Reviving American Families: A Review Essay

By Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA), Spring 2000

Mary Piper authored three books at the end of the 1990s: "Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls," "The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding our Families," and "Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of our Elders." These books highlight the American cultural urge to separate families and encourage individuals to lose themselves in the non-personal demands of the greater society. Piper issues a call for communal response, to which the Jewish community can issue a strong reply. Jewish values such as observing Shabbat, celebrating the Bat Mitzvah, and respecting elders can reinforce the familial support structure that Pipher sees deteriorating in America. Reengaging families in communal Jewish life is a statement of tikkun olam in which Jewish communities can reclaim their stake in interpersonal connections.

Topic: Generational Issues, Family, Aging, Elderly, Values, Community Building

Name of Publication: The Reconstructionist

Editor: Hirsh, Richard

Volume/Issue: Vol. 64/No. 2

Page Number(s): 57-62

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Genre: Book Review

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Fuchs-Kreimer, Nancy. Reviving American Families: A Review Essay. The Reconstructionist. Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA). Spring 2000: 57-62.


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