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Religious Life

Is the shul a place for political activism?

I spent last Friday night celebrating Shabbat at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Mass., a Reform synagogue I’d never before visited. I was in awe of the chapel’s breathtaking, brightly colored stained glass windows, and I was fascinated by Rabbi John Franken’s take on Parshat M’tzora, which drew unexpected parallels between, of all things, skin diseases and marketing (all with a Jewish bent, of course). But it was a bright green insert in the Friday night program that struck me most.

Why, on this night, do we include women's voices?

In collaboration with JewishBoston.com, JWA are putting the finishing touches on a new Haggadah that highlights women's voices. (Keep an eye out for it next week.) As we've been thinking about seders and traditions and the different ways we could include women's voices in the Haggadah we're creating, I wanted to hear more from you about your traditions and how you include women's voices.

Miriam and the Passover Story

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that Passover is my favorite holiday.

תרומה –תצוה (Exodus 25- 30:10) T'rumah and T'tzaveh-- And you shall be a blessing....

February is Jewish Disability Awareness month. Awareness itself is an interesting term to wrap your mind around, it makes me ask: how are we building “awareness” and about what specifically? Are we being ‘aware’ just by engaging in conversations about disabilities? How do we talk about disability, in what context, and what actions are we taking in our society to help those who may have different physical or mental challenges.

Planting the seed: Memories of "The Feminine Mystique"

There’s a lot of buzz these days about Stephanie Coontz’s new book A Strong Stirring, an assessment of Betty Friedans’s 1963 manifesto The Feminine Mystique. It’s stirring up some personal memories of my own.

Trying tallit and tefillin: Working on my hyprocrisy

A few months ago, I realized that I wanted to start wearing Tallit and Tefillin. Not because I had some grand change in ideology, but because I realized that doing so actually goes along with the ideology I’ve professed to have for quite some time.

A Musical Wedding Toast: To Life!

Lin-Manuel Miranda isn’t Jewish; neither is his new wife, Vanessa. But the 30-year old Puerto Rican composer obviously has a taste for musicals: He’s best known for writing and starring in the popular Broadway musical In the Heights, which has won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Eating Jewish: Recipes for a tasty Tu B’Shevat table

Although there are no specific dishes that have traditionally been prepared for Tu B’Shevat, the custom of serving dishes that contain fruits and nuts has emerged.

Put a Jewish woman in environmental activism "On the Map!"

Next week is Tu B'Shevat, the Jewish birthday for trees. The meaning of the holiday has undergone some major evolution over the years; it started as a tax deadline, was co-opted by Kabbalists and then the Zionists, and is now considered a holiday celebrating the environment and environmental activism in a broad sense. At the Jewish Women's Archive, our Tu B'Shevat tradition is to seek out and celebrate Jewish women who have dedicated their lives to environmental activism.

Frum, fashion, and feminism

Jewish designers are a staple on the fashion scene – famous names like Zac Posen, Isaac Mizrahi, Max Azria, Kenneth Cole, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren are all members of the tribe. A few years ago, Slate even published a story called “The Rise of Schmatte Chic”, which chronicled the fleeting trend of Orthodox Jewish influence in runway fashion.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Religious Life." (Viewed on March 31, 2015) <http://jwa.org/blog/religion>.

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