Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America

Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America

5.0 3
by Letty Cottin Pogrebin

View All Available Formats & Editions

A leading feminist activist, author, and nationally known lecturer writes of her struggle to integrate a feminist head with a Jewish heart.


A leading feminist activist, author, and nationally known lecturer writes of her struggle to integrate a feminist head with a Jewish heart.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Required reading for those who define themselves as Jewish or feminist—or care about either."—San Francisco Chronicle.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A founding editor of Ms magazine here casts a wide net, chronicling her family history and her feminist and spiritual awakenings and tackling issues that concern Jews and feminists. Her mother, who died when Pogrebin, now in her 50s, was 15 and is somewhat sentimentalized in this telling, served bacon in her ``kosher'' home and kept secrets regarding a previous marriage, abortions and money. Pogrebin's father denied a daughter from a earlier marriage, neglected his family to be a big shot in Jewish organizations and, following the letter of the law, barred the author from the minyan saying kaddish for her mother. Linking patriarchal Judaism with her emotionally withholding father, Pogrebin in adulthood was an unaffiliated Jew until she served as cantor of a Fire Island prayer group in 1970. Spiritual seekers will find a wealth of alternative Jewish rituals here, of varying worth. Pogrebin's assessments of anti-Semitism in the women's movement and of clashes between blacks and Jews and between feminists and establishment Jews are trenchant. Her film critiques are facile, however, and a commendable account of Middle East peace initiatives is diluted with details of organizations and meetings. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Pogrebin, a founding editor of Ms. magazine whose books on feminist thinking include How To Make It in a Man's World ( LJ 4/1/70), here reconciles her Jewish background, which she rejected for almost 20 years, with her feminist ideology. Scenes from her faith-observant home are described poignantly. The break from observance came at the time Pogrebin's mother died and she was not allowed by the patriarchal structure to recite the kaddish , a prayer for the dead. She learns in time to embrace both feminism and a reexamined Judaism, describing how she celebrates Jewish holidays, and which rituals have special meaning to her as a woman. Chapters on the secular sphere include a feminist perspective on Jewish and black women, the treatment of women in Israel, Palestinians, and feminist attitudes toward South Africa. This well-written, vigorous, and challenging look at Jewish traditions and values from the worldview of a leading feminist thinker is recommended for most libraries.-- Molly Abramowitz, Silver Springs, Md.

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chapter 1- The kits whimper continuously as the apprentices struggle to carry them. A heavy rain beats down, sooaking the cats. "Leopardpaw! We...need shelter!" Fleetpaw yowls over the rain. "We're looking!" Leopardpaw answers. Skykit points with a paw. "There!" She mews, gesturing to a towering oak with lots of hollows all over it. The cats turn and pad towards it. Leopardpaw climb up first, checking hollows to make sure they're safe. Cinderpaw, Jaypaw and Thistlepaw follow her. They set down Fawnkit, Mossykit, and Littlekit. Runningpaw follows with Skykit. "This one looks good. And the ones next to and below it. That should be enough to fit us all." Leopardpaw explains, and calls the other apprentices up. "How about this. Woodpaw, Fleetpaw, Mossykit, and Littlekit, go below us. Lavenderpaw, Graypaw, Skykit, and Fawnkit, you go below us. Then Cinderpaw, Thistlepaw, and Jaypaw, you all stay with me. When the rain stops, we'll head off." The spotted gold shecat finishes. The cats split up into their hollows. Leopardpaw turns to the three remaining apprentices. "I think it's clear that StormClan is gone. There were at least five badgers. I know Shadowstar would've tried her hardest to fight them off, but we were already weak from CloudClan's attack. Maybe enough lived to keep the Clan going. But either way, I know cats died. I don't want to, but it's true. We have to find somewhere to survive. Somewhere safe." Her golden brown eyes are sad and wishful. "I understand, Leopardpaw." Thistlepaw mews. Cinderpaw nods. "But we should wait to tell the kits. They won't take this well." "They'll be fine. We're all six moons, they're four moons. That's only a two-moon difference. But I guess we can wait. And tell them when the storm lightens up." Jaypaw meows. The apprentices agree and climb into the hollow, then settle down to sleep. ~Moonchaser
Anonymous More than 1 year ago