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
Yesterday, JTA published, "Where the Blogosphere Meets the Boardroom," an op-ed co-authored by Jordan Namerow, a long-time writer for Jewesses with Attitude and my predecessor at the Jewish Women's Archive. This op-ed encourages the Federation to engage with the younger members of the Jewish community, many of whom are unaware of the Federation system. It gives suggestions for ways to bring young Jews into the fold, arguing, "Without including younger voices, Federation risks its own survival."
Writing that last post on the General Social Survey about women's unhappiness has really got me thinking about happiness and how to define happiness. In my post, I shared a quote from Nora Ephron in which she explains that in different eras, happiness could be defined as "a puppy," "a dry martini," or "knowing what your uterus looks like." What would happiness be defined as today? A smart phone?
The results of a General Social Survey, which has been tracking American’s happiness since 1972, have surprised and confused us with their finding that women are growing increasingly unhappy over time.
- Cooking with clichés: Yo Yenta shares her thoughts on The Jewish Princess line of cookbooks. [Yo Yenta]
- Mazel Tov Elaine Schuster, recently nominated as a representative to the U.N. General Assembly. [JTA]
- The House of Secrets: The Hidden World of the Mikveh is reviewed. [Washington Post] [Feminist Review]
- Gloria Steinem exhorted the members of the National Council of Jewish Women/Greater Detroit Section to become active in the fight for women's rights. [HometownLife]
Last Friday, Michelle Obama spoke to leaders of several women's groups arguing that "overhauling the nation’s health care system was of critical importance to women and part of 'the next step' in their long quest to assure full opportunity and equality." With healthcare reform at the forefront, it is becoming more and more obvious that the status quo is sexist, unfair, and often dangerous for women. For the first time in a long time, I am getting angry.
The Jewish holidays are divided (in my mind) into "food holidays" and "not food holidays." The High Holy Days are the ultimate expression of this dichotomy. On Rosh Hashana, we delight in foods that are sweet to ring in the New Year, and on Yom Kippur, we fast.
I have fallen head-over-heels in love with the new Fox series Glee. Often called the "anti-High School Musical," Glee is a series about a group of high school misfits who find their place in the unpopular Glee Club, featuring Rachel Berry -- a Jewish girl -- as the lead female character. The show uses all the usual high school stereotypes (cheerleaders, jocks, freaks, geeks, etc.), to create a deliciously witty and hilarious satire. The students of the Glee Club represent the standard marginalized groups you would find in a high school and it is led by, you guessed it, the strong-willed Jewish girl.
This week is flying by and Rosh Hashana is almost upon us. If you have been as busy as we have this past week at the Jewish Women's Archive, the holiday comes as a welcome respite. I have rounded up a "menu" of High Holiday links, some silly and some serious, to help ease us into the holiday season. Enjoy!
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. " Leah Berkenwald ." (Viewed on December 18, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/author/leah-berkenwald>.