A Minyan of Women: Family Dynamics, Jewish Identity and Psychotherapy Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A Minyan of Women

Family Dynamics, Jewish Identity and Psychotherapy Practice, 1st Edition

Edited by Beverly A. Greene, Dorith Brodbar


360 pages

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This book explores the diverse manner in which family dynamics shaped Jewish identities in ways that were unique and directly connected to their experiences within their families of origin. Highlighted is the diversity of experience of ethnic identity within members of a group of women who are similar in many respects and who belong to an ethnic group that is often invisible. Jewish people, like members of other ethnic groups are often treated as if their identities were homogeneous. However, gender, social class, sexual orientation, factors surrounding immigration status, proximity of family members to the holocaust or pogroms, the number of generations one's family has been in the US and other salient aspects of experience and identites transform and inform the meaning and experience by group members.

The book explores these diversities of experience and goes on to highlight the way in which the intermingling of family dynamics and subsequent Jewish identity in these women is manifested in the practice of psychotherapy.

In 2012, the book had been awarded the Jewish Women Caucus of the Association for Women in Psychology Award for Scholarship, for that year.

This book was published as a special issue of Women and Therapy.


"A Minyan of Women is a marvelous, eclectic, inspiring collection of writings about family dynamics, Jewish and intersecting identities. Most are personal narratives, while others are commentaries written by colleagues and allies from different cultural backgrounds and religious identities.

There can be an initial discomfort in hearing/reading how one’s primary culture and identity is perceived by another, but in reading this book, sitting with and through that discomfort led to a more compassionate, multidimensional framework for understanding Jewish identity as it impacts self, family, clients and colleagues, as well as community."

--Jewish Women Caucus Award for Women in Psychology Committee

Table of Contents

Foreword 1. Introduction: A Minyan of Women: Family Dynamics, Jewish Identity and Psychotherapy Practice Narratives 2. Sara, Without the ‘‘H’’ 3. A Jewish Woman Who Celebrates Nature 4. Being Jewish and Being a Psychotherapist 5. The Jewish Nonsheep as Lesbian Feminist Therapist 6. From Hidden Child to Godless Jew: A Personal Journey 7. Nu! You Make a Living at This? 8. A Journey From the Big Apple to the South and Beyond 9. Jewish in Alaska: Scanning the Room 10. Somewhere Else: The Geography of a Life 11. Beyond Silence and Survival 12. A Process Without End: Seeking the Unrealized Yet Irrepressible Aspects of Self 13. Elijah’s Ghost: A Female Jewish Therapist Explores the Legacy of Love, Fear, Social Action and Faith 14. French, Catholic, Jewish. Outsider Within 15. From the Outside, Looking In 16. Culture as Both a Lens and a Veil 17. Am I Jewish? 18. Reflections on a Carpathian Legacy 19. I’ve Always Known I’m Jewish, but How Am I Jewish? 20. I Am the Rabbi’s Daughter 21. How I Lost My Yiddische Kop and Found It Again: The Un-M-Bellished Truth 22. Journey to the Start of Day: Ancestry, Ethnicity, and My Work as a Clinical Psychologist 23. Growing up Jewish: The Shaping of One Activist 24. My Names 25. On Being and Not Being Jewish: From Pink Diapers to Social Activist=Feminist Commentaries 26. One Particular Minyan 27. On Poets, Revolutionaries, and the Power of Naming 28. Looking Beneath the Surface: Trauma, Invisibility, and the Negotiation of Identity in the Minyan 29. Leah with an ‘‘H’’ or How I am Jewish, But Not Really 30. Speaking Truth to Power in the Minyan 31. Healing the Self, Healing the World: A Feminist Journey 32. Memories, Reflections, and Questions 33. The Minyan: Through the Lens of a Black Child of Harlem 34. Culture and the Self: On Paradoxes and Contradictions 35. Mazel Tov Epilogue 36. Intersectionality and the Complexity of Identities: How the Personal Shapes the Professional Psychotherapist

About the Editors

Beverly A. Greene is a Professor of Psychology at St. John's University and a practicing clinical psychologist in New York City. The author of nearly 100 publications, nine are the subject of national awards that include the APA Division 35 Psychotherapy with Women Researh Award (1995, 1996, 2000), The Association for Women in Psychology's Women of Color Psychologies Publication Award for making substantial contributions to the psychological literature for raising the visibility of previously overlooked populations.

Dorith Brodbar, MA, MS. Ed, PhD is a counselor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York and a clinical psychologist in independent practice at Lindenhurst, N.Y. Dr. Brodbar has worked with deaf individuals and their families in academic and clinical environments including six years with deaf mothers and their hearing children in the Parent-Infant Therapeutic Nursery Program at the Lexington Center for Mental Health Services.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Health Care Delivery
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / General
RELIGION / Judaism / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Jewish Studies