Farideh Dayanim Goldin

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Farideh was born in 1953 in Shiraz, Iran, to a family of dayanim, judges and leaders of the Jewish community. Farideh's family moved out of the mahaleh, the Jewish quarter, to a Moslem neighborhood when she was eight years old. There, she experienced both friendship and anti-Semitism. Later, attending an American-style university in Iran, she was torn between her loyalty to her family, who obeyed strict social, cultural and religious mores, and her western education that promoted individualism and self-reliance.

Farideh is the author of two memoirs, Wedding Song: Memoirs of an Iranian Jewish Woman (Brandeis UP, 2003), and Leaving Iran: Between Exile and Migration (AU Press, November 2015).

Many of Farideh's lectures give her audiences a better understanding of Iranian culture. In talks and workshops, she conveys her cross-cultural perspective on issues and leads participants to interact and shape their own skills for recording life narratives. Farideh has spoken at churches, synagogues, women's groups, book fairs, universities, Junior Leagues, libraries, international conferences and numerous other venues both in the United States and abroad. Her book and essays have been part of the curriculum in many universities.

Selected Topics for presentations or workshops:

Iranian Women's literature, culture and accomplishments
Iranian Jews
Writing memoirs
Iranian women's autobiographies
Literature by Iranian Jewish Women
Reflections on 9/​11
Food, Ritual & Memory
Celebrating Jewish holidays the Iranian way
Purim, a metaphor for Iranian Jewish life




Leaving Iran: Between Migration and Exile

Wedding Song: Memoirs of an Iranian Jewish Woman

I have been haunted by Farideh Goldin's Wedding Song since the day I read it. Goldin's writing is sometimes spicy and sometimes sad, but always compelling. Her memoir is full of anger and compassion and insight. A stunning and powerful debut.

Sheri Reynolds, author of The Rapture of Canaan,

an Oprah Book Club pick

After reading only a few pages of Wedding Song I was reminded why a memoirist does not have to be a celebrity in order to demand a reader's attention...Jewish and female, Farideh Golding recalls her life growing up in the provincial Iranian town of Shiraz in the 1960's. The simple ingredients of her life are more than enough to write an engaging tale.The strength of Wedding Song, however, is not only in the autobiographical plot, but in the skillful way Goldin weaves the story and its topics together.

Ruth Eglash: The Jerusalem Post

July 8, 2004

Wedding Song is by turns fiercely honest, lyrical, informative and very moving--an extraordinary addition to the growing library of women's memoirs and especially valuable for its examination of mizrachi Jewish life.

HELEN EPSTEIN, author of Where She Came From

The Ghosts of Our Mothers: From Oral Tradition to the Written Words_A History and Critique of Jewish Women Writers of Iranian Heritage

My Iranian Sukkah