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Jewesses with Attitude

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Discussing rape, the "sisterhood" fails

We mentioned Tuesday the disturbing news of a British survey that showed that women were more likely than their male counterparts to blame rape victims for being raped.

Topics: Feminism

It takes a village -- or a court order

It's not always easy to raise children Jewish in America. Our holidays are no match for the big C, bacon is America's favorite food, and to top it off, your ex might baptize your children when you're not looking. That's what happened to Rebecca Reyes, a Jewish woman going through a divorce.

Topics: Marriage

Our first Jewish Congresswoman

Eighty-five years ago today, Florence Prag Kahn became the first Jewish woman elected to the United States Congress, and only the fifth woman to ever serve in that body.

A place at Emily's Table

Of all the things I’ve come to regret in life (most of which involve something I should/could/would have said, or the length of my hair before I turned 30), the most significant is not spending more time cooking with my beloved aunt, Emily Mehlman, before she passed away in 2006.  

Topics: Food

AdDRESSING Women's Lives: Translating Interview into Art

The following is a piece by Ethan Grossman, a high school student at the Weber School in Atlanta. As part of a project called AdDRESSING Women's Lives, created by Barbara Rosenblit and Sheila Miller, Ethan interviewed Millie Rotter Kinbar and documented her oral history in a multi-media work of art, revealing her character and life experiences through the metaphor of a dress.

Topics: Art

Do Jews celebrate Valentine's Day? A post holiday roundup

  • What does Valentine's Day have to do with Judaism? [From the Rib?]
  • Video dating for Orthodox singles? [Tablet]
  • "Love is in the Air": a collection of stories about the first year of marriage.

Well-behaved vaginas rarely make history

Fourteen years after its first performance, The Vagina Monologues has become a February tradition.

Topics: Feminism

100 years: Happy Birthday Anna Sokolow!

Modern dance pioneer Anna Sokolow was born 100 years ago today in Hartford, Connecticut. Anna Sokolow was a Woman of Valor. She was a radical artist who used dance to explore social and political issues, challenege audiences, and make a statement.

Topics: Dance

Link Roundup - Teen dating violence, Rabbis blaming gays, and more

  • Jewish education takes on a new flavor at the Jewish Food Education Network. [eJewishPhilanthropy]
  • Dan Friedman reviews Off and Running -- the story of an African American girl adopted by Jewish lesbian parents -- in the Forward.

We asked, you answered!

Last year in honor of Tu B'Shevat, we created a new page on jwa.org to feature Jewish women in environmental activism, and honored six women actively engaged in that work. After it “went live,” we were excited to find that several people submitted comments suggesting other Jewish women who deserved recognition. We heard those suggestions, and this year we brought the question to you—“who would you add to our list?” We asked, and you answered!  We have received the names of over 30 women in response to our call.

Topics: Activism

Happy Birthday, Hebrew School

Today marks the 172nd anniversary of the First Hebrew Sunday School in the United States, founded in 1838 in Philadelphia.  You can read about it at JWA's This Week in History. It was an audacious undertaking which required the special talents of an unusual woman.

Jewish women, or women who happen to be Jewish?

Thirteen years ago today, the newly appointed Secretary of State Madeline Albright went public with the discovery of her Jewish roots. This event brings up an interesting issue, one that we at the Jewish Women's Archive wrestle with daily. Is Madeline Albright a Jewish woman, or a woman who happens to be Jewish?  Is there a distinction between the two?  Should there be?

Topics: Judaism

Kol Ishah: Jewish Chicks Rock

Kol ishah is the singing voice of a woman, and something observant Jewish men are forbidden to hear. Too bad for them, because they are missing out. They are not listening to the voices of today’s Jewish women rock musicians, something that even those of us who do not observe kol ishah did not have the privilege of hearing until recently.

Topics: Music

The Album as Archive, the Photograph as Story

On Sunday afternoon, twelve women sat around a table at the sunny education center of Mayyim Hayyim, in Newton, Mass. Each of us clutched -- gently, lovingly -- a few old photos, sepia-toned, worn at the edges. These photos held pieces of our history, and as many questions as answers.

Feed Me Bubbe

As stated in the Boston Globe, "Two years ago, Bubbe didn’t know from a website."  Her grandson, Avrom Honig, decided to share his Bubbe with the world, producing an online kosher cooking show from her classic 1950s Jewish kitchen called Feed Me Bubbe.  After 30 Youtube episodes teaching luchen kugel, chicken soup, cheese blintzes and more, 83 year-old Bubbe now has her own website, t-shirts, and even a ringtone.

Topics: Food

Mazel tov to Hasia Diner, winner of a 2009 National Jewish Book Award

The JWA family extends a joyous mazel tov to Hasia Diner, winner of a 2009 National Jewish Book Award.  Her recent work, We Remember with Reverence and Love, was the winner of the Celebrate 350 Award in American Jewish Studies. 

Luck and Pluck

Question: Why would a modern woman cross the road to go to a Kosher Chicken Shechita?
Answer: To get to the other side. With feet.

Topics: Food

Trees have birthdays? -- a Tu B'Shevat link roundup

  • Get started with "Tu B'Shevat 101" [MyJewishLearning] or "Tu B'Shevat FAQ" [Tablet]
  • What role have Jewish women played in environmental activism?

From Maharat to Rabbah

A year ago we congratulated Sara Hurwitz on becoming a Maharat.  Today we rejoice in her new title: Rabbah.

The subject of ordaining Orthodox women rabbis is highly controversial. Last year Sara Hurwitz completed the required course of study in Yoreh Deah to become a spiritual leader, but instead of receiving the title of rabbi, a new title was created for her.  "Maharat" was created from an acronym that loosely translates to mean a leader in religious law and spirtual matters.

Topics: Feminism, Rabbis

Celebrating Ruth Proskauer Smith, an unheralded champion of women's and human rights

Ruth Proskauer Smith, a longtime women's and human rights activist, passed away last Friday at the impressive age of 102. Smith co-founded the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, which later became the National Abortion Rights Action League and is today known as NARAL Pro-Choice America.

The work/family balance, feminist-atheist siddurs, Holocaust hip hop and more -- Link Roundup Jan. 27, 2010

  • This is interesting in light of the discussion taking place at The Sisterhood about feminism and the work/family balance.

Household hints from the "American Jewess"

Take a look at these "household hints" published in American Jewess in January, 1896. Published between April 1895 and August 1899, The American Jewess was the first English-language publication directed to American Jewish women. I wonder what household hints American Jewesses would share today?

Topics: Journalism

Submit your environmental activist before Tu B'Shevat!

Saturday is Tu B'Shevat, known as the "Jewish New Year for trees," the "Jewish Arbor Day," or the "Jewish birthday for trees." The holiday has an interesting history that, believe it or not, began with taxes.  Lenore Skenazy explains in The Forward:

Back about 2,000 years ago, Tu B’Shevat — literally the 15th day of the month of Shvat — was a tax deadline, of sorts. Any trees planted before Tu B’Shvat were considered to have been “born” the previous year. Those planted after Tu B’Shvat (or, perhaps those that started blooming after Tu B’Shvat) were part of the next year’s crop. As the amount of fruit you were required to tithe from each tree was determined by its age, this date was significant. And since the easiest way to remember a tree’s birthday was to plant it on that day, that’s what some folks did: planted.

"Does working make me a bad mother?" -- Legitimate question, or pseudo dilemma?

Last week in The Sisterhood, Elana Sztokman weighed in on the struggle to balance work and motherhood. Her piece was written partly in response to an earlier Sisterhood post by Deborah Kolben, who wondered if choosing to stay home with her new baby made her a "bad feminist."  Below is an excerpt from Elana Szotkman's piece.

Topics: Mothers

Trusting women: A look back

Today is the 37 anniversary of the Supreme Court's legalization of abortion in the Roe v. Wade decision, and as such, it's also NARAL's 5th annual Blog for Choice Day. The question NARAL has posed for this year is "What does Trust Women mean to you?" And I've chosen to answer this as historians do best -- by dipping into the archives for a story about Jewish women and reproductive rights that goes back much farther than 1973.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Blog." (Viewed on August 5, 2015) <http://jwa.org/blog>.

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