Jewish Journal


January 19, 2011

Tiger Mom Amy Chua’s Jewish Husband



Jed Rubenfeld is the Jewish foil to Amy Chua's Chinese Tiger Mother

Tiger Mother Amy Chua writes in her book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” of her unbending demands on her children – all As, no sleepovers, no schools plays, and pathological piano practicing. But she has a foil to her unbending Chinese parenting style – her Jewish husband.

Chua’s husband, Jed Rubenfeld, is a Yale Law professor and mystery novelist. He gives the girls the adventures and understanding they might not get from their mother. But he took himself out of the book, Kate Zernike wrote in a New York Times profile.

Initially, Ms. Chua said, she wrote large chunks about her husband and their conflicts over child rearing. But she gave him approval on every page, and when he kept insisting she was putting words in his mouth, it became easier to leave him out.

“It’s more my story,” she said. “I was the one that in a very overconfident immigrant way thought I knew exactly how to raise my kids. My husband was much more typical. He had a lot of anxiety, he didn’t think he knew all the right choices.” And, she said, “I was the one willing to put in the hours.”

Still, she said, her children got pancakes and trips to water parks because of their father, the son of parents more inclined to encourage self-discovery.

Rubenfeld is no slacker: He graduated Princeton undergraduate, Harvard Law, and spent two years studying theater at Julliard. He clerked for a Federal judge before becoming a Yale law professor.

Rubenfeld told Bookreporter.com that it was Chua who encouraged him to write his novels, which are historical mysteries, the first one a bestseller about Freud.

Read here how Jewish mothers are reacting to Chua.



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