Julie Greenberg was a single lesbian in Reconstructionist rabbinical school in the eighties, and she was ready to start a family. Eventually, Rabbi Greenberg found a sperm donor, and got pregnant. She ended up having three children via sperm donors, and adopted two more, all while living in a small three-bedroom apartment, and working as the rabbi of Leyv Ha-Ir, Heart of the City, a Jewish community in center city Philadelphia.
A new documentary, All of the Above, follows Greenberg and three other female clergy members in their journey to becoming single mothers. All four struggle with a strong desire to follow the Torah’s first commandment, “Be fruitful & multiply” even when they haven’t found their life partners. The film explores the choices demanded of Jewish women and the often-competing desires of motherhood and faith.
All of the Above was broadcast on ABC in March of this year, but if you missed it you can contact the filmmakers about bringing it to your community. This is a poignant and compelling look at a new kind of Jewish mother.