Academic journal article Family Relations

Celebrating the Lives of Jewish Women

Academic journal article Family Relations

Celebrating the Lives of Jewish Women

Article excerpt

Siegel, R. J., & Cole, E. (Eds.). (1997). Celebrating the Lives of Jewish Women. New York: Harrington Park Press. 333 pages. Paper ISBN 1-56023-913-1, price $19.95.

The subtitle, Patterns in a Feminist Sampler, is a lovely descriptive summary of this book. Within its 28 chapters, this book provides a sampling of contemporary personal perspectives as lived and perceived by US and Canadian Jewish women of all ages, sexual orientations and levels of religious observance. Each chapter is written in the first person, offering individual and unique perspectives. An "About the Authors" section at the front of the book provides a short biography and a picture of each author. As I read each chapter, I would link back to this section, which provided a completing touch to the personal words of the author.

In the first section, "From Generation to Generation: The Meanings of Mishpacha (Family)," seven women disclose their thoughts and struggles in blending their personal Jewish selves within their family contexts. These blends include the story of a lesbian woman and her approach to Jewish family values; the journey of a woman in an interfaith marriage; and insights provided by the teenage daughter of a rabbi-the life of an RK (rabbi's kid).

The second section, "Wandering Jews: Lives Fractured by Geography," weaves the stories of five women who live in different places with the insights they have gleaned from cultural differences and life choices.

The third section, "The Journey Home," relates the positive struggles of seven women who describe how they are working at integrating Judaism into their lives. …

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