Leah Berkenwald

Leah Berkenwald was born and raised in Northampton, MA, where "The coffee is strong, and so are the women."  As such, she was a feminist and equal rights activist straight out of the womb. She is particularly passionate about reproductive rights and sex education, despite her father's wish that she do something less controversial like "save the whales." Leah draws strength from the memories of her grandmothers - two incredible Jewesses with some serious attitude. After three years as JWA's Social Media Specialist, Leah moved on to Wentworth Institute, where she coordinates Wellness Education. You can read her blog at www.leahbee.net

Blog posts

  • Brooklyn-based, ultra-Orthodox, Hasidic Jewish newspaper, Der Tzitung, has decided to rewrite history by photoshopping Hillary Clinton out of the photo of U.S. leaders receiving an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden (right). Why? Because the idea of a woman in the Situation Room was "too scandalous."

  • In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, the Jewish Women’s Archive is launching a campaign to tweet our online Encyclopedia of Jewish wo

  • Glee might be a poorly written, pandering, and completely infuriating show, but it remains to be the only mainstream TV show today with a lead female character who is open about her Jewish identity. The topic of this week's episode, "Born this Way," was about Jewish women and nose jobs. In the episode, stereotypical Jewish girl Rachel Berry, played by Lea Michele, considers getting a nose job.

  • We're nearing the end of Passover, which means you might be running out of meal ideas. Alternatively, it means there's only a few more days to try these exciting Passover recipes!

  • This delicious article in the Boston Globe had me pumping my feminist fist in the air! In a report on the Combined Jewish Philanthropies Women’s Philanthropy’s annual Pomegranate event held at Congregation Mishkan Tefilah in Chestnut Hill, MA, Beth Teitell reported that there were no "visible panty lines," or "VPLs."

  • Recently in The Forward, Jay Michaelson compared four characters from “Glee” to the “Four Children” from the Passover seder tradition. What I loved about the piece was Michaelson’s point that for young Jews, Jewish identity is one variable in a multi-variable identity that youth will embrace, when and if they find it meaningful. What bothered me about the piece was the language Michaelson used describing Rachel Berry, the analogous “Wise Child,” as an “irritating control freak” and “intolerable.” It was particularly difficult to read this because, well, I used to be Rachel Berry.

  • This Passover, the Jewish Women's Archive and JewishBoston.com have teamed up to bring you a downloadable, open source, http://www.jewishbost

  • In collaboration with JewishBoston.com, JWA are putting the finishing touches on a new Haggadah that highlights women's voices. (Keep an eye out for it next week.) As we've been thinking about seders and traditions and the different ways we could include women's voices in the Haggadah we're creating, I wanted to hear more from you about your traditions and how you include women's voices.

  • Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women is the first museum exhibit to explore this unique niche of autobiographical storytelling by Jewish women. The touring exhibit, sponsored by The Forward, features the work of 18 Jewish women artists. The Jewish Women's Archive is interviewing each of the artists about their work and their experience as a female, Jewish graphic artist.

  • Yesterday, President Obama chose Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the new chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), making her the second Jewish woman to hold this position after Debra DeLee in 1994. After doing a little research at jwa.org, however, I realized that even though Wasserman Schultz may be the only the second Jewish woman to chair the DNC, she is actually joining a long tradition of Jewish women who have been active in the organization.

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