Halloween: JWA Style

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Steinem, Gloria 2 - still image [media]

We are well into October and it is time to talk Halloween. Knowing that it can be difficult to find a costume that accurately represents your feminism and your Jewish identity, we’ve put together our guide to a well-researched JWA Halloween costume.

Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?

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Excerpt from Gertrude Elion's college chemistry notebook

Being a woman in science isn’t an easy accomplishment. It’s a hard field to break into, and it’s a hard field to shine in. I reached out to a few of my friends who make their living through science, and they all agreed—this subject is tricky on so many levels. It’s hard to navigate, and the politics that get in the way end up being both external and internal. The article in the New York Times wasn’t a groundbreaking discovery—no one is shocked to hear that girls have it tough in the world of science. But it’s good to keep the conversation going—and to remind ourselves that we have shoulders like Gertrude Elion’s to stand on.

National Shutdown

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National Park Shutdown

The government shut down is on everyone’s mind—as it should be. Day two and we are all holding our collective breath. As of right now, I’m safe from the effects, but my family isn’t. My sister—a federal employee—is home, without pay, busy cleaning her basement when she should be out there making the world a better place.

My sister isn’t the only woman feeling the burn. Slate took a look at the ways the government shut down is impacting women in an article entitled Seven Ways the Government Shutdown Will Hit Women Hardest. Programs like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are included on the list of "non-essential" government services shut down during the stand off.  

American Jews Losing Their Religion: That’s Me in the Corner.

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After 48 jam-packed hours with the board, I feel good about my role with the JWA. But it is not just the board that keeps my enthusiasm afloat—it is the JWA mission. Our users, readers, and community echo the passion our board and staff feels.

This morning I woke up, back in Boston, to my normal routine—which includes checking my email before I even get out of bed. Still on a high from my JWA infused weekend, I discovered that a friend sent me an article my way entitled “American Jews Losing Their Religion.”

Pew Research study hit the web this morning stating “one-in-five Jews (22%) now describe themselves as having no religion.” 

The Jewess Behind the Camera

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Annie Leibovitz

Photographers like Arbus, Goldin, and Leibovitz have brought their own unique worldviews–perspectives that were certainly informed by their religious background and gender identities–to their works. Their groundbreaking art has paved the way for contemporary young Jewish women aspiring to capture the moment through the camera. Their legacy will always stay in the hearts and minds of people around the globe, their photos stirring the hearts of simple people and arts aficionados alike.

Radical Feminist Creations: The Mayyim Hayyim Mikveh

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Emilia and Anita Diamant

Last week at a planning meeting for the Girls Night Out event, I was asked to respond to the question: “Why do you want a mikveh?”

Many in the room shared answers about their personal immersions, family experiences, or just generally liking the idea of the place. When it came my turn, I looked at the woman next to me and said, “I want a mikveh because it is a radical feminist act to have one. It’s more political than you know.”

Grand Theft Auto V

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This morning, upon my arrival to JWA’s office, I walked over to Jordyn’s office to say good morning.

She greeted me with a question: “I know you’re a nerd…  But, are you a gamer?”

Jordyn continued her line of questioning by asking me if I knew anything about the new Grand Theft Auto game that was just released. While I haven’t devotedly played video games in over ten years, I appreciate the world of gaming and have many friends—and two brothers—who certainly identify as gamers.

Being Texan and Jewish: Part Two

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In fact when I got to Yale, people didn’t believe I was from Texas, although they still asked if I had cows.  Serious though I was, I couldn’t believe they were, so I sardonically said, “Only about 300.” To which they replied, “Is that a lot?” At that point I was truly incredulous, asking if they actually thought I was serious. However, the real craziness hit when it would come up that I was Jewish. The seriously puzzled response was,

“But I thought you said were from Texas…there aren’t any Jews in Texas.”  As if they could possibly know that.  As if it could be true.

The Curious Case of Playboy's Guide for a Consensual Good Time

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Guide for a Consensual Good Time

During my commute from work yesterday, I stumbled upon an eyebrow-raising website. Playboy—yes, Playboy —was heralding consent as the new sexy on college campuses. 

Party with Playboy, it appeared, had elected to veer away from their traditional rating of the top ten drinking and partying schools, instead offering the Top Ten Party Commandments as a “guide for a consensual good time.”

Being Texan and Jewish

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MIriam and Texas Jews

What is it about being Texan and Jewish that fills me with such pride? I think it’s the unexpectedness of it. I enthusiastically say, “Howdy y’all!” to friends and receive strange stares and sudden cases of the giggles. When I tell people where I’m from they reply, “You don’t sound Texan…or look Texan.” In the same way, people are often told they don’t “look” or “sound” Jewish. What does this even mean? Why are people still bogged down by stereotypes of cowboys and yentas and all other characters associated with Texas and Judaism? Why do I need to prove my Texan-ness or Jewish-ness with how I speak or act or look?

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