Where Have all the Jewish Fathers Gone?

Thank goodness, it’s almost Father’s Day! Which means the pressure is off, at least for a day, to please mom. Whew! I mean, my mother’s so good at needling me, she’s earned her honorary degree in Jewish acupuncture. Ba dum ching!

Ah, yes, the Jewish Mother joke. There is a short hand, a collective understanding of the archetypal Jewish Mother we all know so intimately:  overbearing, commandeering, uber demanding, guilt provoking, martyr-stoking, ego stroking and… pushy.  But we love them! The real ones, and the stock characters too, which are deftly explored in Joyce Antler’s book, You Never Call! You Never Write! But you don’t have to be Jewish to be a Jewish Mother, and you don’t have to be Jewish to have one. So saturated are we with this Jewish Mother stereotype that it has gone from funny, to identifiable, to ironic, to cliché, to (yawn) almost passé. But, if the Jewish Mother has occupied the role of archetype, to stereotype, to having lost some of her hype, the question that begs to be asked is:

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