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Mothers in the Jewish Cultural ImaginationJewish Cultural Studies Volume 5$
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Jane L. Kanarek, Marjorie Lehman, and Simon J Bronner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764661

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764661.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

Motherhood as Motivation: American Jewish Women in Action, 1890–1940

Motherhood as Motivation: American Jewish Women in Action, 1890–1940

(p.207) Ten Motherhood as Motivation: American Jewish Women in Action, 1890–1940
Mothers in the Jewish Cultural Imagination

Melissa R. Klapper

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses maternalism as a collective belief in gender difference based on motherhood as the foundation for reform. It argues that maternalism was a crucial ingredient in the activism of Jewish women of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It also mentions Der Fraynd, the socialist Workmen's Circle monthly publication that linked the origins of the women's rights movement to prehistoric matriarchal societies in the fight for suffrage. The chapter analyses the peace movement that exhorted Jewish mothers to pass on the value of peace to their children and instruct them about the evils of war. It looks at how maternalism provided a framework and language for maintaining Jewish identity within a wider societal sphere as Jewish women moved into more public arenas and joined with women of different ethnic identities.

Keywords:   motherhood, maternalism, Jewish women, Der Fraynd, Jewish mothers, women's rights movement, peace movement

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