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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
Today is the first Tuesday in November, which means that for those of us freezing our toes off up north, it's finally time to turn on the heat! It also means it is Election Day, and since we're not electing a President this year, we have the luxury to relax and reflect on the trailblazing Jewish women in politics who have made history on this historic day.
- When divorce is a reason to celebrate. [Sisterhood]
- "If you're happy and you know it..." Ellen Goodman refutes the results of the so-called "Happiness Survey." [Boston Globe]
- Cory Kahaney (one of the hosts of Making Trouble) hits the borscht belt with her new play. [TheJewishWeek]
- "New Jews" are doin' it for themselves. The post-baby-boom Jews embrace new approaches to Jewish culture and faith, which include praying in the desert, webcasting bible stories, organizing for non-Jewish causes, Jew-tattoos and punk rock. [CNN]
- With the emergence of women scholars in the Orthodox community, women are starting to talk about sex. [Forward]
Yesterday, Oct. 28, 2009, heralded a historic moment for human rights as President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act into law. This act expands the already existing hate crime protection to include crimes based on one's sexual orientation, gender, disability, or gender identity, and also allows federal authorities to support local investigations, as well as step in when local authorities unable or unwilling to investigate. For the first time in our nation's history, GLBT people and people with disabilities have the legal right to safety from hate violence.
Ann Zinn Buffum came to JWA through “midnight web searches” for family history. She was surprised to discover that Madeleine May Kunin, the first woman Governor of Vermont, was the only Vermonter to be featured on jwa.org. “Surely there were other women in our state, small as it is, who had interesting and accomplished lives,” she writes in To Life!, the book that accompanies the gallery exhibit. With her mission in mind, she enlisted Sandra Stillman Gartner, a writer, actor, and active member of the Rutland Jewish Center community, to create DAVAR: The Jewish Women’s History Project.
The buzz about Good Hair, Chris Rock's new documentary about Black hair, has got me thinking about "Jewish hair": what it is, what it means, and where I -- a straight-haired woman -- fit into this curious piece of Jewish identity.
Pride, Honor and Courage: Jewish Women Remember World War II, the documentary film produced by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford (JHSGH), premiered Thursday at the Mandell Jewish Community Center.
Okay, so October is host to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Love Your Body Day, Fat Talk Free Week, AND GLBT History Month? This is a seriously busy month!
GLBT History Month chooses 31 GLBT icons to highlight, one for each day of the month. This year, three Jewesses are included in the list!
The Jewish Women's Archive is in the running for a Jewish Choice Award from GreatNonProfits, an online directory of non-profits where users can rate and review their favorite (or least favorite) organizations. Think of it as the "Yelp" of non-profits. The Jewish Choice Award will go to the Jewish organization with the most positive reviews in its category.
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month: "Where you can put your pink ribbons," by Tamar Fox. [MyJewishLearning]
- Marjorie Ingall and Debra Nussbaum Cohen discuss breastfeeding, and the Jewish guilt that comes with failure. [Tablet] [The Sisterhood]
- A "healthy" American appetite for Israeli food is growing. [JTA]
- Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags -- HBO's new documentary about the rise and fall of the garment industry and its role in the American Jewish experience. (Don't forget its significance in labor history and women's history!) [Heeb] [Forward]