Award-winning writer and lecturer Barbara Sofer grew up
in a small town in Connecticut, and moved to Israel in 1971. She is a
graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem. Her articles -taking on a wide range of subjects from ethnic
cooking to terrorism--have appeared in The New
York Times, The Boston Globe, Parents, Readers' Digest, Woman's Day,
Hadassah Magazine and Inside Magazine
among many others. She writes a bi-weekly column for the Friday Jerusalem
Barbara has written five books and contributed to
EXCERPT FROM CURRENT ARTICLE
What’s in a day? The Human Spirit
By Barbara Sofer
Israel director of public relations for American Women's Zionist Organization Hadassah Barbara Sofer shares her insight into Mother's Day and International Women's Day.
Before International Women’s Day became prominent, there was Mother’s Day.
Americans associate Mother’s Day, which takes place on the second Sunday in May in the US, with a spectacularly commercial holiday. A quarter of the fresh flowers purchased all year are bought on Mother’s Day. About half go to the shopper’s mother, a quarter to wives, and 17 percent to mothers-in-law! In addition to the bouquets – bonbons, breakfasts and beauty treatments rank high in popularity.
Despite the festivity of Mother’s Day, the holiday’s origins are surprisingly somber. After the trauma of the Civil War, a woman named Ann Jarvis suggested a day devoted to healing families divided by ideology and battle lines, and to focus on bereaved moms in the North and the South. Her daughter Anna (sic) Jarvis further promoted the day. Anna reputedly organized a church service and wore a carnation, her mother’s favorite flower. The special day was adopted by many other countries, and became official in the US in 1908. That was three years before International Women’s Day. Often, Mother’s Day was adapted to dovetail with previously existing religious holidays.
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