Hear Her Voice!: Twelve Jew­ish Women Who Changed the World

Miri­am P. Fein­berg and Miri­am Klein Shapiro
  • Review
By – November 14, 2011
It is always a chal­lenge to write a col­lec­tive biog­ra­phy. The author must com­mu­ni­cate a vivid pic­ture of each person’s life in a com­pelling and con­cise man­ner. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this book of twelve mini-biogra­phies is not up to this dif­fi­cult task. It was not a good choice to place the pho­to cred­its, acknowl­edg­ments, lengthy ded­i­ca­tion, and in memo­ri­am note, at the begin­ning, as it inter­feres sig­nif­i­cant­ly with the read­er’s first appraoch to the main text. The sub­jects of the biogra­phies come from diverse time peri­ods and places: They include well­known peo­ple such as Dona Gra­cia Nasi and Gol­da Meir, as well as less­er-known women such as Anna Ticho and Abby Joseph Cohen. The writ­ing is work­man­like, bland, and didac­tic — sim­i­lar to a cur­ricu­lum guide. The authors are so con­cerned with teach­ing Jew­ish val­ues that they sim­ply fail to cap­ture the reader’s inter­est. They clear­ly have done much research, but the edi­tors have been lazy: the book is rife with slop­py gram­mat­i­cal and punc­tu­a­tion errors. With only one small pho­to at the begin­ning of each biog­ra­phy, with nar­row mar­gins and few design ele­ments to break the monot­o­ny of the text, this book will prob­a­bly be used only as a quick ref­er­ence for stu­dent projects. Ages 10 & up.
Andrea David­son is the librar­i­an of The Tem­ple-Tifer­eth Israel in Beach­wood, Ohio. She holds an M.L.S. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan and is a for­mer mem­ber of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Awards Com­mit­tee. She enjoys try­ing out the books she reviews on the kids at the Tem­ple and on her grandchildren.

Discussion Questions