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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

E. M. Broner
Esther Frances Masserman

(1927-07-08)July 8, 1927
DiedJune 21, 2011(2011-06-21) (aged 83)
Spouse(s)Robert Broner
Academic background
Academic work
Notable worksThe Women's Haggadah

Esther M. Broner, best known as E.M. Broner, (July 8, 1927 – June 21, 2011) was a Jewish American feminist author.

Personal life

Broner attended Wayne State University and received a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in creative writing.[1] She received her PhD in religion at what is now the Union Institute & University. Broner returned to Wayne State to teach English and also taught at Sarah Lawrence College.

She was married to Robert Broner, a printmaker and painter, and they had four children together.[2]


In 1976, the first women-only Passover seder was held in Broner's New York City apartment and led by her, with 13 women attending, including Gloria Steinem, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, and Phyllis Chesler.[3] Broner and Naomi Nimrod created a women's haggadah for use at this seder.[4] In the spring of 1976 Broner published this “Women’s Haggadah” in Ms. magazine, later publishing it as a book in 1994; this haggadah is meant to include women where only men had been mentioned in traditional haggadahs, and it features the Wise Women, the Four Daughters, the Women's Questions, the Women's Plagues, and a women-centric “Dayenu”.[2][5] The original Women's Seder has been held with the Women's Haggadah every year since 1976, and women-only seders are now held by some congregations as well.[6][7][8] Broner led the original Women's Seder for 30 years. She was proclaimed a Wonder Woman by the Wonder Woman Foundation for her work in feminist Jewish ritual.

Her papers are held at Brandeis University.[9]


  • Broner, E. M. (1985). Weave of Women. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0253203540.
  • "Body memories" and "Sitting Shiva for a lost love" in Umansky, Ellen M.; Ashton, Dianne, eds. (1992). Four Centuries of Jewish Women's Spirituality: A Sourcebook. Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 9780807036136.
  • —; Nimrod, Naomi (1993). The Telling: The Story of a Group of Jewish Women Who Journey to Spirituality through Community and Ceremony. HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 9780060608170.
  • —; Nimrod, Naomi (1994). The Women's Haggadah. HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 9780060611439.
  • — (1994). Mornings and Mourning: A Kaddish Journal. HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 9780060610715.

Broner had also written radio scripts for National Public Radio and plays. Her musical, “Higginson: An American Life,” premiered June 17, 2005, by the Michigan Opera Theatre (Broner, book & lyrics; Mort Zieve, music).


  1. ^ Margalit Fox (June 22, 2011). "E. M. Broner, Jewish Feminist, Dies at 83". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b Sklar, Kathryn Kish (March 1, 2009). "Esther M. Broner". Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. Jewish Women's Archive.
  3. ^ This Week in History – E.M. Broner publishes "The Telling" | Jewish Women's Archive. (1 March 1993). Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  4. ^ Non-Fiction: The Many Seders of Passover. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  5. ^ The Women's Haggadah (9780060611439): E. M. Broner, Naomi Nimrod: Books. Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  6. ^ Jewish Women's Archive. "E.M. Broner". Jewish Women's Archive.
  7. ^ Women-Only Seder Held in Westmoreland County - Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | Questia Online Library
  8. ^ Women celebrate non-traditional Seder – Britt Durgin Journalism Archived 2010-11-02 at the Wayback Machine. (2 October 2010). Retrieved on 18 October 2011.
  9. ^ Smith, Craig Bruce (2010). "E.M. Broner collection". Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department. Brandeis University.

External links

This page was last edited on 28 December 2020, at 21:48
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