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Leah Berkenwald

Leah Berkenwald
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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

Judith and the Hanukkah Story

You have probably heard of Judah and the Maccabees, but what about Judith?  At one time, the story of Judith—a young widow who slew the Assyrian general and led the Israelites to victory—was considered an important part of the Hanukkah narrative.

Super Mamika

French photographer Sacha Goldberger found his 91 year-old grandmother Frederika feeling depressed. To cheer her up, he convinced her to appear in a photoshoot as a superhero. The result is outrageous, brilliant, and bold. 

And the winner is ... no one?

The 2010 winner of the $25,000 Wendy Wasserstein Prize for playwriting is apparently nobody.

Topics: Art, Theater, Plays
Priviledge Denying Dude 1

Owning Our Jewish Privilege

A new meme blog is taking off.  "Privilege Denying Dude" represents the type of person who denies that they have privilege, usually the privilege that comes with being white, male, heterosexual, cisgendered (not transgendered), and American. It identifies the sorts of phrases and ideas that are used to deny this kind of privilege, like the idea that homeless people are lazy.

Living the Legacy: a student perspective

As the word spreads about Living the Legacy, JWA's new social justice curriculum about Jews and the Civil Rights Movement, it's exciting and gratifying to read testimonials from educators and other interested parties. It's a rare honor, however, to receive a review from a student. Dina Lamdany is a senior at a Jewish day school in Washington D.C. She blogs about Jewish feminism at fromtherib? and is a regular contributor to Jewesses with Attitude.

Remembering Jewish Women's Stories on Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day and each year we at the Jewish Women's Archive look back on the long history of Jewish women trailblazers in the military. Last year I wrote a blog post about this legacy, highlighting the launch of our "Jewish American Women and WWII" collection on Flickr Commons.

Leah at the International Lion of Judah Conference

Highlights from NOLA: the General Assembly and International Lion of Judah Conference

I never knew it was possible to feel so energized and so exhausted at the same time. I just returned home from the General Assembly (#nolaga) and the International Lion of Judah Conference (#ilojc) in New Orleans, LA.

Jewesses: Stories from around the web

  • Alina Treiger is the first Jewish woman to be ordained in Germany since WWII.

Jewish women: Leaders but not heroes

A sharp piece by Shannon Sarna and Ruthie Warshenbrot takes the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) to task for the announcement that all five Jewish Community Heroes finalists are men. They wrote:

More than half of the 2010 Slingshot organizations are headed by women.

More than half of the 2009 Avi Chai Fellows (“the Jewish genius grant”) award winners are women. More than half of the current Joshua Venture Fellows are women.

Gloria Feldt's "No Excuses" says: "Know your history!"

This month, Gloria Feldt's No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power hit book stores. A best-selling author, speaker and commentator on women, feminism, politics and leadership, Gloria Feldt is the former President of Planned Parenthood and currently on the Board of the Jewish Women's Archive.

Topics: Feminism, Writing

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. " Leah Berkenwald ." (Viewed on September 1, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/author/leah-berkenwald>.

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Today in 1990, the Jewish Press profiled Rabbi Bonnie Koppell, the first female rabbi to serve in the U.S. military http://t.co/JaJvIc0U20
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Today in 1984, Judith Resnik became the first American Jewish astronaut and second woman in space http://t.co/Gslg9RCAAQ
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This is SOOO jwa!! What a great idea #MissPossible http://t.co/UgyLkQWJ6A