Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer



hope, what your family history exemplifies is the very slow pace of change, but change there was. your grandmother set a wonderful example for the women in her family, thereby helping to accelerate your own pace. but the world moves much more slowly. in my own family i see, now that i can reflect back from my 82 years, that my father, an orthodox jew with a strong attachment to torah law, actually demonstrated in his behavior towards my mother a kind of respect which is not endorsed by the torah. my mother was the leader in our family in all important respects, mostly with my father’s full agreement and cooperation. in fact, were it not for my mother i wouldn’t be around. when my father objected back in 1938 to my mother’s insistence that we get out of germany NOW [he believed that hitler was just a passing phenomenon], she told him that she was going to pack herself and her two daughters up and leave whether or not he would come along. he did come along and we’re here. we learned later that the day after we left our strongly nazi small town, the local gestapo goons came to the house to arrest my father. to me that’s an example of feminism long before the movement itself got started. your grandmother’s example occurred even earlier. one of the current examples of female equality that gives me much joy is women being accepted as cantors and rabbis in many synagogues, including some modern orthodox synagogues. that, given the typical rigidity of institutional religion, is real progress! so let’s not be discouraged by the slow pace.