This online collection contains reminiscences of a variety of recently deceased American Jewish women who made a difference in their community and beyond.
It seemed a fairy tale life with echoes of Isaac Bashevis Singer; fame, fortune, three children she adored, but etched with the tragedy of Bogart’s early death and a divorce from her second husband, Jason Robards.
While always ready to challenge Jewish convention when necessary, she also honored those traditions that didn’t need changing. Indeed, numerous friends across Adina’s wide community bake challah because Adina taught them—a tradition she learned from her own mother, Toby.
Annette made a huge difference in people’s awareness and understanding of the importance of truth and the civil right of access to one’s birth certificates and to information about one’s self.
Pat firmly believed that each action she took -- in the public realm and the private realm -- affected the universe ... Pat was full of love. Not a gushy love, but a solid, matter-of-fact, and deeply felt love.
With her daring, her chutzpah, her athleticism, her many male lovers and her even greater number of enduring female friendships, she exemplified the complexities of a feminist form of freedom.
She belonged to a generation of Yiddish cultural figures who have no concept of the notion of retirement. Mina worked until the end - for herself, for her audiences, for her art, for the world of Yiddish.
It wasn't so much what the lady did – although she did much in her 96 years. It is what she meant to Wilmington [NC].
Through word and example, Adrienne taught countless women how to survive and thrive in male-dominated university settings. She firmly believed in the possibility of changing the world—or at least a piece of it.
Given the Indian name of Neeladevi by her guru in the late l960s, she became Swami Neeladevananda at her investiture in Orleans, France in 2005. Neeladevi or Neeladevananda, Ruby Blue always remained a Jew and lit sabbath candles every Friday night.
Before anyone ever dreamed of feminism or women's liberation, Sara embodied for her campers the absolute model of female strength, purpose and achievement ... [she] had the uncanny ability to really know people and to uncover that uniqueness within each one that made her or him feel special. The only demand Sara Blum ever made in return was that you pushed yourself to be the best you could be.
There are the doers in this world and there are the passive people who live vicariously through the doers. Thinking and learning is doing, because it makes you active and aware of your life
When Fay had an idea that something needed doing, she didn't complain. She jumped in and did it. She energized people. She didn't plan to do things big, she just planned to do things better, and they grew.
It had all the elements of a Barbara Brenner project: edgy humor, indignation, broad appeal, and an educational component that emphasized how profiteering was taking hold of the breast cancer advocacy movement.
Whether it was women's rights, political candidates, health care reform, cutting edge or seemingly impossible causes, she championed them and pretty soon, so did everyone else.
Ruth Brin was an essential part of the fabric of Minnesota's Jewish community, teaching classes on immigrant literature, American Jewish writers and Judaism at the University of Minnesota and Macalester, shaping the Jewish arts scene with contributions of time, energy and critical funding, writing book reviews . . . up until her death, and raising distinguished and engaged children. . .
I know how many thousands of lives Esther has touched and how many Jewish women walk taller for having followed in her groundbreaking footsteps.
A clipping in her memoirs sums up her philosophy: 'Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body … but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a ride!"'
Whatever the particular project – this woman pushed on. Whether it was the Guide Dogs for the Blind, the children of Jerusalem who would benefit from this park or that zoo, and most recently, the passion for exposing Israeli excellence in the decorative arts to international audiences. Her zeal for young people – Birthright groups, Reboot young adults, children in enrichment programs in Israeli schools whether in Beit Shemesh or Sakhnin, was overwhelming.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "We Remember." (Viewed on February 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/weremember/toc/B>.