Religious Life

May Podcast: A Conversion Story for Shavuot

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Arva Gray - photograph

Tomorrow starts the festival of Shavuot, a time of spiritual liberation that commemorates the ancient Israelites receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. The holiday is also linked to the story of Ruth, a Moabite woman, and her relationship with her Israelite mother-in-law, Naomi. As recounted in the Book of Ruth, traditionally read on Shavuot, after Naomi and her daughters-in-law Ruth and Orpah all become widows, Naomi urges the two younger women to leave her and find new husbands.

Who says there are only four questions?

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Yesterday,the Jewish Women's Archive sent out a Passover e-greeting with the subject line: "Who says there are only four questions?" One of several responses to ourgreeting was from Nina Amir who affirmed that, indeed, there are far more than four questions to explore on Passover.

Live Webcast of Today's Ann Arbor Symposium ... with Women We Love!

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In case you thought New York was the ‘be all, end all' of Jewish life, think again. Step aside, Upper West Side, because Ann Arbor, Michigan is where the action's at today.

Oranges, Miriam's Cup, and Other Passover Rituals

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Passover is next week. How did that happen?! I haven't even begun to prepare, but was reminded that I better get on the ball after reading the opinion piece "Raising Cups, Dropping Oranges" by Aurora Mendelsohn in the Forward. Mendelsohn discusses the ways in which her Seder's feminist rituals have changed over the past decade: Miriam's Cup has endured while the orange on the Seder plate has disappeared.

Women's History Month Podcast Feature #2

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Out from the balcony and onto the bimah! Introducing JWA's second Women's History Month podcast feature, Jewish Women and Religious Innovation. Learn how Hadassah Blocker, Sally Priesand, and Marcia Falk created religious experience on their own terms, expanding opportunities for women's religious participation in their own communities and for American Jews at large.

Bat Mitzvah revolutions and evolutions

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Judith Kaplan (Eisenstein) made history 87 years ago today when she became the first American to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah. As the daughter of an innovative rabbi - Mordechai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism- she benefited from his belief in egalitarianism and his willingness to challenge tradition.

A Look at "How Jews Look" and "The Colors of Water"

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Yavilah McCoy

A few weeks ago, MyJewishLearning.com released "How Jews Look", a four-and-a-half minute film profiling a few Jews reflecting upon their own appearances in connection with their Jewish identities. A lively and somewhat heated conversation about "How Jews Look" emerged on Jewschool.

Trafficking, Sex Work, ... and Purim?

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Purim starts in a few hours, and while the holiday is considered by many to be the most joyous in the Jewish calendar, there is a somber side as well.

New Online Encyclopedia of Jewish Women! It's Here!

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Happy Women's History Month!

Earlier this week, the Jewish Women's Archive proudly launched the online version of Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, edited by Paula Hyman of Yale University and Dalia Ofer of Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and originally published by Alice and Moshe Shalvi of Shalvi Publishing, Ltd.

Mazel Tov, Sara Hurwitz!

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Sara Hurwitz

Yesterday, I was pleased to receive an e-mail from the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) congratulating Sara Hurwitz "on having completed the required course of study in Yoreh Deah" to become a spiritual leader. Hurwitz presently serves as a leader of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale.

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