This online collection contains reminiscences of a variety of recently deceased American Jewish women who made a difference in their community and beyond.
... She was a rarity, a seemingly unstoppable spirit. Even as she was failing, she was working, unwilling to let go of the mission that had given meaning to her life, a mission shared by many but especially by me; to help bring about a change for the better in this often dismal world.
The obituary for Rosetta Reitz in the New York Times portrayed her as a champion of black jazz artists, while the one in the Villager featured the feminist Rosetta who wrote the ground-breaking book on menopause. For me, Rosetta Reitz under her maiden name of Toshka Goldman will always be memorable as the founder of the Four Seasons Bookstore in Greenwich Village.
“I liked all the toys in your office but actually my favorite thing was you.” No one was too poor, too cranky or too old to be welcomed into her office, advised, healed, and encouraged.
Rich’s commitment to social justice that characterized her sustained engagement in the world emerged from the provocation and the aspiration that was her Jewishness.
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.
“Comedy is power,” she said. “The only weapon more formidable than humor is a gun.”
Lois' life was centered on the inherent goodness of humans and inherent humor of life. Everything she did was based on the principle that if you could make people laugh about the human condition, then you could make them do something to improve it.
One Erev Pesach my grandmother demonstrated physics at the University of Toronto for three hours, went to the radio studio to tape a live broadcast, taped two more broadcasts for the upcoming days of Yom Tov, and came home to make seder.
A prolific writer, Sylvia Rothchild has used both fiction and nonfiction to explore the complex interactions of American and Jewish cultures and identities among the descendants of Jews who arrived in the United States during the great wave of eastern European immigration in the decades surrounding the turn of the twentieth century.
…her hearing loss prevented her from hearing all of what she wanted to, but she turned that sorrow into her greatest gift—that of restoring human communication for others with hearing loss.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "We Remember." (Viewed on February 18, 2019) <https://jwa.org/weremember/toc/R>.