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.
'Family Guy' creator Seth MacFarlane outs Stewie (the baby) as gay, and announces that this season Lois (the mother) will discover she is actually Jewish. [NYDailyNews] Will this be received better than the controversial "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" episode Fox refused to air in 2000?
Today the Jerusalem Post reported that a homeless Holocaust survivor living in Manhattan passed away at the age of 92. She left $100,000 to Hebrew University, and $100,000 to the man who gave her a room in exchange for parking his car all over the city. She did not have any connections to Hebrew University, and according to the report, nothing else is known about her. Will we ever learn her name?
Ninety-eight years ago today, 146 people (mostly women, mostly Jewish and Italian immigrants, mostly young) burned to death in a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. The tragedy was particularly galling because it was the result of unsafe working conditions, a lack of fire escapes, and locked exits.
A living wage?Before last week, I thought that was an issue facing underemployed workers breaking their backs for $9 an hour and trying to pay for housing, food, and child care.And yet, last week, the Conservative Movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards passed a Living Wage Teshuva (a legal “response” to a question of Jewish law) obligating Conservative organizations like schools, synagogues and summer camps to provide their employees with a living wage, defined by Rabbi Jill Jacobs via
"The life of men and women is so cheap and property is so sacred! There are so many of us for one job it matters little if 146 of us are burned to death. I know from my experience it is up to the working people to save themselves, and the only way is through a strong working-class movement."
A few years ago, I saw the Israeli film Sentenced To Marriage which documents the stories and experiences of agunot, Jewish women whose husbands refuse to grant them a get (divorce contract) leaving them as "chained wives." It was rather sobering to learn about these women (religious and secular alike) whose self-determination is trumped by oppressive men, and falls prey to the less-than-sympathetic judgments of the rabbinical high court.
I’ve never met Lorraine Rothman, a women’s health activist and inventor of the Del’Em menstrual extraction kit. But I came to know her work through my dissertation research, and so I was deeply saddened to hear that she is dying.