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Siegel, Rachel Josefowitz 1924-

SIEGEL, Rachel Josefowitz 1924-

PERSONAL: Born August 13, 1924, in Berlin, Germany; immigrated to the United States, 1939, naturalized U.S. citizen; daughter of Zachar (an industrialist) and Frieda (a homemaker; maiden name, Shur) Jose-fowitz; married Benjamin M. Siegel (a professor), June 15, 1944 (died, March 22, 1990); children: Charles Ellis, Hyam Barry, Ruth Vivian. Ethnicity: "Ashkenazi Jewish." Education: Simmons College, B.S., 1944; Syracuse University, M.S.W., 1973. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Classical music, travel, women's issues, family activities.

ADDRESSES: Home and Office—11 Spruce Lane, Ithaca, NY 14850. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Tompkins County Mental Health Clinic, Ithaca, NY, clinical social worker, 1973-76; private practice as feminist psychotherapist, Ithaca, NY, 1975—. Ortho Women's Institute, organizer and moderator (with others), 1981-82; Feminist Therapy Institute, founding member and member of national steering committee, 1983-88, 1993-97. Syracuse University, member of field faculty, School of Social Work, 1984-85. Family and Children's Services of Tompkins County, member of board of directors, 1973-75; Tompkins County Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service, member of board of directors, 1974-76; Tompkins County Task Force for Battered Women, founding member and member of board of directors, 1975-78; Tompkins County Displaced Homemakers Center, facilitator, 1993-95; Hospicare, clinical supervisor, 1994-95; volunteer tutor at local public schools, 1964-68.

MEMBER: National Women's Studies Association, National Association of Social Workers, National Women's Political Caucus, National Civil Liberties Union, National Organization for Women, Association for Women in Psychology, League of Women Voters, Hadassah (chapter president, 1950-52).

AWARDS, HONORS: Named social worker of the year for New York State Southern Tier Division, National Association of Social Workers, 1992; first annual award for distinguished contributions to the field of Jewish women in psychology, Jewish Women's Caucus, Association for Women in Psychology, 1994.


(Editor, with Joan Hamerman Robbins) Women Changing Therapy: New Assessments, Values, and Strategies in Feminist Therapy, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 1983, revised edition, Harrington Park Press (Binghamton, NY), 1985.

(Editor, with Ellen Cole) Jewish Women in Therapy: Seen but Not Heard, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 1991.

(Editor, with Ellen Cole) Celebrating the Lives of Jewish Women, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 1997.

(Editor, with Ellen Cole and Susan Steinberg-Oren) Jewish Mothers Tell Their Stories: Acts of Love and Courage, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Contributor to books, including A Handbook of Feminist Therapy: Psychotherapy Issues with Women, edited by Lenore E. Walker and Lynne Bravo Rosewater, Springer (New York, NY), 1985.

Feminist Ethics in Psychotherapy, edited by Hannah Lerman and Natalie Porter, Springer (New York, NY), 1990.

Refugee Women and Their Mental Health, edited by Ellen Cole and Esther Rothblum, Haworth Press (New York, NY), 1992.

Wisdom from the Heart: Growing Older As a Jew, edited by Susan Berrin, Jewish Lights Press (Woodstock, VT), 1997; and Ageing in a Gendered World: Issues and Identity for Women, United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW/UN) Publications (Santo Domingo, NY), 1999.

Contributor to magazines, including Counseling and Values, Voices: Art and Science of Psychotherapy, and Jewish Spectator. Member of editorial board, Journal of Women and Therapy, 1981-85, 1992-95, and Lilith: Independent Jewish Women's Magazine, 1991—.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Tales of a Feminist Jewish Grandmother.

SIDELIGHTS: Rachel Josefowitz Siegel once told CA: "While I wrote some unpublished poetry in my forties, I really began to write in my fifties, not long after beginning my professional career as a psychotherapist. It was then that I felt a strong wish to write about the issues and ideas that were so new and exciting to me. My personal midlife urge to creativity coincided with my exposure to the women's movement, making it possible for me to find my own voice. Jean Baker Miller, through her early writing and her talks at the Women's Institute at national orthopsychiatry meetings in the late 1970s, instilled in me the notion that it was not too late for me to begin. I also attribute much of my courage to write to the examples and group support that I found among like-minded women, especially among the founding members of the Feminist Therapy Institute. This same spirit of mutual empowerment led me to coedit several collections of feminist articles, the first about women and therapy and the others about Jewish women. My good friend Nina Miller, writer of short stories, served as critical reader of my early drafts during my first attempts.

"I write about topics that are pertinent to my own life, starting with concepts in feminist therapy, and moving on to various aspects of aging, as well as issues affecting Jewish women. While I have always incorporated the personal into my professional articles, my writing has become increasingly personal in recent years."

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