Religious Life

Half Jewess with a Whole Attitude

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When I was a little girl looking suspiciously at a new kind of food (a matzoh ball, for instance, or a slice of Jewish honey cake.) My dad would say, “Well, maybe you’ll half like it. After all, you’re half Jewish!”

Blogging the Institute: A Night of Jewish Gospel

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On the final night of the JWA Summer Institute for Educators, we wrapped with a fun and moving final session on Jewish Gospel Music.

Tu B'Av and the Question of Gendered Rituals

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Yesterday marked Tu B’Av, the 15th day of the month of Av, a minor Jewish holiday that Wikipedia tells me has become a Jewish equivalent t

The Sisterhood 50: America's Influential Women Rabbis

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The Sisterhood 50: America's Influential Women Rabbis

The Sisterhood, the Forward’s women’s issues blog, has twice called attention to the chronic underrepresentation of women on Newsweek’s annual “50 Most Influential Rabbis” list.

Thinking about women and food on Tisha B'Av

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This Tuesday marked Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av. Tisha B’Av is a Jewish fast day marking the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, but over the years, it has come to serve as a symbolic day of mourning for tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people over the course of history.

Maybe I’d Feel More Jewish If I Could Afford It?

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I’ve often kvetched about the high cost of being Jewish. From synagogue dues to the JEA membership to Sunday School tuition to tzedakah to summer camp, it adds up to many thousands of dollars a year, and don’t get me started on the projected costs of hosting a bar mitzvah in a few short years. Sometimes I add it up mentally and fantasize about the fabulous vacation the family could take (to Israel, even!) or what I could contribute to the kids’ college funds.

Finding Women's Empowerment in Jewish Literacy

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I’ve been thinking a lot about literacy lately. Maybe it’s because I’m working for a children’s book company this summer or maybe it’s because I am now open to seeing the holes in my own literacy. Of course, when I think of literacy, I tend to associate it with Judaism because that is where many of my holes originate.

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. 

Eating Jewish: What is "Jewish food?"

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What exactly is Jewish food? This is the question that most people will invariably ask me after I tell them that I research Jewish food. Most people ask this question with interest, while others are incredulous that there could be Jewish food. Yet, whenever I am confronted with this question I realize that one simple answer cannot work to define this term that eludes any strict definition.

Crisis pregnancy center targets Jewish women

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In Shifra's Arms

Last week, Washington Jewish Week reported on the creation of In Shifra's Arms, a new crisis pregnancy center (CPC) targeting Jewish women.

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