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Esther M. Broner

(1930- )

BRONER, ESTHER M. (1930– ), U.S. author. Broner was born in Detroit and is the author of nine books, including her first publication, the play Summer is a Foreign Land (1966), the novel A Weave of Women (1978), and the work of non-fiction Bringing Home the Light: A Jewish Woman's Handbook of Rituals (1999). The child of Russian immigrants, she is best known for her attempts to include women in Jewish ritual. Using feminist principles, her work often turns to alternative traditions of healing and magic. Broner's concern with boundaries and separation led her to fight the constraints traditional Jewish ceremonies imposed on women. In A Women's Haggadah (co-written with Naomi Nimrod), part of the The Telling (1993), she chronicles the creation of the first women's seder s in New York. Within this feminist Haggadah, the women ask and answer questions about the contributions women have made to Judaism. Broner's work has appeared in numerous national publications, including Ms. Magazine, Women's Review of Literature, North American Review, Mother Jones, The Nation and Tikkun. She has taught and lectured at numerous American and Israeli universities: Columbia University, CUNY-City College, Haifa University, Ohio State, New York University, Oberlin College, Sarah Lawrence College, Tulane University, and UCLA. She has also received various honors, the O. Henry Award, two National Endowment for the Arts Awards (1987 and 1979), The City of New York Award for "A Celebration of Jewish Heritage" (2000), and a Distinguished Alumni of Wayne State University Award, where she is professor emerita. In addition to writing about Jewish ritual and faith, she has performed various peace ceremonies around the world, for example, in the Sinai Desert, on the White House lawn, and at a UN event in Nairobi.

[Sara Newman (2nd ed.)]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.