

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