Nadia M. Telsey (1947-2024) & Paula Weinstein (1945-2024)


Dear Friends:

This past week I received notice that two of my long-time friends – Paula Weinstein and Nadia Telsey – had died. Both were younger than me, both were women who had a distinct impact on the world in which we live. I am devastated.

I ask myself: what is it about your friends that makes you remember them? History? Compassion? Action? Deeds? Stew and I first met Paula and her husband Mark Rosenberg in the late 1960’s; Mark died in 1992 of heart failure; he was 44 years old. Paula organized his memorial at her LA home; I won’t forget how an individual who shall remain nameless poked his head around a corner to inform us: “You Yippies destroyed the New Left”. That’s a whole lotta power for which I can’t and won’t take credit.

Paula became a well-known filmmaker. She executive produced The House of the Spirits, Analyze, This, The Perfect Storm; Too Big to Fail and Grace and Frankie. I last met up with Paula about ten years ago in New York City. I wish I’d seen her more.

Paula’s daughter Hanna evokes the Paula I knew: Paula was a lifelong activist and force of nature who was a champion for social justice and underdogs for more than half a century.”

Nadia Telsey was a self-defense guru who worked to end gender based violence. She lived in Eugene, Oregon. Toward the end of her life she co-authored Get Empowered: A Practical Guide to Thrive, Heal and Embrace Your Confidence in a Sexist World (Penguin 2023).

Stew and I became friends with Nadia in the early 1970s when she lived in New York City and would visit Stew and me in at our Catskill cabin. Nadia told me this past January of her impending death. I asked her how she felt about it and she wrote back: “I do believe in something after death but I don’t have a clear picture beyond mystery and energy. That’s good enough for me.”

And here is Nadia:

Both these deaths feel like a heavy burden that I’ve been forced to carry. They occupy my mind. And make it impossible for me to add photos of Paula and Nadia to this post. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Much love to all,