Sisterhood Blog

Putin and the Flood

By Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman
Susan Silverman and her family

There are many ways I have grown as I raise my children. I have learned to love so deeply while struggling to maintain my autonomous self. I’ve also learned how to stand back, allowing my children to fail and flail, equipping them to prioritize growth and maturation over momentary satisfaction. Some of my own development as a mother, though, happens uniquely through raising my two boys; unlike my three daughters, they are adopted. (As my husband and I say, “We produce girls and import boys.”)

Our older son, Adar, who is now 14, came home when he was nine months old; our younger son, Zamir, 11, came home when he was four years old. They both ask big questions about loss, love and family — and not on a theoretical level. Why doesn’t God give someone what he wants even if he’s a good boy who asks for it? Or, Did it hurt my tummy-mommy when I was born? They make our family a window to God and life’s mysteries. Raising our sons in a world of brokenness, we have found traces of repair. Like Zamir looking up from amidst the cacophony of beginner’s orchestra, meeting my eyes, and missing a note on his trumpet because he can’t suppress a smile.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: vladimir putin, sisterhood, russian adoption ban, motehrhood, jewish women, jewish family, jewish adoption

How Russia's Adoption Ban Hurts Jews

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
A young woman protesting the Russian adoption ban holds a poster reading: “Don’t deprive children of a chance to find a family!”

On December 28, Russia legally banned the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens. President Vladimir Putin signed the controversial legislation (which takes effect on January 1, 2012) following its approval by the upper house of the Russian parliament earlier last week.

The ban is part of a package of retaliatory measures against the Magnitsky Law, American legislation aimed at punishing Russian human rights violators. The Kremlin has also cited the deaths of 19 Russian children due to abuse by their American adoptive parents as a reason for the ban.

Russia is the third most common source of international adoptions for Americans, following China and Ethiopia. However, the U.S. is the largest single foreign destination for Russian orphans. Approximately 1,000 Russian children have been adopted by Americans annually in recent years. Around 70,000 have been adopted by U.S. citizens since the fall of the Soviet Union.

It is unclear how many of those 70,000 children went to Jewish families. Seventeen percent of the 750 Jewish American adoptive families who responded to a survey conducted by the Adoption and Jewish Identity Project adopted children from Russian from 1990 through 2011. However, Dr. Jayne Guberman, the project’s co-director warned, “The survey respondents are not necessarily representative of the entire American Jewish population. For example, they are probably more highly Jewishly identified since they were interested in and willing to take the time to complete a long and complex survey.”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: sisterhood, jewish women, russian adoption ban




Find us on Facebook!
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.