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Mothers

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." 

Mad Men TV Club: Last Minute Reflections

I’m late to the party of commentary on last week’s episode, The Milk and Honey Route, and anyway, all thoughts are running to this evening’s looming end. So I offer some general reflections instead. 

The Dream That Was Meant To Be

Looking down at my beautiful daughter in my arms, I sometimes wonder what on earth took me so long. Bringing her into our lives was a long journey that did not begin with agency and governmental red tape, but with a dream I was afraid to let die. The decision to end our efforts with infertility treatments, though they that were slowly killing my husband and me, was incredibly difficult.

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.

Roseanne

Roseanne Barr shattered stereotypes of femininity and motherhood with her raunchy, iconoclastic comedy.

Parting Gifts

“I can’t die before July 28th,” my mother said as soon as her doctor strolled into her room at Long Island Jewish Hospital. “I have theatre tickets.” Then, exhausted from the effort of uttering those two short sentences, she lay back on the pillow and shut her eyes.

Dr. Nadroo put a calming hand on my mother’s arm and looked at me, her large liquidy eyes filled with concern. Had the cancer that had begun in my mother’s bladder and migrated to her liver and kidneys finally reached the outpost of her brain?

Edith Altschul Lehman

Both with her husband and in her own right, Edith Altschul Lehman funded endeavors from building schools in Israel to creating a children’s zoo in Central Park.

Miriam Belsky Solotaroff

Miriam Belsky Solotaroff made headlines in 1937 when she “rocked the school board” of New York for insisting on maternity leave to care for an adopted baby, a privilege only granted to biological mothers at the time.

Shirley Kaufman

Shirley Kaufman used her Jewish heritage to create evocative poetry, exploring biblical matriarchs, her own mother’s immigrant past, and the tensions of daily life in modern Israel.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Mothers." (Viewed on June 24, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/mothers>.

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