Sonia’s late brother, Hermann Pressman, began keeping a diary on his 18th birthday in Berlin, Germany, on July 21, 1932, in German shorthand and kept it thereafter in Berlin; Antwerp, Belgium; and the Bronx, NY, where he concluded it on Nov. 29, 1935. He subsequently translated it into English, with the help of his granddaughter, Debbie Linick. The English translation runs 668 pages. The German original and the English translation were donated to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Steven Lasky, who started and maintains the online Museum of Family History, edited the diary and the edited version is available at the Museum's Web site.
The book, Jews of Sarasota-Manatee, by Kim Sheintal (Arcadia Publishing, Feb. 2013), contains a 2002 photo of Sonia in front of a sign about the Jewish Genealogical Society (JGS) of Southwest Florida (p 25). Sonia gave a talk to JGS on March 2002.
To see Sonia’s photo, go to arcadiapublishing.com. You will see a photo of the book cover. Under that are the words "Search Inside," click on that, then type in “Sonia Pressman Fuentes.”
Finding Aid for Fuentes papers, CDs, audio- and videotapes, Schlesinger Library, History of Women in America
The Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, which has the largest collection of Sonia’s CD’s, videotapes, and audiotapes, has organized them and this finding aid is online here.
Summer 2008: Congratulatory letters from the presidents of Cornell University and the University of Miami (FL)
On Dec. 7, 2007, Sonia was made the first honorary member of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Sarasota chapter (established in 1984), in its history for "her lifelong dedication to the progression of women's rights." See "Feminist Icon Accepts Sarasota-FAWL's Honorary Membership" in the February 2008 issue of The Docket, the newspaper of the Sarasota County (FL) Bar Association.
From July 2008 to mid-April 2011, she served as a Commissioner of the Sarasota Commission on the Status of Women.
Sonia was honored October 30, 2007, by the Veteran Feminists of America (VFA) at a program at the headquarters of the National Woman's Party, the Sewall-Belmont House, in Washington, D.C., as one of one hundred forty pioneer feminists who lived or worked in the Washington, D.C., area from 1963-1975 and made significant contributions to women's rights. She was honored by VFA again at a June 9, 2008, program at the Harvard Club in NYC as one of thirty-six feminist lawyers, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who made significant contributions to women’s rights in the 1963-1975 time period.
Sonia is included on NOW’s history website (She is number 8 in the picture of the attendees at the Oct.1966 meeting). Not all of those pictured were founders.
For several months beginning at the end of 2009 and continuing through the early part of 2010, Sonia did research on the founders of NOW as there was no definitive information on how many there were, who they were, and how many of them survived. On March 10, 2010, her article on her conclusions entitled, “The Founders of NOW,” was published on the community blog of feministing.com
Sonia concluded that there had been forty-nine men and women who founded NOW at meetings in June and October 1966. The largest number of founders (fifteen) came from the Washington, DC, area (Washington, DC; Virginia, and Maryland). New York State was next with thirteen, and Wisconsin third with eight.
In July 2012, Sonia decided to update her 2009-2010 research. Her conclusions as of July 31, 2012, forty-six years after the founding of NOW, were that there were nine surviving members (18% of the founders), the oldest of whom, Mary Lou Hill, would turn ninety-five in the fall of 2012. Next was Dr. Carl Degler at ninety-one.
Information on NOW’s founders and early strong supporters, with pictures, based on Sonia’s 2009 and 2010 research and conclusions, plus some further information from 2011, is available on NOW’s website.
See Sonia, discussing the founding of NOW on the Audio/Video Links page (click on the 'Video Links' tab near the top of the page). This interview was conducted by filmmakers Jamie Spooner and Carolyn Mayes in February 2010; their website is icarevillage.com.
The Museum of Family History has textual material and photographs about Sonia and her family. To access it: go to the website, type “Sonia Fuentes” in the Search rectangular box on the right-hand side at the top, click “Search” and if the box titled “Site Search” appears, click on that.
Sonia was featured in the August 5, 2004, issue of the University of Miami Alumni E-Newsletter (she is an alumna of the law school) as follows:
Featured Alumna Sonia Pressman Fuentes Leader of the Women's Movement Isn't Slowing Down
For most immigrants fleeing Nazi Germany in the early 1930's, America was a land of freedom and opportunity that usually came with the price of hard times and hard work that left little room for philosophical or social conviction. Not so for Sonia Pressman Fuentes, JD '57, who even today is continuing to work hard in support of her convictions. Fuentes is one of the most lively and active feminist public speakers and authors today, not allowing herself to rest on the laurels of her past accomplishments or slow down in the twilight of her life. From being the first female attorney in the Office of General Counsel at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to being one of the co-founders of the National Organization of Women (NOW), Fuentes continues today to be driven and energetic in her pursuit of women's rights. Recently, Sonia has been traveling the globe and continuing her experiential education in culture, society, and the arts. She has also spoken on behalf of candidates supportive of the women's movement, and will be featured in an upcoming documentary by Jennifer Lee regarding a revival and the second wave of the women's movement. Her memoir, Eat First. You Don't Know What They'll Give You; The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and their Feminist Daughter continues to be a popular and inspirational selection for all people in all walks of life...
Sonia is included in the online exhibit of the Jewish Women's Archive entitled Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution, which consists of 74 Jewish women who contributed to women's rights in the U.S. Sonia is included in the 1963-69 Timeline when she was a co-founder of NOW and the first woman attorney in the General Counsel's Office at the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.) Visit the Archive.
"Sonia Fuentes writes about an unexpected range of subjects, yet somehow they remain always linked to her roots in the Yiddish world of Eastern European Jews. Once that is understood, the traditional interconnections between her several worlds make perfect sense as one woman's reflection on the ways in which family, society, culture, and political engagement have always lived in creative tension--whether in the world of Fuentes' forebears or in the exciting one of our own." -- Tom Freudenheim, then-Deputy Director, Jewish Museum, Berlin, Germany
"I love your book. It arrived yesterday, and as I began to check it out, I couldn't stop reading it. The business of Jewish geography really got to me. As a rather unreconstructed, chauvinist Jewish girl from Milwaukee, I have played the 'Do you know' game all my life. Often with great success and pleasure. Thank you for sending the copy to us. I am so pleased to have it for our collection." -- Barbara Haber, Curator of Books, Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America (at Radcliffe College)
An excerpt from Eat First, called "Coming to America," is included in the anthology Matzoh Ball Soup, A Collection of Personal Stories, Poems, and Rabbinical Sermons That Inspires the Jewish Spirit, by Oliver Kramer and Joshua Kramer, published in November 2002.
Eat First was required reading in the spring 2000 semester in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University in a course on writing about minorities (including women) in America. Ms. Fuentes gave talks to two classes at Cornell in April 2000. In the spring 2001 semester, Eat First was required reading at American University in Washington, D.C., in a course on Writers in Print and in Person.
In 2000, Sonia lectured on “How Being an Immigrant Shaped My Life” at Cornell University and thereafter gave varying versions of that talk at other venues. Articles on that subject have appeared in: 120 HIAS Stories, a book published to commemorate the 120th anniversary of HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) (July 2002), Women in Judaism, a Multidisciplinary Journal (April 2006) (available in html and pdf formats), the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish News(January 2007), the website of the Museum of Family History, and Der Bay, the newsletter of the International Association of Yiddish Clubs (Vol. XX, No. 1, Jan. 2010).
Ms. Fuentes is also included in Women of Achievement in Maryland History, a reference book published in October 2002 and distributed to public and private schools, libraries, religious institutions, and private service organizations in Maryland.
Eat First is one of the listed books for the Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press.
There is a 7-part piece entitled "The Making of a Jewish American Feminist: Sonia Pressman Fuentes," about Eat First and Ms. Fuentes at About.com.
Fuentes was one of nine authors who have published e-books who were profiled in the May 2001 issue of Publishing Success, a publication of the Writer's Digest. Click HERE to read the interview online.
You can read a summary of Eat First with excerpts at Sunshine for Women. Sunshine for Women explores women's history, feminist theology, women's contributions to art, music, literature, reproductive rights, global feminism and more. Visit the Sunshine for Women homepage for a list of features.
On October 12, 2001, Sonia gave the keynote address at the 20th anniversary celebration/retreat of the Women Lawyers of Utah in Deer Park, Utah. Her talk. "The Women's Rights Movement: Where It's Been, Where It's At" is on a website for professors, researchers, administrators and librarians of women's studies programs.