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June 14, 1985 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-06-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


, Friday., ,June 1,4 ; 0985 25


. "141M14"0"
r'Itml ,riggrormlfriffrrirs",!; 4"1


must knew the way to make
a proper home,
a quiet home, a kosher home.
Who must. raise a family
and run the home
So papa's free to read the Holy Book.

These lyrics from Fiddler on the
Roof dramatically describe the tradi-
tional role of Jewish women. However,
as in Fiddler on the Roof, traditions
bend with the times and like Tevye,
Dr. Esther Masserman Broner is one
such trendsetter: More accurately, she
is a pioneer, a warrior, a peacemaker
for women, especially Jewish women.
Dr. Broner has been married to
Robert Broner for over 35 years. To-
gether they have raised four children
and managed a remarkable balance in .
their careers as well. They divide their
careers between Detroit and New
York where Dr. Broner has been
teaching for 20 years at Wayne State
University as associate professor of
English and writer-in-residence and
concurrently at Sarah Lawrence Col-
lege in New York. Robert is a promi-
nent artist.
She is the author of numerous
novels, articles and plays dealing with
the plight of women. A central theme
persists throughout her works of the
relationships of women with them-
selves and their mothers. Two of her
novels, A Weave of Women and Her
Mothers, published by Holt, Rinehart
Special to The Jewish News
& Winston, are both being reprinted
this year.
ing the holiday role of women to not
man, were discouraging and "were
The novels have been an inspira-
only a ceremonial one but a spiritual
worried about The Women's Passover
tion to Harriet Berg, long-time friend
Haggadah. It upset them but later
one as well."
of Dr. Broner. Mrs. Berg has taught
This has not been an easy task. "I
they became proud of it. Until that
modern dance at the Jewish Commu-
would be in synagogues where I would
time I had to do this on my own." Her
nity Center for 26 years. A Weave of
be booed. it was very painful for me
children did not become supportive.
Women and Her Mothers were the
only because it was my own peopleif I
"You know, we find our own path and
basis of an hour-long ballet entitled
were somewhere else I. would say, 'Oh
they are not finished yet," she says.
"Womensrites." The dance is an exam-
well, you know' . but this was my
However, through persistent
ination of women's roles from birth to
context and • it is in some. ways very.
death, and it toured throughout the • • dedication, Dr. Broner was chosen
nervy to go and ask for approval when
Wonder Woman of the year in 1983. "It
Detroit area in 1980.
you do something which alters the
was awarded. to women over 40 years
Berg admires Dr. Broner. "She's
concept. Because it was a paradigm, it
of age who have taken risks in their
very disciplined and organized. She
showed that time when women were so
lives. My award was for reincorporat-
keeps working and doesn't let disap-
exhausted from cleaning house, so
ing women into their spirituality and
pointment get her down . . . and she's
from cooking, so what is the
had her share of ups and downs."
(Passover) holiday to them — it's a
One hardship Dr. Broiler has
schvitzadicka day, not a holiday at all.
This is true of The Women's
endured was the initial lack of support
Therefore, I was surprised at how
Passover Haggadah
of her family. Her parents, former De-
ceived widespread notice for "chang-
Continued on Page 26
troiters Paul and Beatrice Masser-


Esth Boner
is raiging women's
on both the
tore w is h and

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