Must-Reads on Judaism and Gender

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Two fabulous Jewish magazines have new issues out that are must-reads for anyone interested in Judaism and gender.

The first is Lilith’s new issue, which proclaims, in big black letters on a red background, that “Boys are the New Girls.”

It’s an interesting premise, highlighting the much-needed attention paid lately to boys. Boys — and men — are unfortunately missing in action from Jewish life in liberal (i.e. non-Orthodox) precincts. In this New York Times article back in February 2006, I explored this issue as it relates to the Reform movement, which was the first major Jewish institution to grapple with the gender imbalance in its youth groups, camps and synagogues.

The new Lilith issue includes, among other items on the topic, essays on what it means to be a Jewish man today by Rabbi Steven Greenberg (the first openly gay Orthodox rabbi), a provocatively titled essay, “Bottoming for God,” by Forward contributor Jay Michaelson, a look at King David as a model of manhood by Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky of Manhattan’s Congregation Ansche Chesed, and a piece on not fitting into stereotypes of boyhood by self-proclaimed “wimp” Paul Zakrzewski. The Lilith package also includes an interview with Sally Gottesman, who is co-founder and board chair of the organization Moving Traditions, which is developing a program to reach adolescent Jewish boys.

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Debra Nussbaum Cohen is a regular contributor to the Sisterhood, which crossposts weekly with Jewesses with Attitude.

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