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Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America Paperback – September 14, 1992

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From 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.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (September 14, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385425120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385425124
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,813,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Jana L.Perskie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
Letty Cotton Pogrebin was born in 1939 in Jamaica, Queens, New York. She was raised in an observant Jewish home, and studied Torah and Talmud. When she was fifteen, her beloved mother died of cancer, and Ms. Pogrebin, because she was female, could not be counted to form the necessary "minyan" to say the traditional mourner's Kaddish, (prayer), for her own mother. Her father, who never seemed, or apparently cared, to understand how marginal and rejected she felt, called the synagogue and had another man sent to their home, where they were sitting shiva. Time has brought change to the Jewish religion. Today a woman can form a minyon, the group of ten Jews necessary to recite formal prayers, in Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Movements. But these changes did not happen in time for Letty. A few years later, while she was still in college, her issues with her father, and with the male dominated Jewish religion, became intertwined. Her feelings about her "father and her faith merged." She writes, "I also cut off my formal affiliation with Judaism. Merge the Jewish patriarch with patriarchal Judiasm, and when you leave one, you leave them both."
"Deborah, Golda, And Me," is Letty Cottin Pogrebin's story of her struggle to reconcile her feminism with her Jewish faith. She writes with intelligence, passion, honesty, and eloquence about her determination to fight against being a marginal person in her religion, and in her life. This book, in a sense is a record of many of the battles waged in her war for personal and political power.
She was active early on in the women's movement and was the founding editor of Ms. Magazine.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This book, which was a bestseller, is certainly one of the most important books in both women's studies and Jewish studies. Written with love, with force, seamlessly incorporating meticulous research with the author's insightful wisdom, it is a book that will be read for many years to come. I bought 6 copies of this book for friends, and all agreed it was probably the best book of this ilk that they had read. Ms Progebin is an extraordinary writer, with a great heart, and the abilty to weave love into the most hardened or bitter of facts. To all women, and most especially to all Jewsish women, READ IT! You will be greatly helped.
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Format: Paperback
This book was eye opening. As an Orthodox Jew and a feminist, there were many aspects of the this book I found hard to deal with. However, I have found that overall I was very impressed with the content of the book.
The author spends a lot of time reflecting on her own experience as a Jewish Woman in America, which was often very different from my own. However, when she got down to the nitty-gritty of being a Jewish woman, and the problems and issues therein, she hit the mark. I found myself reading excerpts in discussions with both male and female friends about the way women are treated in Judaism, especially in Orthodox circles.
As a mother, I found this book especially important as I raise my daughter to become a, G-d willing, enlightened Orthodox Feminist Jew.
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