Saturday August 29, 2009, marks the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and it is time to take stock. The Jerusalem Report’s August issue does just that, featuring Arieh O’Sullivan’s article “Rebuilding Jewish Life in the Big Easy,” and Eetta Prince-Gibson’s article “Katrina’s Jewish Story,” in which she discusses Katrina’s Jewish Voices, a project of the Jewish Women's Archive in collaboration with the Center for History and New Media. To view the Jerusalem Report articles, click here.
The New York Times Magazine is tackling sex trafficking and other despicable abuses against women in their "Saving the World's Women" issue. Lately I have observed a steadily rising cultural awareness of sex trafficking, and thank goodness. Sex trafficking is an uncomfortable issue, and historically, many have chosen to ignore it rather than face the unpleasantness of dealing with it. But it seems that things are changing, and thanks to the efforts of high-profile people like Hillary Clinton, Americans are gearing up to tackle this global issue. I think the Jewish community needs to join this campaign. Think sex trafficking isn't a Jewish issue? Think again.
World War II brought changes for women on many fronts, including the enlistment of women in the Armed Forces. The establishment of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in May of 1942 was a transformational moment in women's history. Twelve of the original graduating class were Jewish. In the years since then, the number and the importance of women in the military have steadily increased, resulting in a series of "firsts" and accomplishments. The coming of the all-volunteer army in 1973 had a huge impact, and according to the New York Times, women have passed a new milestone in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as they prove themselves not only capable, but indispensible, in combat.
Last week, hundreds of people attended the wake of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who was instrumental in founding the Special Olympics. Shriver, who passed away August 11, 2009, leaves behind a legacy of activism for the rights and dignity of the mentally disabled.
In reading the coverage of Shriver's passing, I couldn't help but notice the parallels between her story and the story of Isabelle Charlotte Weinstein Goldenson, a disability rights activist and co-founder of United Cerebral Palsy, who passed away in 2005.
Everyday I encounter a number of interesting websites, articles, and blog posts that are definitely worth mentioning. I hope you find these as interesting as I do!
Audio interview with Joy Ladin, a poet and a professor of English at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, about her decision to transition genders, her relationship to God, and the reaction from her Orthodox students. [Tablet]
Sharsheret, an organization offering free support services to young Jewish women living with (or at high risk for) breast cancer, will be expanding to provide for women with ovarian cancer and those predisposed to the disease. [The Sisterhood]
Too Many Non-Profits? Bob Goldfarb explains why the multitude is a good thing. [eJP]
The New York Times featured Loretta Weinberg, the "feisty Jewish grandmother" running for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey we mentioned earlier. [The New York Times]
'Family Guy' creator Seth MacFarlane outs Stewie (the baby) as gay, and announces that this season Lois (the mother) will discover she is actually Jewish. [NYDailyNews] Will this be received better than the controversial "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" episode Fox refused to air in 2000?
Jews are generally not a quiet people -- at least not in America in this day and age. We like to speak up, to speak out, to express our opinionated selves fairly loudly. So when the White House announced this year's recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, it's not surprising that there was a vocal "Jewish response."