Margaret Murphy, shown below), was present at the creation (or near to it), so to speak, when Esther came up with her idea for the very first feminist Seder, during the time when (to my mind, anyway) feminism was on the rise and approaching its peak.
So, what's the reason behind -- and the need for -- a feminist Seder? (That's an early version, shown below.) As one of the women here explains it, "Those of us who gathered for that first feminist Seder understood that the equality we were fighting for in society had to extend to the traditions of Judaism." Notes another, dryly: "The original exodus didn't even mention women." Or, as Gloria Steinem, one of the attendees, explains it, "That first Seder really felt like rebellion."
Vivian Gornick, who was not into this sort of thing, explains: "It was her genuineness. She came through for people in ways that were just right for them. And just at the moment they needed it."
Michele Landsberg talks about Esther's unique laugh -- and then gives us a pretty wonderful imitation of it.
Esther Broner: A Weave of Women plays at the SFJFF at the California Theater on Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm. Let's hope it makes its way here to New York, and elsewhere. (And that Rivlin's terrific Grace Paley movie finally does, too.)
the penultimate shot, by Bob Vigelletti;
six photos above, by Joan Roth.