Cover image for Lifecycles
Orenstein, Debra, 1962-
First edition.
Physical Description:
volumes <1 > ; 24 cm
v. 1. Jewish women on life passages & personal milestones-- v. 2. Jewish women on Biblical themes in contemporary life.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BM726 .L5 1994 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
BM726 .L5 1994 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
BM726 .L5 1994 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in personal ritual and spirituality, as well as an exciting expansion of women's participation and leadership in Jewish life. The three volumes of Lifecycles bring together over 100 leading thinkers to create the first comprehensive work on Jewish lifecycle that features women's perspectives.

In a style that is perceptive, insightful and personal, Lifecycles, V. 1 covers the spectrum of life's passages and personal milestones: Childbirth, Conversion, Marriage, Singlehood, Coming Out, Mid-Life, Divorce, Aging and more. Included are personal narratives, traditional concepts, new approaches, practical insights and rituals and ceremonies to study and use. The contributors explore tradition and innovation with passion and self-awareness, expressing the way Jewish women see--and affect--the world.

Introductions by Rabbi Debra Orenstein provide readers with a broader context for the ideas shared in each section. Complete with an afterword guide to creating rituals, this landmark volume gives women a resource for recognizing and marking their own life passages and personal milestones.


Arlene Agus * Rebecca T. Alpert * Amy Bardack * Bonnie Ellen Baron * Lawrence Baron * Elana Rosenfeld Berkowitz * Leila Gal Berner * Antonia M. Bookbinder * Barbara Breitman * Anne Brener * Shoshana Brown-Gutoff * Debra Cantor * Nina Beth Cardin * Treasure Cohen * Carol V. Davis * Rick E. F. Dinitz * Tina D. Fein Dinitz * Sue Levi Elwell * Amy Eilberg * Merle Feld * Elizabeth Warner Frank * Tikva Frymer-Kensky * Laura Geller * Mary Gendler * Lynn Gottlieb * Rivka Haut * Pamela Hoffman * Barbara D. Holender * Vicki Hollander * Margaret Holub * Norma Baumel Joseph * Debra Newman Kamin * Patricia Karlin-Neumann * Lori Hope Lefkovitz * Rose L. Levinson * Jane Litman * Shulamit Magnus * Catherine Hall Myrowitz * Debra Orenstein * Harriet M. Perl * Renee Gal Primack * Einat Ramon * Jane Baron Rechtman * Sandy Eisenberg Sasso * Mildred Seltzer * Dena Shenk * Eleanor Smith * Ellen M. Umansky * Sheila Peltz Weinberg * Chava Weissler * Clara Frances Zilberstein

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Judaism has sometimes gotten a bad rap when it comes to women--remember the prayer men say thanking God they're not women? But modern Jewish women wanted to participate fully in their religion and have started reclaiming Judaism as their own. Orenstein, a seventh-generation rabbi, offers the first of three volumes that deals with the experiences and perceptions of a modern Jewish woman's life cycle. Marriage, childbirth, divorce, and aging are among the subjects discussed and celebrated with prayers, new liturgies and rituals, and traditional texts for these seasons of a woman's life. An innovative book for readers wishing to connect with Jewish feminism. ~--Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

Few rabbis two millennia ago, or even two decades ago, would have cited childbirth, menstruation, coming out or menopause as life passages to be marked by prayer and ceremony. As this powerful compendium illustrates, however, feminism has transformed the definition of Jewish lifecycle events, imbuing ritual with innovation and creativity. The 50 Jewish women-scholars, rabbis, thinkers and poets-who have contributed provocative essays and moving ceremonies to this rich collection do so with a passion for molding Judaism and feminism. Every possiblity within feminine lifecycles is explored with openness. The contributors' sincerity, coupled with depth of knowledge, moves this volume past faddishness to resonance with the women of all ages. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

While traditional Judaism has special ceremonies to commemorate some of the personal milestones people experience-e.g., coming of age, marriage, and death-many life passages, particularly those affecting women, remain unheralded-e.g., menstruation, miscarriage, childbirth, menopause, and divorce. This book, a result of conferences that brought together (mostly women) rabbis, scholars, writers, and others, provides suggested prayers, rituals, poems, and other readings for these and other experiences. Together with Rabbi Orenstein's thoughtful introductory essays, they make a unique compendium of helpful, meaningful, and certainly thought-provoking material useful to all Jewish women and the libraries that serve them. This is the first in a projected three-volume set that will cover life themes and Jewish holidays and festivals. Highly recommended.-Marcia Welsh, Guilford Free Lib., Ct. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.