Having survived a blizzardy drive down dark, unfamiliar roads last Wednesday evening, I shook the cold and snowflakes from my coat and walked into a warm room at the Newton JCC.
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ETTA KING currently works as the Education Program Manager at the Jewish Women's Archive. A graduate of Brandeis University and Habonim Dror North America, she combines her passions for storytelling, learning, and community building by helping educators bring Jewish values, culture, and history alive through primary sources. Etta also teaches cooking, nature, improvisational theater, and Israeli dance to students of all ages. You can contact Etta with questions and ideas by going to http://jwa.org/contact/education.
Today I Am a Woman: Stories of Bat Mitzvah Around the World, (Eds Barbara Vinick and Shulamit Reinharz, Indiana University Press, 2011) is at once intellectual and imaginative.
The first thing you should know about making challah is this: DO NOT BE AFRAID! I find that many people are intimidated by the thought of making their own challah.
“How could you?!” Esther screamed.
“What? What are you talking about?” I asked.
Ask any one of my friends or family members: in the weeks leading up to JWA’s Institute for Educators, I was a mess. As the dishes piled up on my desk at the office and my eyeballs crossed from looking at spreadsheet after spreadsheet of catering orders and flight information, a battle between stress and excitement raged in my mind.
A few months back, I dragged my 12-year-old, Harry-Potter-enthusiast sister to go with me to see the new Disney princess movie Tangled (which retells the Rapunzel story). In one part of the film, Rapunzel has just escaped from the tower against her mother's wishes and is encountering the World, and her independence, for the first time. (Watch the clip here.) While her companion patiently waits for her to come to terms with her new-found freedom, Rapunzel goes from one extreme to the other, from excitement to shame and worry.
“The world is woven through us/I swear I wont forget/how her fingers hold the thread.” This is the final line of the song “Rubies,” off the amazing sophomore album "Half You Half Me" by the group Girls in Trouble, released on JDUB records earlier this month.
The first thing I thought when I read this article in Monday's New York Times was "How cool! All these women are scientists?!" What immediately followed was the thought "Too bad." Too bad I never knew that Winnie from the Wonder Years loves math. Too bad I never found out that Blossom totally digs science. Too bad I had no idea that Queen Amidala was a super science nerd in high school, or I might have found the Star Wars prequels more interesting.