The Strong Women’s Club: Fitness business in depth. Health and wellness as tools for success for business women, corporations, female entrepreneurs.

Edie Berg speaks with experts about the business side of the fitness industry, how to grow your fitness business, and how businesses and corporations can use health and wellness to improve employee satisfaction, retention and improve their bottom line. Edie interviews women leaders who use health and fitness as tools for success. Currently, the Strong Women's Club is in Season 3 of production.
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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!!

Thank you to the Jewish Virtual Library, plus other sites I used as resources for today’s show.

You can always see the links to our resources in the show notes, which are on the website at

And: please share this podcast with three of your friends,

Tell them about it, show them how to subscribe and listen.

Thank you!!

Feb 22, 2017

We are continuing with the second half of the 15 Traits of Unabashedly Successful Women!

Remember, you can find the original post, written by me, for, on the website

You can also just keep listening here, and see if you agree with these points or if you don’t agree with them, or if you’d like to add something….
If you would like to comment, you can on the Facebook page of the Strong Women’s Club.

You can also, which would be extremely kind and thoughtful of you, go over to iTunes and leave a little rating and review.

Just press pause, leave a review of one quick sentence on iTunes then come back here and hear why you, too, are a successful woman, and will be and can be a successful woman!!

I’ll wait……

You’re back ---- ha ha ha-----

Ok, let’s jump in where we left off last week.

#8 Successful women remain grateful:
This means that they, we, aren’t afraid to give credit where credit is due. They don’t take things for granted, such as their current position. They are aware of the hard work it has taken to get there, and they’re grateful for their success. And thank you to all the people who’ve helped along the way!

#9: Unabashedly successful women work hard and persistently:
Nobody gets to where they are, if they’re successful, without working hard. Including Tim Ferriss and his four -hour work week, which of course is not four hours, Tim is the first to say it. This sounds obvious, but it’s worth a mention. Doing well takes hard work. Again and again and again. As we say in our house: No Shit, Sherlock. But still.

#10: They don’t sweat the small stuff:
Successful people are good at separating the valuable from the worthless. The wheat from the chaff. They know how to pick their battles.

I recently heard the most wonderful and inspiring Ruth Bader Ginsburg on a podcast called What It Takes, where she says the best advice she ever received was from her future mother in law, before her marriage to Marty. And it was: occasionally, it’s a good idea, to be deaf.

That’s true in a marriage. It’s true at work. It’s true in all relationships.

So don’t sweat the small stuff. Be deaf to it. Move on.

#11 They choose their battles wisely:
This is a direct continuation of the previous point.
Hot shot successful women don’t make a big deal over every little thing.
But, if there’s a real problem, you can be sure it will be swiftly taken care of.

#12. They do what they believe in:
So this is a really important point. It’s crucial. I mean, how can you keep up doing all that hard work, be persistent, known what’s important and what isn’t, if you don’t believe in what you’re doing. You can’t. Plain and simple. You must have a purpose to your work. You must have a meaning. There has to be substance and values behind your work. This is the fuel. This enables us to keep going when it’s hard. And it will be hard.

#13 They have confidence!
Ta DA!!! Yes!!! Successful women believe in themselves!! And it is beautiful!!!! The most beautiful thing is confidence!!

#14 Unabashedly successful women have a vision for the future:
Successful women see a new and better world in the future and work towards achieving those changes.
They are in it for the long haul.

#15!!! They feel successful, but never done!
There’s always more, always better, always further to reach. These women are seemingly tireless, ultimately devoted and constantly curious!

So, ladies, nobody is superwoman. We are all made of flesh and blood.
However, if you want to be super-successful, take into account these points, see which of them you have got under control, which could use a little work, and which others you’d add to the list!

This was part two of our success series. Who knows, maybe there will be part three.
Let me know! If you like it, then there will be!

Please leave a rating and review. Somebody told me that if you don’t ask, people won’t know, so I’m asking: Please share this podcast with your friends. I mean properly share it: take their phones, show them where to subscribe from. You can subscribe on iTunes, directly from my website, on Google Play if you’re on Android, or on Stitcher… Plenty of places. So help them get some great free content right on their phones, and help me grow the program. So that’s three friends you can share it with this week. Now even. Do it!

Thanks everybody for listening, ciao for now, and l’hitraot!!

Feb 21, 2017

Today’s show is about Rabbi Regina Jonas.

Try to imagine being the first person in the world to do something.

Anything. What would that be?

The reason why I ask you to try and find a place in your mind that puts you in front of everybody else and says, everybody else, in the world, is wrong, and I am right!!

That includes not only the people I don’t know, on the other side of the world, that

I’ve never met, don’t necessarily respect, but even the people that I respect the most.
Even my mother, even my father. They’re wrong too, and I am right.

The first female rabbi in the world was Rabbi Regina Jonas from Berlin, Germany.

This story is interesting on a few different levels.

One is what I’m talking about now.

Regina was a teacher, and then she went on to study at the Academy for the Science of Judaism. She graduated, and her position then was an Academic Teacher of Religion.

Not a rabbi, but that’s not what she wanted. Regina, our heroine! Wanted to be a rabbi.

So she went ahead and wrote a thesis, which is a requirement if you want to be ordained.

The subject of her thesis was: “Can a Woman be a Rabbi According to Halachic Sources?”
Her conclusion, based on biblical, Talmudic, and rabbinical sources was: Yes, and therefore, she should have been ordained!!

Clever, but not enough.

The professors there refused to ordain her.

Regina then applied to Rabbi Leo Baeck, the spiritual leader of the German Jewry at the time, who was her teacher also.

He refused.

But our Regina Jonas was persistent! Not taking no for an answer!

A more liberal rabbi, Max Dienemann, in Offenbach, who was the head of the Liberal Rabbis Association ordained Regina Jonas on December 27, 1935!! YOOHOO!!!

The next part of Regina’s story is very sad.

Of course, Germany in the 1930’s was the rise of the Third Reich.

Many Rabbis of Germany fled, left, which enabled Regina, funnily enough, to finally be able to have her congregation, because up to that point, she didn’t.

But not for long.

She was forced to a labor factory, then in 1942 arrested and deported to Theresienstadt.

In the concentration camp, she continued her rabbinical work.

She was there for two years before being deported to Auschwitz, and murdered in December of 1944 at the age of 42 years old.

How do we know about her story?

We didn’t!

It was widely thought that the first ordained female rabbi was Sally Jane Priesand from the US in 1972.

After the fall of the Berlin wall, Regina Jonas’s files were found in an obscure archive in East Berlin. She had left there a few of her papers, two photographs of herself.

That’s it.

A short documentary film was made to record the trip to Germany to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Regina Jonas’s death.

Gail Reimer directed it, it’s called “In The Footsteps of Regina Jonas.”

Here’s a short clip from the ceremony at Theresienstadt, during that commemoration trip.

Thank you to The Jewish Women’s Archive which you can find at And to the Yad Vashem website. And to

Music Credits:
Deliberate Thought by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license

Sunday's Child by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license

B - Somber Ballads by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license

Feb 15, 2017

Hi everybody, I’m Edie Berg, thank you so much for joining me today!
Today’s episode is #84 of the longer version podcast, and next week’s episode is #85 -- amazing how it works that way, hey?
So for these two episodes, I’ll be doing solo episodes, and let’s see how we go.

A few reasons for this:

1. I like doing them! It’s fun just to talk into the mic: it’s kind of freeing for me!

2. I don’t have to worry about having a guest. So this is also true for the quickie history podcasts, the #SWC’s, that I don’t have a live guest whom I ask questions. In the quickie podcast I talk about a strong Jewish woman in history, and it’s only about 5 minutes long.
So even if you hate history, you can probably swallow these podcasts, plus I try to make them interesting with sound bites from the past, which are really fun to hear.

3. I feel the need to start talking about issues that I’m thinking about, and start teaching! So you probably know that I’m working on a big leadership conference that I’m producing, coming up at the end of March. It’s a ton of work. In that conference we’ll concentrate on leadership, gender equality, entrepreneurial skills, and Jewish daily life. So I figure it’s a good idea to start teaching some of those, or all of those, topics here too.

So today, I’m taking kind of a cool short cut. Cool for me, that is.
Last summer, or rather, for the whole second half of last year, I decided it was important to write for large online publications. I still think that’s true, and I’ll be going back to that more once the summit is over for this time. One of the article I wrote was for, and it has been shared on Facebook over 49,000 times which really is a lot of times!! So although I find that rather surprising, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share the article here.

Now the article is a listicle, which is an article based around a list, duh. I used that format, not because I particularly love it, but because particularly loves it!

The title of the article is “15 Traits of Unabashedly Successful Women.” I’m going to talk about all 15 traits that I wrote, but not all today.
I’ll do half today, and half next week, so it won’t be too much for you, or for me, all in one episode! So let’s get going!!
I learned from interviewing super-successful women each week for well over a year, and that’s where I gathered this info from. It isn’t a scientific research article. More things that I’ve learned, and now I’m passing them on to you, my lovely listeners, whom I appreciate so much!!

Number one: Unabashedly successful women play to their strengths!
So before you can play to your strengths, you have to know yourself pretty well, or really well, know and accept that you aren’t good at everything, but you are really great at some things. Do those, and delegate the rest! For example: you love to talk on podcasts, but you don’t love the social media aspect of running an online business? Get somebody else to do it! They’ll thank you for it, they’ll do it a lot faster than you, and certainly better than you. Plus, you’ll have more time freed up from not doing what you don’t love to dedicate to other tasks that need to be addressed. So that was successful women play to their strengths.

Number two: They have ambition.
These women do not dream about being the best in their section or in their department. Their eyes are set on being the best in the state or country, at least. Most want to change the world! So think big, then think bigger! Am I teaching leadership? NO! I’m building a movement of career-minded women who want to change the world for themselves and for the following generations!

Number three: They stay positive.
Successful women, actually, successful people, which will include men, even though I tend to talk about the standpoint of the woman, because that’s what I understand best; successful women know how to deal with disappointment in a way that keeps them from getting down and staying down. They know the future will be bright for them. And they know it from inside themselves, not needing constant encouragement from outside sources. So get it into your head, and believe it, keep it there, that you will be a success! You already are a success! And tomorrow will be even greater, even brighter!

Number four: They’re organized.
Ok, so not every person is born organized. But the successful ones behave this way: when I approach them to do the podcast, they say yes or no, but they answer quickly. If it’s a yes, then they check their calendars, book a date, then do the interview. Not a lot of reschedules, no extra emails. They decide what they want to do, when they want to do it, and then they just do it. Simple and organized. No big deal.

Number five trait of unabashedly successful women: They’re constantly learning.
These women do not stay static. They are continuously improving themselves, use mentors and coaches to accelerate their improvement. This is important, as are all the other traits on this list. But you not only need to keep up with the game, you need to get ahead of it, and you need to even invent it. But if you stay on the same level, then you really aren’t. You really are going backwards. And backwards is not a good thing. At every stage of your career, every stage of your life, be sure to be a constant learner. Otherwise, life is just too damn boring. That’s a known fact :)

Number six! (I kind of feel like I’m emceeing the Price is Right, or Let’s make a Deal, which would be kind of cool….) So number six is that they have a strong support system. Most of the women who are really successful have a very supportive partner or family member. They know that they have somebody to lean on when they need it. Warren Buffet has said that this was his most important business decision of his whole life - choosing who to marry. So, this is not to say, and please don’t get angry with me, and tell me that there are a lot of fabulously successful single people. I know. I do. But that doesn’t mean that who you choose to spend most of your life with isn’t a very important decision, that if you get right, that helps!! It just does! You have to admit that’s true.

Number seven (and the last for today just because that’s how I’ve chosen to split 15 into two): They know that failure and success go together.
You know that. What’s clever is if you expect it, and aren’t afraid of the failure. That takes all of the sting out and that will enable you to readjust, regather quickly, get your ducks in a row, as the girls in my Mastermind like to say, and go for whatever it is again! Stronger now and better now!! So don’t be surprised by failure: Be prepared, think out possible scenarios, worst-case events, be ready! Be bummed when it happens, then move on!

Ok, So those were the first 7 of the 15 traits of unabashedly successful women.
If you want, you can jump ahead to next week, go to where you can read the whole article. You won’t find it on my site, the stuff you write for large publications like that is all original content, so it’s not something I republished or anything like that. Or you can just wait for next week’s Strong Women’s Club podcast episode, which I hope you do!

Now I have a request for you- actually, it’s a couple of requests:
One, please go to iTunes now, yes right now. Even if you’re on the treadmill, then stop for just a second, turn your run into intervals, and jump on over to iTunes and leave a nice rating and review. Then, while you’re there, please share this episode with three of your friends, who you think might enjoy it! Only three, not the whole PTA, or whatever. Just copy the link right off of the iTunes page there, and paste it onto a WhatsApp group of friends, or onto your FB page, or LinkedIn, or wherever, and share it! That would be really helpful. This podcast has to grow faster.

So I truly appreciate it. Truly. Tag me, if you want, and I’d love to thank you. That’s thanking you for your thank you, but that’s ok. It’s nice to be nice to each other. Have a great week everybody, keep working, keep being strong and getting stronger. Ciao for now! L’Hitraot!

Feb 14, 2017

Hi everybody, I'm Edie Berg. Thank you so much for joining me here today and this is a quick podcast about a strong Jewish woman in history.

Voice 1: Well, now, what is a feminist?

Betty Friedan: Feminist? Well, we all have our definition about it, and I say feminism is pluralism, too, that it takes a different form in a different time in different situations. But my definition of feminism is that it is the movement of women to full equality, to true equality, to have their own voice and their own participation in the mainstream of society and it is an explication and an affirmation of values that come from female experience in every discipline and every profession and every part of society, an affirmation of the principles and values that have so far been limited to female experience by men.

EB: That was Betty Friedan, a strong Jewish woman who is credited with sparking the beginning of the second wave of feminism in the United States. She wrote many books, the first being "The Feminine Mystique." Betty had surveyed her former college classmates for their 15th-year reunion. And after talking to them, she realized that many of these women, even though they had very comfortable conditions, they lived in nice homes and everything, were unhappy as housewives. And she discovered that most of these women wanted more in their lives than taking care of their husbands and their children in their homes. "The Feminine Mystique," that thing, that title, means it was the illusion made by media that showed that women were happy as housewives, or unhappy in their careers as working women. Betty Friedan, in fact, had to experience that same dissatisfaction in her own life. Here's Betty talking about true equality:

BF: True equality, we already have a sense of a more complex definition. And we're not even yet that close to simple economic equality in the job place as well because women are still in this country only 62 cents on the dollar...

EB: In the book, she discusses how the first wave of feminism fought and secured really important women's rights such as education and the right to vote. Betty Friedan is credited with sparking the beginning of the second wave of feminism in the US. In 1966, Betty Friedan cofounded and was elected as the first president of the National Organization for Women, or NOW. The main goal of NOW was to bring women into the mainstream of American society in full, equal partnership with men. Pretty simple. She called for the drastic rethinking of what it means to be feminine. And that is the main idea behind the book and the concept of feminine mystique.

In 1970, Betty Friedan organized the Women's Strike for Equality, which was a huge success, a big march which was a forerunner of the big women's march that we just had in the beginning of 2017. Betty was a very strong supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment to the constitution, which of course passed congress by a huge landslide.

There's a quote from Betty's memoir, in Life So Far, where she says, "The truth is, that I've always been a bad-tempered bitch. But some people say that I have mellowed some. I don't know." When Betty was asked if she thought she would see, in her lifetime, true equality between the genders, this was her answer:

BF: And I think that in our lifetime, we might see it, but that means that the young women that are saying "I'm not a feminist, but..." have got to start saying "I am a feminist, AND..."

EB: A quote from The Feminine Mystique, is the only way for a woman, as for a man, to find herself, to know herself as a person, is by creative work of her own.

Most of the information for today's episode was taken from an interview from the Public Affairs Roundtable way back in 1985, plus from Wikipedia of Betty Friedan and the Feminine Mystique, and from the Jewish Women's Archive as usual.

Thank you for joining me today, if you like these podcasts please jump onto iTunes and leave a rating and review. It's an awesome way to say thank you and it doesn't take much time, plus if you listen to the podcast make sure that you subscribe. And also share it with three other people that you think would also love it. Maybe your daughter or your friend from the gym who's running next to you on that treadmill, or maybe a friend at work who's complaining about the long commute or somebody who says that she's in the car all the time, driving kids around. Share it with them, that would be a great gift to me and make a big difference to the podcast as well. I really, really appreciate it. Have a wonderful week, the next podcast this week is Starting a Success Series, so stay tuned for that. Ciao for now and L’hitraot!


Feb 8, 2017

Today’s podcast gives you a small, behind the scenes look into podcasting, my personal history, plus I interview Bex Kvasnik and she interviews me!

Bex Kvasnik has two podcasts of her own about Jewish issues: Not So Kosher and Jewbalations.

You can find both of these podcasts, plus others she has on her network, on her website which is

Let me know what you think of this format. Do you like it?

Then please leave a review on iTunes, which will help us get found by other listeners.
It’s a great way to say thank you, and is appreciated.


Feb 7, 2017

Today I’ll tell you about a Jewish woman who did NOT get the Nobel prize.
But first, I’ll tell you who the Jewish women are that DID get the Nobel prize.
There are eight amazing women on this list:

1947 Gerty Cori - Physiology or Medicine-USA-: For their discovery of the source of the catalytic conversion of glycogen

1966 Nelly Sachs - Literature - Sweden-: for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel’s destiny with touching strength

1977 Rosalyn Sussman Yalow - Physiology or Medicine-USA-: For the development of radioimmunoassays of peptide hormones

1986 Rita Levi-Montalcini (together with Stanley Cohen) Physiology or Medicine - Italy-: For their discoveries of growth factors

1988 Gertrude Elion: Physiology or Medicine-USA-: for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment

1992- Nadine Gordimer - Literature-South Africa: - who through her magnificent epic writing has, in the words of Alfred Nobel, been of very great benefit to humanity

2004 Elfriede Jelinek - Literature-Austria: for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity fo society’s cliches and their subjugating power

2009 Ada Yonath - Chemistry-Israel- for the studies of the structure and function of the ribosome

So, I know the suspense is killing you, and you are dying to know who is the woman who did NOT get a Nobel Prize. So other than you and me who are also women who might be Jewish and didn’t get a Nobel prize, (unless Ada Yonath or Elfriede Jelinek are listening, then this doesn’t apply to you).

Another Jewish woman who did not get the Nobel Prize, though she deserved it, and her lab partner did get it and didn’t credit her for their discoveries, is:

Lise Meitner

Lise Meitner was a physicist, born 1878, died in 1968, just shy of her 90th birthday.
Lise was born to a Jewish family in Vienna, and they were secular Jews. Her dad, once he noticed that Lise was adept at math, he got her a private tutor, insisting that his daughters get the same education as his sons! And in fact, three of her sisters also got their Ph.D.'s Go dad!!

She wasn’t allowed into the high school, which was only for boys, so she concentrated on getting straight into university, which she did, being the first woman to be admitted to the University of Vienna’s physics.

There she met Max Planck, the father of the quantum theory, who invited Lise to Berlin for her post-doc.

Although for five years she wasn’t allowed to go into the lab, because she was a woman, and women’s hair was a danger because it might catch on fire, so they weren’t allowed into the lab, she worked on research on radioactive processes. She wasn’t paid for her work there.

The same year, 1907, that she moved to work in Berlin, she was introduced to Otto Hahn, a chemist her age, who became her research partner on radioactivity for 30 years, in experimental work discovering new radioactive elements and unraveling their complex physical properties. Lise worked on the physics, Otto on the chemistry. But only Otto was officially allowed to work and be paid because Lise was a woman.

Max Planck also invited another scientist to Berlin that year, and that was Albert Einstein, and the three of them, and a few others hung out together a lot during that time.

Lise Meitner published papers of her research then, alone, and together with Otto Hahn. They showed that radioactive recoil could be used to produce elements with very high purity.
Around that time, in 1908, Lise Meitner converted to Christianity, as did two of her sisters.

With the rise of the Third Reich, in 1933 Jewish Academics were stripped of their professorial positions. After the Anschluss, the international physics community secretly planned Lise’s escape from Berlin. She was helped to the Netherlands, then to Sweden via Denmark.

In their letters from that time, between Otto and Lise, Otto asks Lise about a strange bursting that happened to uranium, which formed barium, as a result of his continuing Lise’s work. He wrote a paper, excluding Lise from the research, her research, describing the bursting.

She then worked on the question, figured out that if mass cannot be lost, then the nucleus would be split in two, and would yield tremendous energy.

She then wrote a series of articles on the nuclear fission of uranium. She, together with her nephew, Otto Frisch, were the first ever to use the term fission, describing how a nucleus could be split and transformed into another element.

Lise Meitner disassociated herself from any use of this theoretical knowledge to produce weapons of mass destruction.

It was creative; it was intellectual excellence.

Hahn published Meitner’s work without ever mentioning her, and in 1944 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this work.

Further along in her life, Lise Meitner received many prizes and honorary Ph.D.’s, and after her death, she even had an element named after her: meitnerium, but she never got a Nobel Prize.

Thank you to The Curious Wavefunction,, and the Jewish Women’s Archive for most of the information in today’s podcast.

Thank you for joining me today for this quick podcast about strong Jewish women in history.

Have a great week everybody,

Ciao for now,

Feb 1, 2017

Rabbi Rachel Adler tells us her story about being raised in a reformed household , deciding to become Orthodox, learning Jewish texts and becoming frustrated, and how she became a groundbreaking Jewish theologian, and ultimately received the National Jewish Book Award for Jewish Thought for her book Engendering Judaism.
Dr. Adler has written many important papers about Judaism and feminism, and continues to do so.

She is the David Ellenson Professor of Modern Jewish Thought and Feminist Studies at Hebrew Union College of Los Angeles

Her essay "The Jew Who Wasn't There," first published in 1971, is generally considered the first piece of Jewish feminist theology.

Jan 31, 2017

Welcome to #SWC, a quickie, 5-minute story about an amazing Jewish woman in history!

Thank you for joining me!

This week I attended an online summit, where they asked for three women we were inspired by and why.

I wrote:

Maya Angelou: because of her talent, her beauty, her message, her words. She was the ultimate strong, smart, woman. But she isn’t Jewish, so we won’t talk about her today.

The second woman was Sarah Blakely, the founder of Spanx: what I learn from her is to hustle, hustle, hustle; to believe in yourself despite others not believing in you and to do it all with grace. But, although Sarah is Jewish, she is also alive, and this podcast is about dead Jewish women. So hopefully I’ll be able to get Sarah to come on to the podcast, and I’ll interview her, in real life, and not just read about her.

And the third woman I wrote on that list was Joan Rivers: a woman who broke taboos and was not afraid to speak when others expected her to be soft and quiet and docile.

I started looking for her quotes and clips and I got to watching Fashion Police, which used to be my number one favorite show on TV, which I don’t watch at all now (unless there’s an amazing series, then I spend most of my time NOT watching it, until I can’t hold out anymore, and I binge a few episodes… Like "The Americans", for example.. )

Her story is not a simple one, but one of breaking new ground for women. With a huge personality, a lot of love behind her persona, and a life that wasn’t always clear or easy.

It’s hard to summarize Joan Rivers into a short blog post or podcast.

And I know she may not be in consensus, as to if you think she’s somebody to admire and be inspired by. But I did, and I am and continue to be inspired by her.
Her ultimate chutzpah, the way she could take your breath away with her humor again and again and again. Her ambition was second to none.

One of the things I learned on the summit I attended, which was given by Gloria Feldt and Mary Legakis Engel, was Carpe the Chaos! Meaning, if you want to make a difference, sometimes it’s the difference you’re making that will be the balagan, but it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.

In Joan River’s case, she spoke about gender discrimination all the time, about LGBT issues, about injustices, about abortion rights, about women coming out from under their husband’s rule, way back in the 60’s, when she first became famous on the Johnny Carson Show.

So here’s a clip from 1974, which is clean. I’ve watched hours of her now, supposedly researching today’s show, but really just loving every bit of her. In those hours of research, this is 10 seconds of clean audio, so enjoy!

Let me try and tell you a little about her, some things you may know, and others you may not:

Joan was born Joan Molinsky in New York in 1933, to parents who immigrated to the US from Russia.
She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Barnard College.
She performed her comedy in many many small clubs for about 7 years, before she got her break on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. She became a regular feature on the show, as well as the Ed Sullivan show, before becoming the permanent host when Johnny was away, and she always credited Johnny Carson with her success.

She did not have an easy career, and she was never conceited about her success, quite the opposite. She was an incredibly hard worker, with a crazy work ethic and ambition.

Joan Rivers was married for six months to her first husband, and they divorced and did not have kids together.
Her second husband was also her producer, Edgar Rosenberg, and together they had Melissa Rivers, their only child. They were married for 22 years, and unfortunately, Edgar Rosenberg committed suicide.

Joan Rivers wrote 12 books, had a line of jewelry and clothing on QVC, was in many movies, TV shows, and on Broadway theater. She was nominated for multiple awards; she has a Grammy and a Daytime Grammy award.

Sadly, Joan Rivers died from complications of surgery on her vocal chords, at the age of 81.

Howard Stern, delivering the eulogy, described Joan Rivers as "brassy in public [and] classy in private”.

Jan 25, 2017

This week has been a historic week for women and all of the women’s movements. As you might know, this podcast is nonpolitical, so I won’t talk about the new President, Mr. Trump. I won’t talk about the inauguration either. But it is impossible to ignore the millions of women who marched as a protestor even more, as a response to President Trump’s words, actions and his derogatory innuendos towards women and their rights. I believe that the women’s march was a lot more than a protest. It was a beginning.

A strong, powerful action that regardless of your political belief women came together. That we are not going backward in time. We are not going to put up with the rubbish we put up with for the last decades and centuries or forever. We will not be ignored. We will not be groped. We will not be objectified and we will not be patronized.

In the spirit of freedom and the end of inequality, and in the spirit of hope that the march has brought back, I’d like to highlight, in today’s podcast, Emma Lazarus.
Emma was a Jewish woman, best known for her poem “The New Colossus” which is engraved at the base of the Statue of Liberty. She was born in 1839 and she died when she was only 38 years old. But her first book of poems and translations was published when she was only 17 years old. She was just a child, a girl.

She grew up as part of the elite society in New York City. Her father was wealthy. He was a sugar refiner and they were very well regarded. Mainly because they were not new immigrants from Eastern Europe, but rather they could trace their heritage back to being amongst the first settlers in that area of the United States.

Emma was always aware of being an outsider, of being different. She was also conscious of the antisemitism that bubbled not very far under the surface both in New York and overseas.

Emma Lazarus was not religious at all. She was very happy in her secular life, but she was open about being Jewish, standing up for Jewish rights and civil equality. Her writing was always well received; she was popular in mainstream publications. But she always advocated that immigrants take on the culture of their new country. And reflect the beauty of where they are now and not continually try to adapt their work, writing and their beliefs from the old country and old belief systems. She was very vocal about writing against anti-Semitism and taking a stand against the pogroms in Russia and writing about antisemitism that was going on in the U.S.

Emma Lazarus even wrote in Jewish publications about a new homeland in Palestine. She is credited with being one of the first people to have this vision well before Zionism was even a word and well before Herzl came along. She was a pioneer in those thoughts. She wrote “The New Colossus” in 1883 but that was placed at the base of the Statue of Liberty in 1903 well after she died, 16 years later.

I want to thank the Jewish Women’s Archive, as usual, for most of this information. To end today’s short tribute to this Jewish women’s activist, I’d like to read a short excerpt from her book “Epistle to the Hebrews” where she emphasizes that it doesn’t matter if you, yourself, are doing well if others in the world are suffering. If you don’t’ know, like me, I didn’t know what the word epistle means, epistle means a letter. That’s good to know, so if you ever need to write an epistle instead of a text message, you’ll know what that means.

This is an excerpt from Emma Lazarus’ book “Epistle to the Hebrews.”
“In defiance of the hostile construction that may be put upon my words, I do not hesitate to say that our national defect is that we are not "tribal" enough; we have not sufficient solidarity to perceive that when the life and property of a Jew in the uttermost provinces of the Caucuses are attacked, the dignity of a Jew in free America is humiliated. We who are prosperous and independent have not sufficient homogeneity to champion on the ground of a common creed, common stock, a common history, a common heritage of misfortune, the rights of the lowest and poorest Jew-peddler who flees, for life and liberty of thought, from Slavonic mobs. Until we are all free, we are none of us free. But lest we should justify the taunts of our opponents, lest we should become "tribal" and narrow and Judaic rather than humane and cosmopolitan like the anti-Semites of Germany and Jew-baiters of Russia, we ignore and repudiate our unhappy brethren as having no part or share in their misfortunes- until the cup of anguish is held also to our own lips.”

Have a good week everybody. Please take strength and hope from the women’s march and go do good in your world.


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