Celia Amster Bader – "The Bravest and Strongest Person I Have Known." - RBG
Play • 39 min

In the wake of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, Katie takes a close look at the influence her mother, Celia Amster Bader, had on her daughter.

Katie interviews Jane Sherron de Hart, a historian and professor emerita at UC Santa Barbara.

Celia was the daughter of immigrants who came to the United States in 1901 to flee the pogroms that were taking place across Eastern Europe. Celia and her sister, Sadie, were deprived of a college education not just because of a lack of money, but because of traditional assumptions about the place of women. "Jewish families commonly sacrificed the futures of their daughters to ensure that a son might attend a prestigious school and enter a high-status profession," wrote Dr. De Hart, in her 2018 biography, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life. (2018).

Celia and her husband, Nathan, settled in New York, eventually moving to the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, where Ruth grew up.

In her June 14, 1993 speech in the White House Rose Garden after being nominated for The U.S. Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg said this:

"I have a last thank you. It is to my mother, Celia Amster Bader, the bravest and strongest person I have known, who was taken from me much too soon. I pray that I may be all that she would have been had she lived in an age when women could aspire and achieve and daughters are cherished as much as sons."

Celia died in 1950, at age 47. Ruth was just 17. 

Don't forget to visit us at ourmothersourselves.com. And while you're there, please contribute your word to the mother word cloud.

Music composed and performed by
Andrea Perry.
Artwork by Paula Mangin. (@PaulaBallah)
Producer: Alice Hudson
Intern: Rosie Manock (@RosieManock)

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