Muriel Rukeyser: Daring to Live for the Impossible

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While listening to the Writer's Almanac this morning, I was reminded that today is the birthday of poet Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) who lived to "breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry."

Remembering Pearl Harbor

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Every generation has specific dates that are indelibly etched into the memories of the people who lived them. For my generation of baby boomers, the day that President Kennedy was assassinated is one, followed by the days on which Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were killed.  Most of us can remember vividly where we were and what we were doing as events unfolded on those historic dates.

Mazel Tov, Arlene Blum! A Woman with a Purpose

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I'd like to give a special congratulatory shout-out to Arlene Blum, a phenomenal Jewess and founder of the Green Science Policy Institute, who was just awarded the 2008 Purpose Prize for people over the age of 60 who are taking on society's biggest challenges. 

Interview with Danya Ruttenberg

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Last week I interviewed one of my new favorite Jewesses with attitude - Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg. I recently (finally!) finished her new book, Surprised by God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion.

World AIDS Day

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Today is World AIDS Day and, having spent this past summer in Uganda where I volunteered with an indigenous HIV/AIDS advocacy organization, AIDS awareness has particular resonance for me this year.

Listen to Ruth Messinger!

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As our country's most politically charged month draws to a close, we're wrapping up November with a podcast of a (former) political leader who never ceases to inspire: the incomparable Ruth Messinger. A former New York City politician and now president of American Jewish World Service, Messinger, featured in JWA's online exhibit Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution, has much to say about social justice and the challenges of being a woman in politics.

More on Jews, Jewesses, and Thanksgiving

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Apropos of Ellen's comment about "what makes Thanksgiving so meaningful for some American Jews" in her prior post, I thought I'd share an excerpt from an article published in The American Jewess in November 1896.

“Do Jews celebrate Thanksgiving?”

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"Do Jews celebrate Thanksgiving?" a friend's Catholic grandmother asked her the other day. "Of course, they do," she replied, rolling her eyes. Indeed, in many American Jewish families, Thanksgiving is observed with nearly as much sacredness as (in some cases, even more than) the High Holidays.

Emma Lazarus's Audacity of Hope

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While many Americans are still relishing in a renewed surge of hope (myself among them), I thought I'd give a shout-out to Emma Lazarus. Her memory became forever associated with her powerful vision of America as a symbol of hope and possibility for the down-trodden. Today marks the 121st anniversary of Emma's untimely death, at the age of 38.

Radical Dancing Annas!

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Anna Sokolow in "The Exile", 1939 - photo by Barbara Morgan

Seventy-one years ago today, Broadway got a little bit feistier when 27-year-old choreographer and dancer Anna Sokolow made her debut with several politically and socially charged compositions.

Anna Schön, a 23-year-old graduate of Barnard College, is a present-day radical dancer of another kind. 

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