Where We Find Ourselves

Jewish Women around the World Write about Home

Edited by Miriam Ben-Yoseph & Deborah Nodler Rosen

Subjects: Women's Studies, Jewish Studies, Family Studies, Identity, Narrative
Series: SUNY series in Modern Jewish Literature and Culture, Excelsior Editions
Paperback : 9781438425221, 286 pages, February 2009
Hardcover : 9781438425214, 286 pages, February 2009

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Table of contents

Miriam Ben-Yoseph and Deborah Nodler Rosen
Miriam Ben-Yoseph and Deborah Nodler Rosen
Nava Semel, translated by Anthony Berris (Israel/USA)
A Home Called Exile
Diana Anhalt (Mexico)
The Kitchen
Miriam Ben-Yoseph (Romania/Israel/USA)
Mirka and I (excerpt from an autobiographical novel,The Edge of the Field)
Helen Degen Cohen/Halina Degenfisz (Poland/Belarus/USA)
Independence Park: A Fiction
Dina Elenbogen (USA/Israel)
Burning in Cuba
Jyl Lynn Felman (USA/Israel/Cuba)
Homeland Security
S. E. Gilman (USA)
A Letter to My Grandmother on Coming Home from Europe
Sara Paretsky (USA)
Marked by Carnival
Dina Rubina, translated by Daniel M. Jaffe (Russia/Israel)
Else Lasker-Schüler, translated by Janine Canan (Germany/Israel)
Memories of My Chinese Home
Eve Perkal (Poland/China/USA)
To Return to One’s Homeland
Marjorie Agosin, translated by Betty Jean Craige (Chile/USA)
Snow Unites Jerusalem
Dalia Kaveh, translated by Linda Stern Zisquit (Israel)
From Cairo to Chicago
Marcelle Levy (Egypt/USA)
Bella, 1908
Ada Molinoff (USA)
Caroline Smadja (Tunisia/France/Israel/USA)
Jewish Oil Brat
Shalom Bayit
Davi Walders (USA)

All but My Life
Gerda Weissmann Klein (Poland/USA)
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Arlene Zide (USA)
Viva Hammer (Australia/USA)
Rochelle Mass (Canada/Israel)
The Mah-Jongg Set
Deborah Nodler Rosen (USA)
A Jewish Romanian in Oxford
Maria Roth (Romania)
In the Margin
Madeline Tiger (USA)
To the Smell of Sea and Pickle
Dalia Kaveh, translated by Linda Stern Zisquit (Israel)
Isibaya (The Home)
Cha Johnston (South Africa)
Ellen Cassedy (USA)
Dalia Kaveh, translated by Linda Stern Zisquit (Israel)
The Girl in the Balcony
Angelina Muñiz-Huberman (Mexico)
The Music and Language of Home
Sara Schwarzbaum (Argentina/USA)
Judith Ilson Taylor (USA)
Morning Exercise
Line of Defense
Linda Zisquit (USA/Israel)
I, May I Find Home
Dorothy Field (USA)
The Dina Letters
Barbara F. Lefcowitz (USA)
My Indian Bene Israel Home
Erusha Newman (India/USA)
In Your Letter
Julie Parson-Nesbitt (USA)
If Only I’d Been Born a Kosher Chicken
Jyl Lynn Felman (USA/Israel/Cuba)
My Mother’s Roots
Helen Degen Cohen/Halina Degenfisz (Poland/Belarus/USA)
My Iranian Sukkah
Farideh Dayanim Goldin (Iran/USA)
Home for Thanksgiving
Rachel Goldin Jinich (USA)
At Home in Shabat
Arlene Hisiger (USA/Israel)
Learning the Language
Tracy Koretsky (USA)
When We Are Born We Are Given a Golden Tent and All Of Life Is the Folding and Setting Up of the Tent
Edith Altman (Germany/USA)

Explores the universal longing for home, illuminated through the essays, poetry, and fiction of forty Jewish women writers from around the world.


In this remarkable collection of essays, stories, and poems, Jewish women writers from around the world offer diverse perspectives on the idea of home. The longing for home is as ancient as the exile from Eden, and for the thirty-nine writers showcased in this anthology, the struggle to find and redefine home has been intensified by history, the Holocaust, and the diverse cultural, political, and religious contexts in which they live and write. Together, they explore the many natures and meanings of home: home as a place one is born to and sometimes forced to leave; home as a place one can journey toward or create; home as an abstract composite of memories, emotions, and rituals. Some of these writers contend with exile and anti-Semitism, others examine the mixed blessings of sheltered childhoods, and all confront memories in which the historical and personal are intertwined. Their range of perspectives and their personal approaches to a universal concern make Where We Find Ourselves a compelling read for students, scholars, and all who seek to understand what it means to be home.

Miriam Ben-Yoseph is Associate Professor at DePaul University's School for New Learning and coeditor (with Mechthild Hart) of Psychological, Political, and Cultural Meanings of Home. Deborah Nodler Rosen is a poet and the editor of RHINO, an award-winning poetry journal based in Evanston, Illinois.


"…this thoughtful, humbling and undeniably spirited collection makes a comforting touchstone. " — Publishers Weekly

"Where We Find Ourselves is a moving tapestry of Jewish women's search for home in places as diverse as Chile, Romania, Australia, Israel, and the United States. But what is home? We learn from this book that it is many things. It is memory, loss, poetry, language, an illusion, a sand castle to be consumed by time. But it is also the prosaic comforts that make it possible for women to think and dream—it is books, a laptop, a washing machine, and watercolor landscapes on the wall. Sad and hopeful by turns, the stories and essays in this book will illuminate women's yearning to make their home in a place where the heart can speak. " — Ruth Behar, author of An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba