Letty Cottin Pogrebin
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (October 2013)|
|Letty Cottin Pogrebin|
Letty Cottin Pogrebin at the JWA Making Trouble/Making History luncheon on March 18, 2012.
June 9, 1939 |
Queens, New York, U.S.
|Education||Jamaica High School (New York City)|
|Alma mater||Brandeis University|
Board member of
|Americans for Peace Now, the Ms. Foundation for Education & Communication, The Free to Be Foundation, the Harvard Divinity School Women Studies in Religion Program, and the Brandeis University Women's and Gender Studies Program|
|Spouse(s)||Bertrand B. Pogrebin|
|Children||Abigail Pogrebin; Robin Pogrebin; David Pogrebin|
Letty Cottin Pogrebin (born June 9, 1939) is an American author, journalist, nationally-known lecturer, and social justice activist. Her tenth book, How to Be A Friend to A Friend Who’s Sick, was published in April 2013. She has published articles in The New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, L.A. Times, Toronto Star, The Nation, Harpers Bazaar, Travel & Leisure, Family Circle, and Good Housekeeping.
A co-founder, with Gloria Steinem, of Ms. Magazine, a mass market feminist alternative to traditional women's media, Pogrebin also has contributed hundreds of articles and op-eds to a wide variety of print publications, including The New York Times, The Nation, The Washington Post, Boston Globe, Newsday, Ms., Harpers Bazaar, Family Circle, MORE, Travel & Leisure, as well as online media such as The Huffington Post and Forward.com.
Letty Cottin was born to observant Jewish parents, Jacob Cottin, a lawyer, and Cyral (née Halpern) Cottin, and was raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York. In 1952, she became one of the first girls to celebrate a bat mitzvah in Conservative Judaism. When her mother, Cyral, died of cancer in 1955, Pogrebin was prevented from saying the Kaddish, the traditional memorial prayer, because women were not counted in the minyan, the quorum of ten required for public prayer. After she was not allowed in the minyan, she decided to walk away from Judaism. It took her fifteen years to go back to it. She went back once they stopped excluding women from the practice.. Women were finally allowed to be a part of the minyan in the 1980s; it was not until 1985 when there was the first women rabbi. When women were still not able to be counted as a minyan, many feminists refrained from telling others that they were Jewish. Cottin was one of the first feminists to declare herself a feminist and Jewish.
She graduated from Jamaica High School at age 16, and from Brandeis University at age 19, earning a B.A. cum laude with Distinction in English and American Literature. In her first career in the book publishing business, she worked her way up to become Vice President at Bernard Geis Associates, a small New York publishing house. She became an author herself and a full-time professional writer when her first book, How To Make It in a Man's World, was published in 1970. Her essays have been included in more than 30 anthologies and textbooks.
Breast cancer battle
Her latest book, How To Be A Friend to a Friend Who's Sick, was inspired by her recent experience with breast cancer during which she became fascinated by her friends' reactions to her after they knew her diagnosis.
Pogrebin is well known for her advocacy journalism and her activism on behalf of women's equality, authors' rights, peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and inter-group understanding. She is a past president of The Authors Guild, a past president of Americans for Peace Now, and a current board member of many organizations including the Ms. Foundation for Education and Communication, the Director's Council of the Women in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School, and the Women and Gender Studies Program at Brandeis University, and The Authors Guild.
She has co-founded several inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialogue groups, among them the International Center for Peace in the Middle East, a Palestinian-Jewish Dialogue group that convenes monthly. She also co-founded the National Women's Political Caucus, the Ms. Foundation for Women, and the Free to Be Foundation.
Apart from being an activist, Pogrebin is a writer. She has a total of ten books so far and a lot of them are about her giving advice to her audience. Her most recent book, How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who is Sick, was written during her own battle with breast cancer. Other books she has written include Getting Over Getting Older, written in 1996. and Three Daughters, her only novel to date.
- 1969 and 1976: Named an Outstanding Young Woman of America[clarification needed]
- 1974: she earned an Emmy Award for her contributions to Free to Be...You and Me.
- She received the "Gloria Steinem Women of Vision Award" and earned Elle magazine Readers' Prize, both in 2002.
- University Poynter Fellowship in Journalism Award
- 2012: Making Trouble, Making History Award from the Jewish Women's Archive.
Letty Cottin married Bertrand B. Pogrebin, an attorney specializing in Labor and Employment Law, in 1963. They have three grown children – Abigail, an author; Robin, a New York Times reporter who covers culture; and David, who works in hospitality.