Crossposted from Jewesses With Attitude.
We recieved wonderful tributes from the JWA community responding to our call for submissions on the Fiercely Independent Jewish Women that have inspired us in our lives. As we celebrate our country’s independence today, let us toast these fine women (and those in our thoughts not mentioned here) for the fierce independence they have sparked, kindled, and set ablaze in each of us!
Ode to LTG
She was a New Yorker, born and bred. Practically orphaned by the time she was a teenager, there was no one around to show her the way to act like a Jewish woman of her day. Sad, but in a way I think it was destiny. Off she went to work, to basketball games, to Frank Sinatra concerts, to Socialist Party presidential conventions (just because she was curious). Married, living in the Bronx, two children, a move to the far out suburbs of Long Island – Lake Ronkonkoma. Are there even Jews in Lake Ronkonkoma? She was a pioneer in more ways than one – fiercely independent, she went to college in the 1960’s with two children in tow on school breaks; part of a community raising children in the hinterlands, owner of an ancient house with newspaper stuffed in the walls and a claw foot bathtub; taking trips on her own to Spain and Egypt. She worked for Social Services until she retired and then she and her husband traveled the world – China in 1986; The Soviet Union right before the fall of Communism; Israel. She, the leaver of awkward answering machine messages; sender of Washington Post clippings; signer of birthday cards “LTG”; and the woman could not cook to save her life. For all that she was and wasn’t, she was Grandma, and I am so proud to have known her and to be able to put her up there as my shining example of a fiercely independent Jewish woman.
— Contributed by Jennifer Steinberg
Dvori Ross- an Orthodox woman who was brave enough to become a single mother by choice- and knowledgeable enough to do the halachic research to enable it, and confident enough to write and speak about it publicly, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps.
—Submitted by Judy Heicklen
Read the rest at Jewesses With Attitude at the Jewish Women’s Archive.