Page 111 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 35

Basic HTML Version

sian-Jewish woman who struggled much harder to climb the
ladder. One of the most poignant facts in his work is his
description of how the new immigration was grafted on to the
previous one. Though the “uptown” ladies were worlds apart
from their newly arrived “greene couzines”—and were somewhat
embarassed by them—nevertheless, the German-Jewish women
felt it their responsibility to aid their less fortunate sisters. They
formed, on a volunteer basis, many social service organizations
which rapidly became very professional. Aside from helping the
Russian-Jewish woman to adapt, the older immigrant women
also trained many of the newer ones as social workers of the
next generation. Glanz describes the role of the National Council
of Jewish Woman in serving the new immigrants from Eastern
A master of esoteric sources, Glanz has a knack for digging
up some fascinating quotes which lighten an otherwise heavy
style. In both volumes, his description of family problems,
marriage and divorce are filled with juicy tidbits, some pregnant
with humor, some full of pathos. Though this book was not
written from a feminist perspective and Glanz is more of a
cataloguer of facts than an evaluator, he has some good material
on the women’s rights movement during each of the immigra­
tions. One realizes tha t the struggle for women’s rights in Jewish
life began more than a century ago. One also realizes tha t in
many areas there has not been all that much progress from that
time to this.
Another recent work is an oral history,
Jew ish G randm o th ers ,
edited by Sydell Kramer and Jannie Mazer (Boston: Beacon
Press, 1976). Each of the ten women—all from the Chicago area
with ages ranging from 69 to 84—tells her own story in ways
that are moving, humorous and insightful. They describe their
origins in the old country, the lengthy sea journey, the trials
and tribulations of being uprooted and of making adjustments
to life in America. Some women had careers, some were in busi­
ness with their husbands, all were intensely involved in the lives
of their families. T he ir personalities virtually leap out from the
page, perhaps because of the total candor with which they tell