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Joan Rivers is reviewed, HBO's search for an orgasm, and more - A "Monday, Monday" Link Roundup

  • "Funny, Heartbreaking, And Casually Profound." A roundup of reviews of Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work from major papers, magazines, and blogs. [Jezebel]
  • Legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz's latest work -- shooting the World Cup's hottest stars -- are breathtaking in more ways than one.

Putting Joy Ladin "On the Map"

Recently, we asked you to add Jewish women to our GLBT Pride Month feature on jwa.org. A contributor pointed out that we didn't have any transwomen, and suggested we add Joy Ladin. What an excellent idea! Not only should she be mentioned on jwa.org, she should be put On the Map. I used this as an opportunity to create a tutorial video to explain how to add an entry to the map.

Q&A With Miryam Kabakov: Editor of Anthology on Orthodox Lesbians

A new anthology, titled “Keep Your Wives Away from Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires,” includes essays by 14 women who identify themselves as part of the GLBQT community. Some remain part of the frumcommunity, and write anonymously. One is from a prominent politicallyconservative family and talks about her family’s gradual acceptanceprocess of her and her non-Jewish partner.

Is intermarriage more likely to end in divorce?

The Washington Post Outlook section featured an interesting article this weekend on a surprising topic---whether or not marrying someone of the same religion is likely to make your marriage more successful. This is particularly relevant to Jews, who now find themselves with an intermarriage rate of almost 50%.

Topics: Marriage

Jewish women and GLBT Pride: Who will you add?

Former president Bill Clinton designated the month of June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month in 2000. Last year President Obama expanded the month to celebrate the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) community. From the beginnings of the Gay Rights movement in at Stonewall, Jewish women have played an important part in the fight for equality.

Welcoming trans rabbis, stories from the White House, and the "stained glass ceiling" - Link Roundup

  • Transgender rabbi is celebrated as the the new assistant rabbi and music director at Berkeley’s Congregation Beth El. This story is also an example of the right way to report on a story about a trans individual (using correct pronouns, respectful language, etc), which is unfortunately still a rarity in the media these days. [JWeekly]
  • Sarah Lefton, creator of G-dCast, on her experience at the White House reception for Jewish American Heritage Month. About meeting Justice Ginsburg, Lefton said: "Of all the people there, the high school debate nerd in me was extremely awestruck by her." [JWeekly] Also from the White House, author Judy Blume tweets about meeting Regina Spektor. [Jezebel]

JDate and the pitfalls of Jewish, feminist online dating

Just last week, your grandmother was at Dr. Finklestein's office for her regular teeth cleaning and Sarah, the dental hygenist, told her all about her nephew who just met the nicest Jewish girl on JDate. Can you believe it? JDate! You know, you should really try JDate. You're not getting any younger, you know.

Topics: Feminism

Behind "Chagaga" by the Tichel Cuties

My friend Becca, along with some of her Orthodox Jewish Day School friends/co-tichel cuties created a pretty intense fusion of Lady Gaga and traditional Orthodox concepts (the wearing of the tichel – garb for married women, preparing for Shabbat, and the waiting for the Messiah). This is not a likely combination so that’s probably why it has been getting so much attention in the blogosphere, both positive and negative.

Women front and center at this celebration of Jewish American Heritage

Jewish women were definitely front and center at the first ever White House reception marking Jewish American Heritage month.  Appropriately so, since it was a woman – Representative Deborah Wasserman Schultz – who spearheaded the Congressional campaign to establish Jewish American Heritage month. It was another woman – Marcia  Zerivitz, who put the bug in Wasserman Schultz’ ear; and yet another woman, Abby Schwartz, who, as National Coordinator of the Jewish American Heritage Month Coalition, has worked tirelessly to turn a proclamation into a broad based local, regional and national celebration.

"Sex and the City 2" v. "Agora": How will you escape?

This weekend, two movies starring two of Hollywood's most famous Jewesses are opening. One is the glitzy explosion of Sex and the City 2 (SATC2) starring Sarah Jessica Parker and the other is the relatively quiet premiere of Agora, starring Rachel Weisz.

Topics: Feminism, Film

Raising Girls

Kayli had her first soccer game this week. Right before the big game she jumped into her purple outfit, had her hair french braided by our fabulous babysitter and finished off the look with a dollop of lip gloss. She nodded in the mirror and smiled. Totally and completely satisfied with her “soccer look.” You might be asking yourself what any of this actually has to do with soccer right about now.

Topics: Children, Mothers

Joan Rivers: "Rediscovered at 76"

There is a lovely piece about Joan Rivers in New York Magazine to mark the premiere of her biographical documentary, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. Jonathan Van Meter notes that Joan Rivers has been "rediscovered at age 76," despite the fact that she has been in our hearts and minds all along.

Topics: Comedy

Guess who's going to the White House?

According to Haaretz, everyone is trying to figure out who is on the guest list for the first ever White House reception in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month. We have heard that big-name Jews in the arts, sports, and other fields will be there. There have been whispers about Sandy Koufax, Judy Blume, and Dara Torres, as well as activists and scientists.

We don't know about Judy Blume or Dara Torres, but we can give you a BIG HINT about one woman attending!

My Feminist Nose Job

Yes, I’ve had one.  No I don’t regret it.  

Topics: Feminism

The World's 'Most Influential' Jewish Women

In honor of Shavuot, the Jerusalem Post printed a special supplement on “The Fifty Most Influential Jews in the World” — and there are only seven women in the list.

Must sexism and anti-Semitism be "either - or?"

As I embark on my final days of high school, I am working feverishly hard (well, let’s face it – senioritis makes me say I’m going to do so) on my senior project. My project, a collection of interviews with New York Jewish women on the intersection of Judaism and feminism (how appropriate!), is an exploration of how personal identity can be shaped by external forces/movements.

Celebrating Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, the first woman Reconstructionalist rabbi

Thirty-six years ago today, Sandy Eisenberg Sasso was ordained as the first female Reconstructionist rabbi by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) in Philadelphia on May 19, 1974.

A link roundup to keep you busy during Shavuot

On Shavuot:

  • What Shavuot teaches us about women [MyJewishLearning]
  • One woman’s search for the perfect blintz [Tablet]
  • Sarah Bernhard discusses Shavuot [Tablet]

On Elena Kagan:

On Balance

A few weeks ago I announced to the world, well my Facebook world, that I had just had the most perfect weekend. EVER. My wonderfully amazing girlfriends immediately asked the obvious question: What happened?!

Feeling embarrassed and slightly blushing, but only to Jason, I realized that it did indeed look like I had wanted everyone to ask so I could announce…something. Something amazing. Wonderful. Life changing, even. Except, you know what? I didn’t actually have anything to share.

Taking the "Rihanna" approach to Jewish Orthodox sexuality

I was a little surprised to see how much frank talk about sex was featured in The Sisterhood this week. As a teenager, I am used to people around me talking about sex a lot--in real life, in movies, in songs, in basically every medium except in Jewish blogs. But that is no longer!

Kagan and bat mitzvah innovation

I've been loving the coverage of Elena Kagan's youthful challenge of her rabbi over her right to have a bat mitzvah. I love it because it confirms what I've always believed -- that the chutzpah of young girls is not just pre-teen attitude but a sign of inner strength and a harbinger of great things to come (and I say this not only in a self-serving way as a former obnoxious girl-child or as the mother of a burgeoning one).

If Elena Kagan were a man, would we be questioning her sexuality?

It’s common knowledge that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is Jewish, and except for some handwringing over the fact that her appointment would mean the Court would be made up entirely of Jews and Catholics, her Jewish identity is a non-issue. Unlike the debates over Justice Sotomayor’s ethnicity, no one is worried that Kagan’s status as a “wise Jewess” will color her judgment. Her sexual orientation, however, is another story.

"Listen To Your Mother"

The Jewish Women’s Archive was the community partner for the Boston New Center for Arts and Culture’s last program of the season on May 6, “Listen to Your Mother,” featuring StoryCorps founder David Isay. He played a number of clips from StoryCorps interviews and closed the evening with a “sneak preview” of StoryCorps’ newest venture which will be broadcast on PBS this summer -- an extremely effective animated version of a conversation between a mother and her young son.

Topics: Mothers

The Supreme Court and the Single Gal

This was originally posted at The Sisterhood

It’s hard not to get excited about the nomination of Elena Kagan to replace Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. If seated, she would bring the number of women on the Supreme Court to three, the number of Jewish women to two, and the total number of Jews on the bench to three. On paper, Kagan’s a great choice. An Upper West Side girl who went to public school and then off to Princeton and Harvard Law School, where she became the first woman to be named the Dean of the Law School. And then she became the first woman to serve as Solicitor General of the United States.

Jewish feminism, then and now

Yesterday I celebrated Mother's Day in an unusual way.

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