Book Review: From Meidelach to Matriarchs: A Journal~ Jewish Women of Yesteryear to Inspire your Today

From Meidelach to Matriarchs: A Journal~ Jewish Women of Yesteryear to Inspire your Today by Mirta Ines Trupp

At first glance at the title of Mirta Ines Trupp’s latest book, I had a mental image of a young “maidelach ” cooking  “kneidlach” under the watchful eye of her “balabusta” mother, but do not be deceived, for in this Journal, the individual stories of  100 Jewish women of all ages are chronicled with careful, and insightful research  from Sara de Saint Giles in the 1300’s, to Sarah Rodrigues Brandon -1798-1828 of Barbados or Claudia Douek Roden 1936-; Jewish women of the 18th-21st century the  majority of whom you will not have heard of.

Each vignette is fascinating in its own right, rich in historical and social detail, however, what I loved and appreciated the most, and I believe is the true value and achievement of this publication, are the questions posed in the journaling section, encouraging the reader to think and reflect, and to analyze the historical and contemporary issues related to each story. The author has written a number of books of Jewish historical fiction but  this series of non-fictional stories can be dipped into at will, or read and responded to, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, as the author suggests, over 100 days. I too love historical fiction and sadly, the author did not include a reference list for further reading, but this is not a history book, it is a story book and a Journal, to be savored. In reading about the Women of Valor of yesteryear we are inspired to engage in our own contemporary role as Women of Valor.

In addition to personal enjoyment of this book/journal I would recommend it for book clubs, mother/daughter bat mitzvah study projects and social studies teachers in Middle or High school. Check it out below.

Hilary Welland Miller lives in Sharon, Massachusetts.