From the Editor

by Susan Weidman Schneider

You’ll notice in this issue of LILITH something very different: a map through the maze of Jewish and women’s issues that confront young Jewish women (and those counseling them) when they face those crucial college decisions.

There are plenty of books and listings that tell about other aspects of campus life. What no one has talked about until now are the questions we should be asking to ferret out information on which campuses are good environments for Jewish women students — to nurture them, challenge them, and allow them to graduate with their self-esteem as women and as Jews still intact.

In LILITH’s “An Insider’s Look at Campus Life,” we’ve attempted to do just that. We sent a college editor and a crew of campus correspondents out into the field, and what you’ll be reading in a few minutes is the fruit of their labors. Not a complete analysis of each one of the campuses listed, but a composite picture of the problems and opportunities for women on campus today. Read on!

Another set of articles in this issue of the magazine posed a different challenge to us. We started by wanting to examine in a general way the roles of women in Jewish families. Then things got a bit out of hand. Had we expected a single unified portrait? What LILITH’s editors realized when we spoke to family mavens was that there’s a kaleidoscope out there, a composite rendering. We were all daughters at some point, but beyond that where is our commonality?

To find out, Special Projects Editor Susan Schnur contacted women who are researching and writing about a new psychology of women in families. But — fascinatingly — these women were often interested in exploring for us life in their own Jewish families! What we present in this issue of LILITH is one of these stories — Harriet Goldhor Lerner’s. This issue also presents refractions of the Jewish family as seen by Olga Silverstein, Barbara Lebow and Gertrude Dubrovsky, who filter their insights through the mesh of their own experiences.

The next few issues of LILITH will continue this family theme (next time looking at how we see our mothers).

Making this issue possible are, as you can see from the list on this page, a number of individuals and foundations who have made LILITH a tzedakah (philanthropy) priority. I mention this here not only to call your attention to their names and to thank them publicly, but also to remind you that LILITH is sustained by these tax-deductible contributions. Our advertising pages are growing, our subscribers are becoming more numerous, but the realities of non-profit publishing are this: if we need LILITH Magazine (and your letters and phone calls tell us that LILITH is, as one woman put it, “a lifeline”) then all the magazine’s readers must help LILITH to survive — and to grow. Here’s how: Give LILITH gift subscriptions for Bat (and Bar) Mitzvah gifts and on special occasions; make a tax deductible contribution to the magazine in honor of some one who has done you a kindness, or who is celebrating a special birthday; become a Friend of LILITH in your own name by writing a tax-deductible check for $100 or more to LILITH Publications, Inc.

In this issue LILITH launches two very special projects for which you can earmark a contribution. One is the Annette Daum Memorial Project (see p. 32) to make possible new writing on a wide range of women’s issues, especially interfaith dialogue. The other is a project to make LILITH subscriptions available to Soviet Jewish women who are “refuseniks” — awaiting exit visas to leave the U.S.S.R.

Please make a contribution to LILITH now, and you’ll have the pleasure of seeing your name on this page with our next issue.