The Strong Women’s Club: Jewish women's stories, Jewish women entrepreneurs, Jewish women leaders, Jewish women in business, sports, and science

Join the Strong Women’s Club where Edie Berg interviews successful Jewish women who share the behind-the-scenes personal sides of their stories. Jewish women leaders whose life stories are fascinating, inspiring and will make you proud that you, too, are a member of The Strong Women’s Club. In the Strong Women’s Club, you will hear Jewish women talk about how they reached where they are today, and you will relate to their struggles, their small daily difficulties that sometimes feel insurmountable, and learn straight from one of our own members how they are able to reach their goals.
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The Strong Women’s Club: Jewish women's stories, Jewish women entrepreneurs, Jewish women leaders, Jewish women in business, sports, and science



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Jul 19, 2017

This week in Israel there was a terror attack where two Israeli policemen were killed. Both policemen were Druze, so I’m going to tell you about who the Druze are.
The Druze are not Muslims, though the religion is an outgrowth of Islam that originated in the 10th century in Egypt. It also has elements of Judaism and Christianity, influences of Greek philosophy and Asiatic thought.
Due to having relatively progressive ideas for the time, such as the abolition of slavery and the separation of church and state, they were considered to be outliers and unorthodox, and were persecuted, so they became very secretive with their religion, which is still true to this day. Even to many Druze themselves, the religion is secret and mysterious.
Only special clergy called Uqqal, can study and learn all of its aspects.
Basically, their rules are: they believe in one god, they have to reject all non-Druze tenets, and they must be very loyal to the Druze community.
You cannot convert to become a Druze. And if you marry somebody who is not Druze, then you are also no longer Druze. They believe in reincarnation, so that they believe that everybody that is alive today is a reincarnation of somebody from when the religion was revealed.
The Druze don’t have a country, but they do have a flag.
They live mainly in Israel, Lebanon and Syria, and they are very loyal to the countries that they live in. In Israel, the Druze men serve in the Israeli army (whereas the Arabs, or Palestinians, do not serve in the Israeli army).
The Druze in Israel are highly respected and integrated within several political parties, even though there are only about 150,000 Druze in Israel.
The names of the two policemen murdered this week are:
Advanced Staff Sgt. Maj. Hayil Satawi, 30, who was married with a 3-week-old son; and Advanced Staff Sgt. Maj. Kamil Shnaan, 22,
May their memories be blessed.

Now we’ll tell a different kind of story:
A story about a storyteller who tells story.
Noa Baum tells her own story in a wonderful way,
She uses storytelling as an artform, as a powerful tool in education,and in business.
Noa talks about how we can use storytelling in our businesses and as leaders, to make a bigger impact and have people follow your lead.


Jul 18, 2017

What happens when things don’t go as planned?
If there’s one thing you can always count on, is things not going as you’ve counted on them to be!
So what do you do when there are conflicts and crisis?
Problems and Perils?
Do you have a Plan B in place?
What is your backup plan, or are you hoping to figure it out as you go along?
Nope! That’s not us! Not you and not me!
We are ready! As ready as possible!!
Ok ok, so what does this even mean?

What counts as a crisis?
Anything that brings on a drastic downturn in sales, in image, in the ability to earn a living, and mainly, things that we have not predicted happening when they happen and we are not prepared for them; they’ve taken you by surprise;
And you had better react quickly, or the damage will be greater and greater.

It could be a sudden change in political situation: sanctions, terrorist activity
It could be that there’s a virus stopping you from accessing your own information on the computer
It could be that your competitor came out with an amazing product, similar, but better than yours
It could be that you fired somebody now they’re out to get you on social media
It could be a natural disaster: earthquake, hurricane, snow storm, stuff like that
It could be that you put out a faulty product and you have to recall it and explain it to the world.
Or one of your employees does something unforgivable
What if your distributor has one of these things happen to them? What are you going to do??

How do you get ready?

Have a team in place, know who they are, what their roles are, have them trained properly.
Don’t forget about your core beliefs, your mission statement, especially at the time of crisis: this will guide you, give you all the answers you need when you need them.
Try to predict the unpredictable: figure out what’s most likely to happen and how you respond, once it’s happened. See what’s happened to others in the past and how they dealt with it; learn from their mistakes and their triumphs.
Insurance: Do you have insurance? Go get it! Make sure that you’re insured well, whatever that may mean for your business. But don’t ignore insurance, however boring and confusing it may be
Do you need backup equipment? Buy it.
Make sure your plan is clear and is simple: It should be clear as to when a crisis happens, and when it’s behind you, and you’re back to business as usual. Try to make these points measurable. And your fix-it plan, make it simple. So that everybody understands who goes where and when.
Keep your Plan B up to date: take a look at it at least once a year. You’ll be surprised as what’s changed in that short period of time.
Be sure you set a good example: Let your employees know you are with them, support them, and they are with you. Make sure to keep your relationship with your team solid and reliable. They must know you have their back.
Budget: Be sure to have rainy day funds ready for when you need them, because you will.
Prioritize: What comes first? What doesn’t need attention at all?



Jul 12, 2017

A live, uncut podcast about what we’ve accomplished over the past 50 episodes, what went well, what can be improved and what I loved.I also talk about plans for the upcoming year, share what’s going on behind the scenes at The Strong Women’s Club, and give you a personal update as to what is going on with my family.

I hope you enjoy it!

Subscribe to the podcast, share it with a friend. You’ll be making a difference!

Thank you so much for joining me in this labor of love. I appreciate you.

Jul 11, 2017

Last week I mentioned two leadership styles:
Transformational and Transactional, but there are many different ways to define leadership personalities.

There is the definition by Lewin, which includes: Autocratic, Democratic and Laissez-faire.

There is the Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid (See on Amazon), which mixes a people-oriented style with a task-oriented style, depending on the job at hand.

There is the Path-Goal Theory, which weighs the ability of the employee with the ambiguity of the task at hand, then decides which approach to use.

A book called Primal Leadership (See on Amazon) by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee talked about Six Emotional Leadership Styles: Visionary, Coaching, Affiliative, Democratic, Pacesetting and Commanding, and how each style might affect the emotions of your team members.
And there is Authentic Leadership: people who inspire trust, are open about the problems they come across, don’t ignore or hide them, and have a high level of integrity and are consistent.

Where do you fit in? How do you lead?

How do you influence, inspire, motivate, stimulate and individualise?

In an effort to simplify and to condense:
Here are four things that you can do to begin to be an authentic transformational leader.

This is how you start:

Set an example: high standards, ethical choices, excellence in character
You will develop and communicate and exciting and ambitious vision for your group, and encourage their development towards that end
You will stimulate their intellect: Foster open discussions about the vision and how you’ll get there
You will care about your team: genuine concern

Thank you for joining me,

P.S. Next week we will talk about what to do where there are problems...


Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, et al ( - Affiliate link
Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid ( - Affiliate link

Jul 5, 2017

Dr. Nora Gold is not afraid of writing about anti-Israelism on campus, a very sensitive subject which she wrote about in her novel entitled “Fields of Exile”.
Dr. Gold also wrote “Marrow and Other Stories” which was praised by Alice Munro, and her latest novel is “The Dead Man”, which also has a deep connection to Israel.

Although a tenured professor of Social Work, Nora chose to leave academia to follow her calling as a fiction writer.
Dr. Gold is also the creator and editor of Jewish, an online journal that publishes Jewish-themed fiction from around the world.

We talk about how Nora chooses her subject matter and how she was able to be brave enough to leave a secure position to become an author.

You can find out more about Dr. Gold at


Jul 4, 2017

In this 5-minute podcast episode, Edie Berg talks about two different leadership styles: Transformational Leadership and Transactional Leadership, and how entrepreneurs starting small business will be better off when adopting the Transformational Leadership style.

Resources used for this episode:

Jun 28, 2017

Although consistency in business is the secret to all success, so is creativity and knowing yourself and also not getting burnt out.

So when I traveled to Costa Rica on my off-the-grid one week vacation, I decided to also have a break from podcasting, and let myself cut loose of everything.

For a full week, no internet, no electricity and no hot water.

What does being off the grid mean? Technically, it means no outside infrastructural support.

So my husband and I were deep in the Costa Rican jungle, living in a tree house, hiking, watching the monkeys, insects, birds and other animals, while just staring out over the tree canopy to the ocean.
We also read a lot, hiked in the jungle and along the beach, saw many exotic animals and butterflies, which particularly made my hubby smile.

But why is it so important to have this type of getaway? Isn’t it enough to go on vacation, change your routine, and see someplace new?

I don’t think so. I think it’s vital to go somewhere where you have no access to internet, or TV, or your emails. Where nobody can call you, and you can’t call them. Really just cut away for a few days.

The effect isn’t immediate. It takes time for your mind and body to adjust to the new pace, to be able to open your inner doors of creativity and thoughts. Once you’re there, you’ll know it. You’ll feel excited and invigorated, with no external stimulations.
You’ll feel satisfied and curious, all at once.

On today’s podcast I talk about my latest off-the-grid getaway to the Osa Peninsula and how I felt when I got back to my office.

I talk about preventing burnout, recharging, explosive creativity and reconnecting with my partner.

Giving myself the gift of no hot water, no internet, no lights for a week.

Jun 7, 2017

Andrea Wolf shares her story about testing positive for the BRCA1 mutation at age 22 and having prophylactic mastectomies at age 30.
Andrea’s mother and grandmother both had breast cancer, and Andrea is able to use her personal and familial story to drive her work at the Brem Foundation.

The Brem Foundation, named after Andrea’s mother, Dr. Rachel Brem, is a nonprofit organization committed to breast cancer prevention through early detection.

Today’s podcast is about Andrea’s story, how and when to screen, what to expect if you decide to have prophylactic surgery, what breast density is and more.

Brem Foundation:

May 31, 2017

Are you one of those people who love the thought of working from home, but when you try you get too distracted?

Are you feeling burnt out from your day-to-day stress, but there seems to be no end in sight?

Dr. Michal Biron is the Head of the MBA program at the University of Haifa, and her research centers around these questions, plus other daily predicaments that career women face.

In this episode you will learn:
How to battle burn-out in your team and in yourself
How to setup a home office that you can actually work in
How gender inequality affects the pay levels of both dominant and pleasant women, but each type of woman deals with this differently

Michal’s articles have appeared in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Human Relations, and International Journal of Human Resource Management, among others.

May 24, 2017

If you want to be a great manager, you need to get the job done efficiently and done well.

But how do you inspire your team members and employees to work harmoniously together, trust each other, set the right goals, and be fulfilled enough to stay with you and not move on to their next challenge?

Today’s guest has spent the better part of her career researching these questions, and we discuss the answers on the podcast.

Israel Prize Winner Professor Miriam Erez is the Chair of the Knowledge Center for Innovation in the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion in Israel.

Dr. Erez’s research has evolved around three major topics:Innovation
Cross-cultural behaviour
Work motivation

On the podcast you will learn:
That you must create an environment that spurs creativity
How to quickly develop a trusting atmosphere
That you must promote ownership and accountability
How to provide the motivation to innovate
What type of feedback is effective and not detrimental
What shared leadership is
How you must lead people from different cultures differently
How team participation in goal setting is crucial in some cultures and weak in others


May 17, 2017

What was initially the spontaneous question of “What can I do with my old bras?” led to the creation of Support the Girls. By chance, Dana’s inquiry led to her thirst of knowledge to learn that bras and feminine hygiene products are rarely donated to those most in need: homeless women and girls.

To date, Support the Girls has donated over 90,000 bras and over 401,000 feminine hygiene products to women across the world. Dana has spearheaded the initiative, and led the charge to the creation of Support the Girls affiliates throughout the United States. The movement has tremendous momentum, and Dana’s efforts have been showcased in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Yahoo News, The Today Show, Kveller, NationSwell, and many more.

Dana knew how to take advantage of a surprising opportunity and turn it into a global social enterprise.

Takeaways and resources from this episode:

Keep an open mind and an open heart for new opportunities that can change your life
Luck comes to those who work hard

You can be an expert in a field that one year ago you knew nothing about

Dana’s company:

Support the Girls:

May 10, 2017

Jean Trounstine is an activist and author whose 6th book is Boy With A Knife: A Story of Murder, Remorse, and a Prisoner’s Fight for Justice (IG Publishing April, 2016). It explores the true crime story of Karter Kane Reed and the injustice of sentencing juveniles to adult prisons.

Jean worked at Framingham Women’s Prison for ten years where she directed eight plays with prisoners. Her book about that work, Shakespeare Behind Bars: The Power of Drama in a Women’s Prison has been featured on NPR, and now on this program too!

In addition, she has spoken around the world on women in prison, co-founded the women’s branch of Changing Lives Through Literature, an award-winning alternative sentencing program featured in The New York Times and on The Today Show, and co-authored two books about the program.


May 9, 2017

Are you a role model?

Who is your role model?

What are the characteristics you are looking for in your role model?

These are the traits I hope to have to be an inspiring and effective role model to others:

Not afraid to speak up for what you think is right
Be yourself
People can identify with her
Somebody you can learn from
Be able to take on new challenges
Inspire others to follow their dreams
Wise women
Not self-conscious
Doesn’t care about what others think of her
Those that help you progress to the path you want

May 3, 2017

The Silver Platter by Natan Alterman

In today’s episode, I talk about the stark transition between Yom Ha’Zicharon and Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

I discuss the meaning and origin of the popular expression in Hebrew: Magash Hakesef.

The following is the original poem by Natan Alterman.

The Silver Platter

And the land grows still, the red eye of the sky slowly dimming over smoking frontiers

As the nation arises, Torn at heart but breathing, To receive its miracle, the only miracle

As the ceremony draws near, it will rise, standing erect in the moonlight in terror and joy

When across from it will step out a youth and a lass and slowly march toward the nation

Dressed in battle gear, dirty, Shoes heavy with grime, they ascend the path quietly

To change garb, to wipe their brow
They have not yet found time. Still bone weary from days and from nights in the field

Full of endless fatigue and unrested,
Yet the dew of their youth. Is still seen on their head
Thus they stand at attention, giving no sign of life or death

Then a nation in tears and amazement
will ask: "Who are you?"
And they will answer quietly, "We Are the silver platter on which the Jewish state was given."

Thus they will say and fall back in shadows
And the rest will be told In the chronicles of Israel

Rani Jaeger from the Shalom Hartman Institute
Donniel Hartman
Barbra Streisand singing Hatikva for Israel’s 30th birthday in 1978 

Apr 26, 2017

Today’s podcast centers around women’s business. And businesses for women’s products, AKA FemTech.

Growth strategy consultant, marketing expert, sought-after public speaker and
Vagipreneur, Rachel Braun Scherl is a trusted authority on leadership,
entrepreneurship and female health. Over the course of her career, Rachel has
driven growth for her clients as well as her own businesses. As co-owner and
principal of SPARK Solutions for Growth, a consulting firm advising businesses on
strategic growth and partnerships, product development and marketing, Rachel
has built an international client base that includes multiple divisions of Johnson &
Johnson, Allergan, Pfizer, Merck, Bayer and Deloitte.

Edie also explains about Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, how Israeli’s actively remember those who were murdered and honor those who survived.

Plus→ The Strong Jewish Women’s Summit is going strong!

You can still register, at any time. If you are reading this before April 28 then you can even enjoy 10 interviews completely free of charge.

The link to the summit is here:

Apr 19, 2017

Do you ever wonder how you’d behave in extreme situations?

If you were training for the olympics as a cross country skier, got smashed by a truck, were diagnosed as a paraplegic, were in rehab for six months, what would you do?

I can tell you that I’m pretty confident that I wouldn’t become an aerobatic flight instructor as soon as I was discharged.

That is, however, what Janine Shepherd did, and she is my guest on the podcast today.

Janine has written a memoir about her incredible years after the accident; how she became a flight instructor, how she was told that she wouldn’t be able to have children, but yet she did; some of the more intimate details of what her doctors told her, how she was treated, and how she overcame.

The book is called Defiant: A Broken Body is Not a Broken Person

Through powerful and emotive storytelling, there is something for everyone in Janine’s message of hope. DEFIANT topics include the following:

Why some people don’t give up and can succeed against all odds. Struggling to rehabilitate with permanent disabilities, Janine rekindled her defiant spirit in a dramatically improbable way. Seeing a small plane fly overhead one day, she declared, “That’s it! If I can’t walk, I’ll fly!”

How to come back from a major loss. It’s not about whether or not you will face adversity, it’s how you approach it. Once she let go of “Janine, the athlete,” which was how she had always defined herself, Janine was able to create a completely new life.

Her ultimate goal: become a pilot, even though she’d never flown a small airplane and was disabled. Little goals kept her going along the way.

A broken body is not a broken person. Janine’s mantra: You are not your body, and

you have the choice to create new dreams. Be defined not by what you've lost, but instead by who you are and what you can become.

What to do when things don’t go as planned. Janine’s real strength didn’t come from her body. This realization changed everything. She was no longer tied to a set path, and was free to explore life's infinite possibilities.

Janine’s recipe for healthy defiant living. Janine learns about how to not just survive, but to flourish in the face of adversity. Challenges and change are not to be dreaded, but actually welcomed as opportunities to thrive in unexpected ways.

The concept of disability. Janine inspires those coping with physical disabilities and other challenges to believe in the power of potential. Her accomplishments (and mindset) far outweigh any disability.

Janine Shepherd is an inspirational speaker.

She was awarded the Order of Australia, the nation’s highest honor, for her service to the community, her inspiration and her work in raising awareness of spinal cord research.

She is a contributor to Deepak Chopra’s workshops and has been featured on 60 Minutes, This is Your Life and CNN’s Turning Points with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
You can see Janine's TEDx Talk from her website:


Apr 18, 2017

Come to the Strong Jewish Women’s Summit (

This week I tell you a story about my new hater, what she wrote to me, and how I dealt with it.
We leave the story in the middle, the end has not come to be yet.
I’m in suspense too.

Working hard on the Strong Jewish Women’s Summit.
We talk about producing a large event, and some of what goes into it.

Come to the event! Let’s make this happen together!

Happy Passover 2017


Apr 12, 2017

Rabbi Dr Jackie Tabick became Britain’s first female rabbi in 1975. She worked for many years at West London Synagogue with Rabbi Hugo Gryn and then at North West Surrey Synagogue in Weybridge. She is now Convenor of the Reform Beit Din and is very involved in interfaith work being co-President of the World Congress of Faiths. She received her PhD in 2014 and the subject of her thesis was outcomes of conversion to Judaism 1952 to 2002.

Apr 5, 2017

Who is the Strong Jewish Women’s Summit for, who should attend, and who is speaking on the summit?

This summit is for you:

If you believe in women’s leadership

If you believe Jewish women can be part of a non-political sisterhood of women that completely supports each other

If you love to hear biographies and stories from real people that are like you, with similar backgrounds and history

If you’d like to get concrete information, and have it at your fingertips so that you’ll have an intelligent answer ready when somebody flippantly says to you that women have exactly the same opportunities as men; or why does it matter, a good leader is a good leader, regardless if they’re male or female; or either you’re born a leader, or you aren’t, it isn’t something you can learn… yada yada yada

If you believe that we as Jewish women have the responsibility to hold our communities together, to learn from each other, and to get closer to each other

Who is speaking on the Strong Jewish Women’s Summit?

We have an amazing line-up of extremely strong women who will inspire you, who are forward-thinkers, who you will learn from and will want to hear more of!

These are some of the speakers:

Professor Mina Teicher: speaking about international women’s leadership. Dr. Teicher is the former Chief Scientist of Israel, and now is the Vice-President of the International Women’s Forum

Lori Palatnik: Founding Director of the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project. Lori speaks about how to start a movement you really believe in, with many practical tips

Devora Mason: the Manager of the Innovation Lab at the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem, Devora speaks about designing your career path to suit your own needs

Dr. Judith Rosenbaum: The Executive Director of the Jewish Women’s Archive speaks about the history of Jewish women and feminism, and how it’s relevant to us all today

Dr. Yael Schuster: Founder of StellarNova, talks about her startup that centers around girls and STEM, why and how she developed it

Dr. Rahel Berkovits: Rav Rahel teaches us about women and halacha, and our participation and obligations in rituals
Jenny Belotserkovsky and Michal Tavrovsky: Founders of the JFE (Jews For Entrepreneurship), we discuss the importance of networking, of connections in the Jewish world, of how they built their accelerator, and more

Carol Schwartz: Founding Chair of the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, we discuss the need to advocate for gender equality, women’s leadership, governance, social enterprise, business and finance issues

Miriam Lottner: Creator and founder of Reveal Cards, public speaker, and business consultant. Miriam takes us through how to go from idea to product, some bumps along the way, and how to deal with them well

Rivka Malka Perlman: Rivka Malka addresses both the spiritual side and the practical side of you to get you further in your business and life. She tells us of the near-death experience that changed her life

Sue Zimmerman: Sue is a social media expert who uses her business acument to blow up social media campaigns. Her niche is Instagram, but her knowledge is marketing. She teaches us the importance of using social media wisely

Plus many more!!

Join us at

See you there!!

Mar 22, 2017

We talk about the differences between an in-person conference and attending an online summit, advantages and disadvantages.

We talk about the front and back end of the summit website and membership site.

Listen to the podcast to get all of the details.

Next week, we’ll reveal some of the guests that will be on the Strong Jewish Women’s Summit.

L’Hitraot !

Mar 21, 2017

Nora Ephron died of leukemia in June of 2012 at the age of 71.

Which was quite a surprise, to even some of her close friends.

An early demise is nearly always a tragedy, it was with Nora Ephron.

Confident and funny, sharp-witted; she could clearly see through the muck to find clever essence of any important and not-so-important situation.

Nora Ephron was a writer, born to a family of playwrighters and screenwriters. Born in NY, brought up in LA, she went back to NYC to be a journalist.

When Nora first started her career, she applied to write at Newsweek, who rejected her because she was a woman.

Nora was then a researcher at Newsweek for a while but quickly left to be a writer at the New York Post, just before there were a number of lawsuits against the magazine centering around gender discrimination in March of 1970.

Nora Ephron went on to be a clear feminist and thinker. She was able to label things so that they were suddenly transparent and obvious.

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim”
—1996 Wellesley College commencement address, Nora Ephron


Mar 17, 2017

The Strong Jewish Women’s Summit will be launched in the next few days.

It is a free, online conference for you to attend from home, on your own time.

Why? Why do I feel the need to put so much time and effort into this?

I want to bring strength to women to move towards fulfilling their potential in the way best for them. The Strong Jewish Women’s Summit provides intimate conversations and lessons on why women’s leadership is crucial for the world, how you can and should be part of that leadership force, and also gives you practical lessons on how to take your idea and turn it into your business.

The reasons come from two directions:
Women must be in control of their own lives, of their own careers, of their finances, their families, and their futures. Women cannot be brought up to believe that they are smart and capable, but not when it comes to building a meaningful career of substance and purpose. Women must know that they are in charge of themselves. They are in charge of how much money they make, just like men are. They are in charge of where they go to university, what they study there, which job they take, and which they refuse. Women choose how much time they take off for maternity leave, if they’re lucky. They choose which partner to build their lives with, if at all. Again, if they’re lucky. We need to make these choices in an intelligent thought process, and not just let fate and circumstance dictate our futures. This is the essence of leadership as I see it. The essence of leadership is that we lead ourselves.
We women are in charge of keeping world peace. That’s the truth. We need to begin by bringing together our own community. Our own sisterhood of Jewish women, where each individual makes her own choices as to how she wishes to celebrate her Judaism, but is part of a collective where the whole is much greater than the sum of it’s parts. Where the community is non-political and non-judgemental. Where we work together, join forces, to strengthen each woman in her own journey. We are far too divided and it’s time to put an end to it. We are much better united.

On today’s podcast you’ll hear a little of my personal story about why I do what I do.
More importantly, think strongly about why you do what you do, and if you also want to be a Strong Jewish Leader.

Get a lot more information at

Can’t wait to see you there!

Mar 14, 2017

Did you know that Lauren Bacall was Jewish?

Her mother was from Romania, and her father’s family was from an area that was in what is now Belarus.

She was born in the Bronx in 1924.

Her parents divorced when she was 6 years old, and her mother raised her as a single mother.

She spent a lot of time with her very warm extended family, her mom’s family the Weinsteins, in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The name Bacal is a form of Weinstein in Romanian, apparently, though it’s not clear to me how. Her mother changed their name to Bacal after her divorce. The name Lauren was given to her by the director of her first movie, Howard Hawks.

Lauren Bacall’s name was originally Betty Joan Perske,.

Two interesting things about her name are:
She always preferred to be called Betty, rather than Lauren, even well into her stardome

She liked to say that she and Shimon Peres, the Prime Minister and President of Israel, were cousins, because her maiden name was Perske, and Peres is a form of Perski, and their families were both from the same area, then, part of the Russian Empire.

So Betty Bacal studied acting and was a fashion model, 5’ 81/2” tall and gorgeous, in Greenwich Village. She was on the cover of Bazaar Magazine when she was discovered and asked to audition for a part in Hollywood.

When she was only 19 years old she was in her first movie “To Have and Have Not” which was a huge success, she became a star right from the start.

There she met, acted with, and fell in love with Humphrey Bogart, who she married, and had two children with.

Here is a clip from that movie, To Have and Have Not, and she is speaking to Bogart. This could very well be her most famous line:

Bogart died of cancer, sadly. She would eventually get remarried to actor Jason Robards, and have a third child, then divorce.

Her deep voice was cultivated, so that she would always leave you knowing that she was in control, never flustered.

Her famous look, with her head and eyes turned was originally used because she was nervous and her chin shook, so she held her head that way to prevent it. That became her signature look.

Lauren Bacall was always cast in roles that were of women whose strong will complemented, rather than detracted from, their sexual attraction.
She showed how female confidence is extremely attractive.

She and Bogart became one of the most famous couples in Hollywood.
After Bogart died, she said that she didn’t want to become a professional widow in Hollywood, so she moved back to New York, and starred in many theater productions.

She won two Tony Awards.

She became socially and politically aware, famous for and proud of her liberal views.
Although she did not bring her children up as Jewish, she was proud of being Jewish. She mentioned in an interview that she was sorry that she did not speak up about it early in her career, but she was very young, dealing with instant success, and it was not a priority for her at the time.

Let’s hear another clip from Lauren Betty Bacall, from an interview in 1995 for the BBC program, the Late Show: Face to Face.

Lauren Bacall died of a stroke in New York when she was almost 90 years old.
Thank you, Lauren, for choosing roles which portray strong, confident women.

BBC - The Late Show Face to Face: Lauren Bacall 1995

Jewish Women's Archives

Lauren's Best Lines 

Mar 8, 2017

Ruth W. Messinger is the former President of the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) and their current Global Ambassador. A lifelong activist, Ruth works to provide the aide that is needed all over the world, to the poorest countries globally. They promote human rights, launch campaigns against genocide, reform international food aid, stop violence against women and LGBT people, and much more.

Ruth was named one of the 10 most inspiring women religious leaders of 2012 by The Huffington Post; the 6th most influential Jew in the world by The Jerusalem Post; and was listed annually on The Forward’s “Forward 50” for nearly a decade.

You can find the American Jewish World Service at

Feb 28, 2017

She was born Golda Mabovitch in 1898 in Kiev, which is now in the Ukraine, but then it was part of the Russian Empire. In her autobiography, Golda tells about her father boarding their home up, during the pogroms in 1905 in Kiev, where over 100 Jews were murdered. In 1906 her family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

She was a natural leader, famous for having raised money to pay for textbooks for her whole school when she was only 11 years old. She knew how to speak from her heart. She ran away from home when she was 15 years old because her parents wanted her to leave school and get a job. She went to Denver, where her sister Sheyna lived. There she learned about Zionism. She met Morris Myerson there, and they married, on the condition that they would move to Israel, which they did, in 1921 to Kibbutz Merhavia. They moved to Jerusalem in 1924 and had two children, Menahem and Sarah.

In Jerusalem, Golda Meir became politically active, by representing the Histadrut Trade Union and also serving as a delegate to the World Zionist Organization. This area, at the time, was under the control of Great Britain, as prescribed by the sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916. This was a secret agreement from 1916 between the French and the British, which the Russians agreed to, that split up the region of what is now Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Armenia, and Israel.

The British White Paper of 1939 went so far to allow the Arab official of the area to determine the rate of Jewish Immigration, including during the Second World War. Golda Meir fought hard against these policies at the time. When it was decided that the Jews would be given a homeland in the area of Palestine, it was clear that there would be a war.

Golda knew English, so she knew how to speak to the American Jews. She went on a fundraising trip, and came back with 50M dollars! They were able then to buy weapons from Czechoslovakia, which enabled them to defend themselves during the war of independence. In 1948, Israel declared its independence and Golda Meir’s signature is on that declaration.

She was elected to the Israeli parliament, and when the fighting with the Arabs started, David Ben-Gurion sent her, dressed up in disguise as an Arab, on a secret mission, to plead with King Abdullah I not to enter into a war against Israel.

He declined.

On May 10, 1948, four days before the official establishment of Israel, Meir traveled to Amman, Jordan, disguised as an Arab woman for a secret meeting with King Abdullah I of Transjordan at which she urged him not to join the other Arab countries in attacking the Jews. Abdullah asked her not to hurry to proclaim a state. Meir replied: "We've been waiting for 2,000 years. Is that hurrying?"

The war expanded to include Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, and Syria, all against Israel. The result, as we know, is that Israel preserved her independence. Golda was named the Minister of Labor, then the Foreign Minister. Carrying the first Israeli-issued passport, Meir was appointed Israel's ambassador to the Soviet Union.

In 1955, on Ben-Gurion's instructions, she stood for the position of mayor of Tel Aviv. She lost by the two votes of the religious bloc who withheld their support because she was a woman.

Golda Meir gave a speech to the UN in 1962 urging Arabs to agree to full disarmament. Here is part of the introduction:
[audio clip on podcast]

When Golda Meir was 68 years old, even though she wanted to leave the world of politics, she was convinced to stay on as the head of the Mapai party, which she was able to merge with two other parties into the Israel Labor Party. After Prime Minister Levi Eshkol suddenly died in 1969, she put off her retirement again and agreed to serve out the remainder of his term. Then her party won the elections, and she got a further four years as prime minister.

During her time as prime minister, she met with Henry Kissinger, she agreed for “security versus sovereignty,” where Israel would accept that Egypt has all of Sinai, while Egypt would accept Israeli presence in some of the Sinai strategic positions.
At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team and a German police guard were murdered. Golda Meir then ok'd what is known as Operation Wrath of God, which was an undercover operation carried out by the Mossad, to kill the people responsible for the massacre, who were from the PLO and the Black September.

Now, let’s talk about the lead up to the Yom Kippur War. The Israeli intelligence couldn’t say for sure if an attack was being planned by the surrounding Arab nations, but on Oct 5, 1973, Meir did receive notice that the Syrian forces were massing on the Golan Heights. Her advisers said that they would still have enough time, if needed, to gather the Israeli troops up to fight, but the general feeling in the country was there would not be an attack after the results of the Six-Day War. So although a resolution was passed giving Golda the OK to gather all of the troops together just in case, she didn’t do it early enough.

Soon, it was clear that there would be war. Golda met with Moshe Dayan who was Minister of Defense, and with General David Elazar. Dayan said there would not be war, so to only gather up the air force and two divisions. General Elazar said that Israel should mobilize all of her troops, plus launch a preemptive strike. Golda Meir did not launch a strike but did gather the troops. She was afraid to lose the US backing, which would certainly be lost if Israel was seen to be the first attacker.
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger later made a famous statement, that if Israel had launched a preemptive strike, she would not have received “so much as a nail.”

After the Yom Kippur War, Meir and her party were plagued with questions over the lack of preparation for the war. She resigned in April of 1974, succeeded by Yitzhak Rabin as prime minister. She died at the age of 80 from cancer in 1978.

The women I talk about are our teachers. Our mentors. Our examples of how we can behave today, how we can be strong women, know ourselves, give of ourselves, and make the world a better place. We are making history now! Every day!

So do something great!

Memorable! Make history!!

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