December 21st is the winter solstice and this year it was also the date of a lunar eclipse. December 21st, however, is also a big day for two important "stars": Henrietta Szold and Emma Goldman, two very important women in JWA's online Women of Valor exhibit.
Today Henrietta Szold would have been 150 years old. Exactly 75 years ago today, her birthday was celebrated by Zionists throughout the U.S. There was a national radio address, parties hosted by local Hadassah chapters, and Shabbat sermons dedicated to her all over the country. To read more about this remarkable event, visit This Week in History.
If you haven't read it already, check out this excellent NYT interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- a JWA hero -- by Emily Bazelon (a senior editor at Slate, a founder of their new online women's magazine, Double X, and a serious Jewess with Attitude in her own right).
Frankly, I'm too burnt out by a day spent with my children to offer much in the way of my own reflections on Mother's Day. So instead I will share the words of Henrietta Szold to fellow Zionist activist Jessie Sampter on August 23, 1917...
With the final presidential debate behind us, and the election fast approaching, many of us have begun to imagine how the world will change come November 5th. If you’re feeling too bombarded with Obama/McCain/Palin-saturated news feeds, we invite you to consider a different possibility: a Jewish woman as your president and vice-president.
Summer? Summer is the time that you eat sticky popsicles, ride your bike to the beach, and watch fireworks, right? Oh wait, I think summer is the time that you have to plan six months in advance to find a single weekend that you can go away with your friends because everyone is off traveling. Yes, even this year, with gas prices sky-high. And we are not without good company. Jewish women have made it their business to see the world for hundreds of years.
Today is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, and I'd like to mark it not (only) by eating falafel but with something less tangible but ultimately more nourishing: considering stories. Sixty years is only half way to 120 - the mythical age Jews wish upon one another - but this "half life" contains within it so many dreams and visions, loves and losses, hopes and fears, connections and fractures, struggles that remain unresolved.