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In Memoriam

Miriam Dinerman, retired professor formerly with the School of Social Work, Rutgers–New Brunswick, passed away on July 17, 2010.

A memorial service is planned for October 10, 2010 at 1pm at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Belfer Hall, 2495 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY, Room 925.

Miriam Goldforb Dinerman died at the age of 85 on Saturday, July 17, 2010, in Pasadena, CA. Born on April 13, 1925 in New York City, she was the second child of Professor Abraham Goldforb, an eminent professor of Biology at City College and Dr. Frances Shostac, a pioneer in women’s health. Miriam attended the Lincoln School in New York City and went on to earn a B.A. with Honors from Swarthmore College, in 1945.

Her interests in community organizing led her to the New York School of Social Work, later known as the Columbia University School of Social Work. After completing her Masters Degree, she worked as Program Director for the Jewish Association for Neighborhood Centers in the Bronx. There she supervised a young man named Harold Dinerman—and in 1951, they were married—a marriage that lasted until Harold died of cancer in 1976. Miriam continued to work as a social worker, where she conducted research for a Study on Youth Services in Essex County, NJ, and on Aging for the Bronx YM-YWHA.

In 1960, Miriam began what became a three-decade long relationship with the Graduate School of Social Work at Rutgers University. She taught Social Welfare Policy, and supervised field placements. She taught seminars on Poverty, Welfare Reform, Methods of Social Policy Analysis and Awareness of Sexist Attitudes. In 1972, she completed her Doctorate in Social Work at Columbia University. She continued to teach at Rutgers University where she was promoted, ultimately to the position of full professor. She helped develop the Health Concentration, directed the Doctoral Program, served as Associate Dean, and as acting Dean. She was president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Her sabbaticals led her to study social work education and training in England and the United States, and she conducted comprehensive research on the status of social work education throughout the United States for the Council on Social Work Education, with support from the Silberman Fund. Throughout her long career, Miriam mentored hundreds of students, untenured faculty, and colleagues in how to survive and thrive in an academic environment. In the 1970s, she participated in a successful class action law suit that demanded that women faculty in schools of social work receive pay equal to their male counterparts.

Miriam’s publications included the book Social Work in a Turbulent World, as well as numerous articles, such as “Catch 23: Work, Women and Welfare,” and “The Women Trap.” In 1986, she was one of the founding editors of the journal: Affilia: The Journal of Women and Social Work, serving on the editorial board for many years, as editor, and a member of its governing board. She retired from Rutgers University in 1999, and was Professor emeriti at Yeshiva University until 2008, where she helped numerous doctoral students complete their dissertations.

She is survived by her children, David, Ellen, and Ruth Dinerman, their respective spouses, Andria Dinerman, Harvey Goldman, and Peter Jensen, her grandchildren, La Tache Tindale, Sam and Hannah Goldman, Tirzah Vasquez, and Samuel and Daniel Dinerman, her great grandchildren, Desiree, Briana, and George, Vasquez; her nieces Alice Dinerman and Nancy Berger, and her nephews, Robert Dinerman, and Joel Berger. She was pre-deceased by her husband of 25 years, Harold Dinerman, her parents, and her sister, Emily.

Special Requests

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to: Women for Women, ( or to the Southern Poverty Law Center (

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