When History Repeats

Women of the Wall Leader Arrested for Carrying a Torah

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Following the arrest today of Anat Hoffman — chair of Women of the Wall, and former Jerusalem municipal council member — for being a woman holding a Torah at the Western Wall plaza, Hoffman offered me her first-hand account of this morning’s events. 

Celebrating Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, the first woman Reconstructionalist rabbi

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Thirty-six years ago today, Sandy Eisenberg Sasso was ordained as the first female Reconstructionist rabbi by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) in Philadelphia on May 19, 1974.

The Loaded Tattoo

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Holocaust remembrance tattoo

Today on Truth, Praise & Help, Renee Ghert-Zand expressed her displeasure at two Israeli men who decided to honor their Holocaust survivor matriarch with a tattoo of her Auschwitz number on their forearms. She, like many Jews, has trouble with tattoos and finds Holocaust remembrance tattoos particularly offensive.

More Passover Memories

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Passover Table 2

The other day I blogged about celebrating Passover on my great aunt’s dairy farm outside of Baltimore.

Our 10 Plagues

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Letty Cottin Pogrebin, a rock-star of Jewish feminism, delivered a speech called “The Ten Plagues According to Jewish Women,” at the Downtown Seder on March 25 in Manhattan. An adaptation of this speech has been published on The Sisterhood blog, and it is fabulous. Pogrebin goes through each of the 10 Plagues and demonstrates how each symbolizes a problem facing Jewish women today.

This Week in History - March 22, 2010

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March 22, 1893
Senda Berenson, the "Mother of Women's Basketball," organized and officiated at the first women's basketball game.
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March 22, 2005
Four handbags created for U.S. first ladies by Judith Leiber, luxury handbag doyenne, were featured in a New-York Historical Society exhibit that opened on March 22, 2005.
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This Week in History - March 15, 2010

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Are all of you aware of This Week in History, JWA's incredible calendar of events in Jewish women's history? We try to make it as accessible as possible.

Queen Esther’s Agunah Story

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You can learn an incredible amount about different people from language.

What Queen Esther can teach us about intermarriage

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“She was trying as hard as she could not to be beautiful. But she had a brightness on her, made stronger by the fact that she wanted to hide it; thinking if it was seen, somehow, it would make him choose her, and of course it did.” 

Vashti is not a failure; Esther is not a bad feminist

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Vashti by by Edwin Long, 1878

Abby Wisse Schachter, associate editor at the New York Post, recently published an article in Commentary Magazine that suggests that feminist thinking has changed the meaning of Purim, and that that is a bad thing. I have not read the piece because the article is only available to subscribers, and therefore I cannot evaluate the merit of Schachter’s individual arguments. Still, I reject the idea that a feminist interpretation of the Purim story “lionizes the wrong woman, promotes a false political message of nonviolence and tolerance, and worst of all embraces failure instead of promoting perhaps the greatest of Jewish heroines,” as Schachter argues in her abstract.

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