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Elizabeth Wyner Mark Papers

 Collection
Identifier: P-991

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains Elizabeth Wyner Mark’s education records from elementary school to her post-graduate studies; family correspondence, primarily sent to Elizabeth and her husband, Melvin; journals, diaries, and various family legal papers; family photographs as well as photographs taken by Elizabeth; and the research and manuscript drafts of her publications, particularly The Covenant of Circumcision, which she co-edited. In addition, this collection contains the wedding gowns of Elizabeth and her mother Sara, and various tallit. Some materials are restricted.

Dates

  • undated, 1903-2007

Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for researcher use. Please contact us to request access or to make an appointment to view this collection at jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of this collection. For more information contact jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Biographical Note

Psychologist and author Dr. Elizabeth Jane Werner Mark (EWM) was born on March 15, 1931 to Rudolph and Sara (Goldberg) Werner. She had an older brother, Justin (Jerry) Werner, born August 6, 1925. For more detailed information on her family history, please see the finding aid for the Wyner Family Papers.

Elizabeth graduated high school with high honors from Beaver Country Day School in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1948, and earned her AB in English cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1952. At Radcliffe, she met Melvin Mark, a student at Harvard; they married on September 9, 1951 while Elizabeth was still a student. Melvin earned his Doctor of Science (Sc.D) from Harvard University and later became provost of Northeastern University. Elizabeth returned to school years later, earning her M.Ed. in Counselor Education at Northeastern University (1971) and a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Boston College (1976). For thirty years, she had a private psychotherapy practice in Newton, Massachusetts. In addition to her practice, Elizabeth also taught psychology at Harvard Medical School and was a clinical supervisor at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. For over ten years, she served on the Ethics Committee of the Massachusetts Psychological Association (MPA) and was awarded the MPA’s “Special Recognition Award for Contributions to the Enhancement of Psychology as a Science and as a Profession.” Elizabeth was also a certified school psychologist and worked in the Lexington Public Schools from 1971 to 1973.

Elizabeth was a member of Shir Hadash, a Reconstructionist Havurah, immersing herself in the study of Judaism and eventually becoming a religious leader at the congregation. She was also involved in the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, where she often lectured, and served as a board member for Americans for Peace Now. During the Gulf War in 1991, Elizabeth volunteered as a civilian with the Israeli Army.

Elizabeth’s scholarly work focused on gender issues, particularly in the book of Genesis, and circumcision, a topic on which she edited a book entitled The Covenant of Circumcision: New Perspectives on an Ancient Jewish Rite, published by Brandeis University Press in 2003. Her research helped to create the Religion, Gender, and Identity Project at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis. She also wrote poetry and essays about biblical women and their identities, particularly the servants Bilhah and Zilpah. Due in large part to her own self-learning and struggle with illness, Elizabeth took on the Hebrew name of Zilpah. Her full Hebrew name was Elisheva Zilpah Leah.

Elizabeth was also an amateur photographer and enjoyed traveling. From 1951 to her death in 2006, the Marks lived in Waban, Massachusetts. Elizabeth and Melvin had three children: Jonathan (Gayelynn Taxey), David (Paula) and Peter (Lynn Goldsmith), and several grandchildren: Sara, Joshua, Zachary, Ian, Melissa, and Allison. A breast cancer survivor, Elizabeth was later diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died on December 29, 2006, while in hospice at the Tippen House in Needham, Massachusetts. Melvin died on October 27, 2009. They are buried at Adath Jeshurun Cemetery in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.

References

  1. Material in the collection.

Chronology

March 15, 1931
EWM is born to Rudolph and Sara (Goldberg) Wyner.
1944
EWM graduates from John D. Runkle School.
1946
EWM is confirmed at Congregation Adath Israel (Temple Israel).
1948
EWM graduates high school from Beaver Country Day School.
September 9, 1951
EWM marries Melvin Mark.
1952
EWM graduates cum laude from Radcliffe College with an AB in English.
1970
EWM receives a Certificate of Honor from Hebrew University for Establishing Endowment.
1971
EWM earns a M.Ed. in Counselor Education from Northeaster University.
1976
EWM earns a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Boston College.
1983
EWM attends classes at Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.
1991
EWM receives an award from the Israeli Defense Forces for volunteerism.
1995
EWM receives a Special Recognition Award from the Massachusetts Psychological Association.
1997
EWM is appointed Clinical Instructor in Psychology at Harvard University.
1998
EWM celebrates her 50th high school reunion.
1999
EWM receives an award of Learned Research Journal Folio from the National Women's Committee at Brandeis University
2003
The Covenant of Circumcision: New Perspectives on an Ancient Jewish Rite, edited by EWM, is published.
December 29, 2006
EWM dies.

Extent

17.1 linear feet (12 document boxes, 3 OS boxes, 1 OS folder)

Abstract

Dr. Elizabeth Wyner Mark was a psychologist and author. This collection contains her education records from elementary school to her post-graduate studies; family correspondence, primarily sent to Elizabeth and her husband, Melvin; journals, diaries and various family legal papers; family photographs as well as photographs taken by Elizabeth; and the research and manuscript drafts of her publications, particularly The Covenant of Circumcision, which she co-edited.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Melvin Mark, date unknown.

Processing Information

Processed by Stephanie Call, 2017
Title
Guide to the Elizabeth Wyner Mark Papers, P-991
Author
Processed by Stephanie Call
Date
2017

Repository Details

Part of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society Repository

Contact:
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States
617-226-1245