Fall 1996

Children of Black-Jewish marriages talk about identity and their double birthright. One strand of pearls knots a family together. Lilith’s idiosyncratic history poster.

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In This Issue

Lilith Feature

Sugar & Spice – and Beyond

We've rounded up Roseanne (yes, really!), Letty Cottin Pogrebin and a whole slew of other women -authors, performers, children's book mavens- to move us beyond sugar & spice to what they've loved (or shrunk from) in the Bible, The Diary of Anne Frank, Cinderella (not Jewish) and the steamy grown-up novels they'd read on the sly.   PLUS: A selected list of which books rated high on the Jewish scale, but lost points for no feminism, and vice versa. 

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Books for the 90s


These books tackle issues which are only now the topics of public discussion with children: senility, body image, divorce. Many of them also portray Judaism infused with feminism, with mothers... Read more »

Powerful Adolescent Girls


Tragedy, courage, chance, loss and healing, fear and hope— women who survived the Holocaust as youngsters are telling their stories for young readers. Four Perfect Pebbles by Lila Perl and Marion Blumenthal... Read more »

Jewish (But Not Feminist)


When we set out to re-examine the books which influenced us religiously, we needed to ask, where are the girls and women? Many otherwise good books wound us with their... Read more »

Feminist (But Not Jewish)


While discussing in the LILITH office the young adult books that influenced us the most, we were all struck—despite the wide range in our ages—by the incompleteness of many of... Read more »

Finding Else Ury’s Suitcase at Auschwitz


When I was a child in Germany in the 1930s, Else Ury was the most popular author of children’s books, credited with close to forty publications. Her most popular series... Read more »

Israeli Bedtime Stories


My new immigrant mother and father didn’t read any bedtime stories. But, before putting out the light they recalled strange tales of Eastern Europe, where they were born. I could... Read more »

Roseanne (Yes!) on Yidn in Utah


Growing up Jewish in Utah was a kind of Diaspora experience of its own. The Bible is quoted from regularly, and is often at the heart of even casual conversation.... Read more »

At Last, Jewish Fairy Tales


The stories I loved best as a child were fairy tales, mostly from Andrew Lang’s color fairy books. There was little there from the Jewish tradition. And so when I... Read more »

Jewish Before I Was American


My grandparents, my aunt, uncle, two cousins, my parents and I lived in one Williamsburg, Brooklyn brownstone until the early 30s. I spoke Yiddish before I learned English. I was... Read more »

Deborah & Letty


I was most influenced by my bat mtzvah haftarah reading, the story of Deborah. It was February 1952; I was not quite 13. I had never’ encountered Deborah in Hebrew school. I’d... Read more »

Please Write One More…


All-of-a-Kind Family Downtown; More All-of-a-Kind Family; All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown ;Ella of All-of-a-Kind Family When I was seven I wrote to Sydney Taylor, asking her to write another novel. Turn-of-the-century heroines Ella,... Read more »

The Book under My Pillow


When my beloved grandmother died, I was inconsolable. However, the book Bubby, Me and Memories by Barbara Pomerantz (UAHC Press, 1983) was a great comfort. The book is illustrated with photos, and... Read more »

Poor Marjorie Morningstar!


When I was a teenager, I read Herman Wouk’s Marjorie Morningstar. Poor Marjorie! She gave her virginity away before marriage and was made to pay for her mistake. Poor me!... Read more »

Searching for Jewish Clues


Nancy Drew wasn’t Jewish. Neither were The Bobbsey Twins, Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Laura Ingalls Wilder, or my all-time favorites, Betsy, Tacy and Tib (by... Read more »

Jewish Rabbits


Richard Adams’ Watership Down: to the untrained eye, a beautiful and sophisticated fable about rabbits. Fiver, naturally, is Herzl. Sensing the oncoming destruction of the home warren (Europe), our feverish... Read more »

The Impact of Reality


When I was nine years old, I ordered a biography of Adolf Hitler from the Scholastic Book Club. I read it in one mesmerized, horrified sitting. It was my first... Read more »

God Will Have to Allow It


Stories by I. L. Peretz influenced me greatly when I was a child. In “Peace at Home,” Chaim, a poor porter, is assured a place in paradise by his rabbi. When... Read more »

Sarah Was My Soulmate


All-of-a-Kind Family, by Sydney Taylor, wasn’t so much read as lived. It’s a nostalgic book, but little kids are susceptible to nostalgia. Like the all-of-a-kind sisters themselves, I wasn’t able to... Read more »

Uh oh! Babar Celebrates Christmas


Anne Frank’s soulful eyes stared straight out at me from the cover of her diary. The dust-jacket copy promised that it was a story of puberty, of adolescence and much... Read more »

Something Good from Hebrew School


It was 1960, and I had never heard of Chanah Senesh, a Hungarian born poet who lived in Eretz Yisrael and parachuted behind Nazi lines in World War II. When... Read more »

On Yom Kippur When My Stomach Growls


Each year when I fast on Yom Kippur, I think of Charlotte, the second-to youngest sister of Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family series. Charlotte only lasted until lunch before Mama insisted she wait... Read more »

So I Had to Write it Myself


Stories for Jewish children were few and far between 20 years ago. Some “Jeremy and Judy” stories had Jewish content, but lacked plot. Even fewer spoke to a child’s feelings... Read more »

Safe in America


1. The Diary of Anne Frank, because its writer was still a young girl and showed this safe. American Jew a different, horrendous world of the persecuted Jew. I also loved... Read more »

They were all Orthodox


For years I couldn’t make gefilte fish without thinking of K’tonton sitting on the chopping blade—a story [by Sadie Rose Weilerstein] I had read myself as a child and later... Read more »

Girls Who Thought about Sex


As a child, my reading material was mainly Little Women, The Bobbsey Twins, and other stories about good Christian girls. Then I started to dip into the adult books behind... Read more »

Liberating God


Artist Helene Aylon’s visual midrash on Genesis, in which she edits misogyny, patriarchy and other "cruelty" from the text.

The New Identity Challenge


TWO OR THREE TIMES A WEEK, on the Streets of San Francisco complete strangers walk up to Lisa Feldstein and ask, “What are you?” She’s not Indian, South American, Puerto... Read more »

The Parable of the Carpenter and His Daughter


(OR: The Carpenter and Her Father.) A parable for the New Year and after, all about learning to separate, and discovering what happens to a daughter if you please. And if you don’t please.

My Grandmother’s Pearls


A strand of pearls becomes a strand of memory which knots together thievery, resentment, and the sorrow of a Holocaust survivor trying to correct his past. The granddaughter finds it all out on her Junior year in Israel.



JEWISH MALE SPERM FOR YOUR CHOICE In response to the Spring 1996 article by Terese Loeb Kreuzer, “Jewish Single Mothers—by Choice,” I wonder if you might send me the address of... Read more »

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