Inglourious Basterds has been called the "ultimate Jewish revenge fantasy," in every review and blog post I have seen. I am not interested in adding my two cents to the debate about whether revenge fantasies are "good for the Jews" or "bad for the Jews." Instead, I would like to offer a different angle on the film.
Last week I wrote about the deficit of "kick-ass Jewish women" in film, and Sylvia suggested that Shoshana of Inglourious Basterds fit the bill. Now that I've seen the movie, I completely agree. The true hero of Inglourious Basterds is the heroine: Shoshana Dreyfus, a kick-ass Jewish feminist.
In (belated) honor of Labor Day and the start of the new school year, I want to call your attention to a set of lesson plans on labor activism and communal responsibility. The lessons are based on a speech given by Rose Schneiderman, a Jewish immigrant activist, lifelong advocate for the rights of workers and of women, and powerful orator.
Next week is the release of Berlin 36 in German cinemas. Berlin 36 is a film about Gretel Bergmann, the talented German high jumper denied a spot on the 1936 Olympic team because she was Jewish. Rather than face the embarassment of a Jew winning a gold medal for Germany, the Third Reich selected gentile Dora Ratjen to compete in Bergmann's place. Two years later, a doctor revealed that "Dora" was actually a man.
Yesterday I participated in that wonderful September 1st Boston tradition called "Moving Day," where everybody across the city plays a traffic-ridden game of musical apartments. To make up for my absence, here is a mega link roundup. Enjoy!
Mother in law-suit? A Jewish woman is suing her daughter-in-law, a standup comedian, over her “malicious” mother-in-law routine. No joke! [Heeb]
After a Muslim woman recently made waves in a “burquini,” Elle magazine takes a look at swimsuit scandals throughout history. [Elle]
David K. Israel of Mentalfloss lists the “Top 20 Jewish Comedians of All Time.” Guess how many women he left out? Tsk, tsk, Mr. Israel. I’ll meet your Howard Stern and raise you Sophie Tucker or Joan Rivers or any of the rest of the Jewish women from Making Trouble. [Mentalfloss]
Amid celebrations of Women’s Equality Day, Nancy Ratzan reminds us that women are still paid less than men. [The Forward]
Last week, the New York Times reported the most popular baby names, noting that there were "few baby Baracks, but Emmas abound." "Emma" has bumped "Emily" out of the No. 1 spot as the most popular baby name for girls. The article mentions that "Emma" has been in the top 10 since 2002, and also ranked in the top 10 in the late 19th century. Hmm... the late 19th century, you say?
Four years ago today, the world was transfixed as images of Hurricane Katrina roared across our television screens and the horrifying stories of people stranded and lost flooded our inboxes, websites, and, it seemed, every news outlet in the country. Certainly at the Jewish Women’s Archive, we were transfixed. Our beloved board member, Carol Wise, and her family had fled the storm along with tens of thousands of other New Orleanians and were holed up in a hotel in Dallas. Her messages to us in those early days were full of relief, gratitude for the loving hands being extended to them from across the country, worry and concern about their homes and their neighborhoods, and anxiety for those left behind.
Deena Gerber and Roselle Ungar, two leaders of the New Orleans Jewish community who played instrumental roles in the relief and rebuild efforts during and after Hurricane Katrina, helped to coordinate rescues, distribute aid money, and help displaced members of the community find each other. Four years later, where are they now?