Review of Living Legacies – Volume VI By E.p. Snider

Thank you E.p. Snider for this wonderful review of Living Legacies – Volume VI.

Kudos Liz Pearl. In volume VI of Living Legacies you have succeeded once again to compile and edit unique stories and essays written by contemporary Canadian Jewish women. Every one has a story to tell. Thank you for giving us a vehicle to tell our tale and the opportunity to express ourselves. I was fortunate to have this opportunity when my submission was published in Volume III. Previous editions feature fascinating high quality mini memoirs by talented females in all walks of life on a multitude of varied themes and issues. Volume VI continues this tradition and doesn’t disappoint.

Many of the narratives describe unique relationships of parents with their offspring. In “Lessons From Josh ” his mother Sharon Neiss-Arbess describes how her son, with his perseverance and positive attitude influenced her and helped her cope with his disability. Other mothers came forward and described their thoughts and experiences with raising a child with autism.

“All You Need Is Love” – A Two Diary Queen Night” are the factual and honest accounts of both a mother and her chosen daughter when the daughter decides to search and meet her biological parents. Bonnie Lawrence and her daughter Beth Lawrence candidly reveal how they navigated through this situation and dealt with their often hurt and conflicted emotions.

Some narratives are written humorously–an example being “Typical Morning In My House and Legacy Lessons Learned” by author Amy Fish, others are heart breaking. Deborah J Loman in her submission “My Gifts of Grief” describes her intense feelings of guilt and sorrow following the tragic suicide of her youngest son and her difficult journey to enjoy life once again.

Another sad but inspiring story was written by Karen Malkin-Lazarovitz. She was diagnosed with the BRCA mutation. This mutation is prevalent in the Jewish population and those who possess it are at a higher risk to develop certain types of cancer. Karen opted to have preventive surgery. She is an advocate for those suffering from hereditary cancers and she has established multiple support groups. Other authors also share their stories re living with a personal disability or handicap.

The other narratives are also personal in some way, whether it be about finding oneself or tracing ones roots. Some are spiritual and describe the writers connections with Israel. In this volume Lori Cohen born to Irish Canadian parents describes why on her spiritual quest she chose to follow Judaism and eventually become a Rabbi. Rose Shoshana Pellman was previously a male brought up in an Orthodox home. She describes the emotional and conflicting decision to transgender and the challenges it posed with her religion and family. This narrative is a must read and a compelling tale.

In others submissions the authors pay tribute to parents or other relatives and the influence they played in their life. The narratives illustrate Jewish life in previous generations and help us reconnect with our roots and remember our past. We the sisterhood of Canadian Jewish women must continue to write our memoirs to leave a legacy for our children and grand children and we must inspire them to write to leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren. We have so much to contribute that there is enough material to fill infinite volumes of Living Legacies.turqtest


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