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Babe Ruth

Ruth Mosko Handler made two fortunes from plastic boobs.

First as the women who single handedly brought Barbie into our world. (Makes me think of Sophacles saying, “Nothing vast enters the lives of mortals without a curse.”)

And secondly, as a breast cancer survivor who created a prosthetic breast company. Thank you Ruth! What a powerhouse.

Happy International Women's Day

One hundred years ago, the German socialist Clara Zetkin originated International Women's Day to coordinate women's demands around the world. Zetkin, who proposed this new holiday at the 1910 second International Conference of Working Women, was inspired by the power and organization of women labor activists -- many of whom were Jewish -- who had provoked sweeping changes in the garment industry in the 1909 Uprising of the 20,000. In March 1911, the first International Women's Day brought out more than 1 million women and men to demonstrate for women's rights to work, vote, and serve in public office.

A big fish in a small, Canadian town

This piece was written as a part of JWA's discussion of the significance of physical places and spaces in Jewish women's history. Share your stories with us as we get ready to put Jewish women "On the Map."

AdDRESSING Women's Lives on display

Recently, Ethan Grossman, a student at the Weber Jewish Community High School, wrote a moving piece for Jewesses with Attitude about participating in the adDRESSING Women's Lives project. Now, the Covenant Foundation has highlighted the project in honor of Women's History Month!

Esther: Nice Jewish Girl, Married to a Goy?

This past weekend was Purim, and amidst the celebrating and partying one thing stood out in my mind that most people tend to ignore: the fact that the feminine hero of the story, Esther, is interma

Topics: Marriage, Purim

"Some of These Days"

Ninety-nine years ago today, Sophie Tucker, the "last of the red hot mamas," recorded "Some of These Days," which would become one of her signature songs. Sophie Tucker, the iconic Jewish American vaudeville and cinema star, is one of the women featured in Making Trouble, JWA's film about funny Jewish women. 

Putting Jewish Women On the Map

Today marks the beginning of Women's History Month. The official theme of Women's History Month 2010 is "Writing Women Back into History," which I find somewhat amusing since that is the official theme of every day at the Jewish Women's Archive. Not to be contrary, but we at JWA have been working on a different theme for this month: "Putting Jewish Women on the Map."

Topics: History

Purim, International Agunah Day, and more - Link Roundup

On Purim:

  • Sisters in Arms: Playing the defiant Vashti in a Hebrew school Purim play awakened my inner feminist [Tablet]
  • Purim is bittersweet--Minnesota Mamaleh [TC Jewfolk]
  • Many takes on hamantaschen [MyJewishLearning]
  • Unmasked: Has Purim replaced Passover as the best holiday vehicle for expressing individual Jewish identity? [Tablet]
  • A strange holiday [Truth, Praise & Help]
  • Esther and Vashti: Women to remember [Blogher]
  • Purim FAQ [Tablet]
  • Purim in Bulgaria--With Kaddish [Forward]
  • What's up with Purim plays and carnivals? [MyJewishLearning]

Queen Esther’s Agunah Story

You can learn an incredible amount about different people from language.

Topics: Marriage, Purim

Gendering at Birth: the Bris and the Baby Naming

I consider myself fortunate to take Gender Studies as my English literature class during my final semester of high school.

Topics: Ritual

Jews and the Civil Rights Movement: What we’re really talking about

In 1964, Elaine DeLott Baker left her white working-class Jewish family in Massachusetts and her scholarship at Radcliffe to go to Mississippi, where she spent a year working with SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee).

Topics: Civil Rights

What Queen Esther can teach us about intermarriage

“She was trying as hard as she could not to be beautiful. But she had a brightness on her, made stronger by the fact that she wanted to hide it; thinking if it was seen, somehow, it would make him choose her, and of course it did.” 

Topics: Marriage, Purim

Vashti is not a failure; Esther is not a bad feminist

Abby Wisse Schachter, associate editor at the New York Post, recently published an article in Commentary Magazine that suggests that feminist thinking has changed the meaning of Purim, and that that is a bad thing. I have not read the piece because the article is only available to subscribers, and therefore I cannot evaluate the merit of Schachter’s individual arguments. Still, I reject the idea that a feminist interpretation of the Purim story “lionizes the wrong woman, promotes a false political message of nonviolence and tolerance, and worst of all embraces failure instead of promoting perhaps the greatest of Jewish heroines,” as Schachter argues in her abstract.

Topics: Feminism, Purim

Purim, feminism, and my kids

What’s not to love about Purim? Another success story for our people: plan to kill us, foiled! Bring on the food!

Topics: Feminism, Purim

"Sexism lives!" and other stories -- Link Roundup

We Remember:

  • Yitta Schwartz, a member of the Satmar Hasidic sect, died at 93, leaving over 2,000 living descendents. [New York Times]
  • Rosa Rein, a Swiss Jewish woman, died at 112. She was thought to be the world's oldest Jew. [Forward]

Not Yet Equal:

Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry

In The Life of Poetry, Muriel Rukeyser declares, “I wish to say that we will not be saved by poetry. But poetry is the type of creation in which we may live and which will save us.”

Topics: Poetry

Laura Spector's Olympic debut

Two years ago we cheered on swimmer Dara Torres, fencer Sada Jacobson, marathoner Deena Kastor, and pole Vaulter Jillian Schwartz at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. This year, only one Jewish American woman is competing in the Vancouver Olympic games, and in one of the more interesting events. Laura Spector made her Olympic debut in Vancouver, competing in the women's biathlon, a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. 

Only 2 women in the Forward's "Top 10 to Watch in 2010"

Today the Forward published a list of 10 up-and-coming Jewish political hopefuls "to watch" in 2010.  Surprise, surprise, only two were women.

The first was Beth Krom, running for U.S. Congress to represent California’s 48th District.  The second was Deb Markowitz, the Secretary of State of Vermont, currently running for Governor.

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


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Blog." (Viewed on December 1, 2015) <>.


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