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 to Valentine’s Day, in that it is an auspicious day for holding weddings and perhaps meeting a romantic partner. The part about weddings makes sense: Tu B’Av comes only 6 after the fast day of Tisha B’Av, and many Jews avoid holding weddings during either the three weeks or the nine days leading up to the fast, since they are considered mournful times. So, we’ve had a dearth of weddings in our community, Tisha B’Av passes, and after so much sadness, a wedding is something to look forward to. But meeting a partner on Tu B’Av? Where is the logic in that?
This morning, JWA Institute for Educators participants discussed one of the lesson plans from JWA's forthcoming online curriculum, Living the Legacy, in depth. They also got to explore the online platform for the curriculum and contribute their input on the design and functionality of the website.
At lunch, I caught up with the "outdoor" crowd to capture some reflections.
I have come to take for granted that with a quick search on Google I can easily find most recipes that I’m looking for. If for any reason I don’t find what I want on the Internet, I can usually consult my ever-growing collection of cookbooks to find the recipe I need. This means that a huge number of recipes are literally at my fingertips whenever I need them. However, my most recent time in the kitchen reminded me that this was not always so.
I am beyond excited to be able to observe JWA's 2010 Institute for Educators. This morning we listened to two fascinating presentations. The day began with an interactive talk with Debra Schultz, author of Going South: Jewish Women in the Civil Rights Movement, followed by an introduction to using primary sources by Deborah Cunningham and Susan Zeiger of Primary Source.
JWA’s third Summer Institute for Educators kicked off last night with a conversation that allowed participants to share their own personal pieces of history. Everyone brought an object that symbolized the impact of a special Jewish woman on their lives. There was an incredible range of objects, old and new, from a hand-knitted yarmulke to a recycled and recyclable plastic plate, from a hundred-year-old diary to a pair of flashy earrings.
When Jewish Women International opened the doors to its first International Conference on Domestic Abuse on July 20, 2003, there was optimism… there was ambition… but nobody knew for certain what would become of the work we were starting that day. Or rather, the work we were continuing – JWI had already been working in domestic violence (DV) for nearly a decade by then, since we had changed our name from B’nai B’rith Women to Jewish Women International, and focused our mission on aiding and empowering Jewish women and families – especially those suffering from abuse.
Since 2006, The Jewish Women’s Archive has been holding a bi-annual Summer Institute for Educators, a conference that allows teachers to explore ways of incorporating Jewish women’s history into their curricula. This year, the focus of the Institute is Jewish involvement in the civil rights movement. Many history classes from elementary to high school emphasize the civil rights movement as an inspiring story with an importance message about tolerance and diversity.
We are a country in the grips of vampire mania.
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.
Recenytly, Ruth Rosen wrote in the Ms. Magazine blog that the "women's pages" of the 1950s and 60s have been reincarnated on the internet. While she acknowledges the differences in content between those women's pages (society, cooking, and fashion) and today's "women's pages" (analytical coverage of events, trends or stories overlooked by mainstream news), she argues that the designation of separate women's sections keeps us tied to the assumption that women's stories don't belong on the front page.
When thinking about what I should write about next for Eating Jewish, I came across Lenore Skenazy’s article entitled “You Say Mandel Bread, I Say Biscotti” in The Forward. In the beginning of her article Skenazy confesses her lack of affinity for mandel bread, a baked good she associates with bubbes and paper lined tins. On the other hand, it’s clear that she is a fan of biscotti, cookies she describes as “the world’s coolest cookies, the supermodels of sweets: tall, thin, Italian, expensive.
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.
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.
I already wrote about The Seventeen Magazine Project over on my blog, from the rib?, but I wanted to write about Jamie Keiles, the girl who ran the project, here, because I personally find her to be incredibly inspirational (and, although she does not mention it often or prominently, she also happens to be a Jewess.) She started the Seventeen Magazine Project in May, in which she promised to use the magazine’s beauty, diet, exercise, and activity tips for an entire month. And use them she did—she chronicled her adventures in her blog, complete with pictures of herself and data analysis of various aspects of the magazine.
It was twenty-one years ago on July 12th, 1989 that audiences were introduced to characters Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) and Harry Burns (Billy Crystal), who brought the perennial question of whether men and women could just be friends to the big screen in the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally. It has become one of the most iconic films of the twentieth century with people still watching and talking about the movie today.
Earlier this week, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle vetoed the state's Civil Union bill designed to give all couples access to the economic and legal benefits of marriage. I suppose this is not too surprising, considering the fact that she is a Republican. Still, her explanation as to why she vetoed the bill makes me pretty upset.
Sarah Jones is an activist who spreads her message from the stage, portraying characters of many different ethnic backgrounds and in a monologue from each person, discussing issues of ethnicity, diversity, and social justice. Many of these characters are based on people she knew or observed while growing up in Queen’s New York.
Hosting dinners, whether it is for Shabbat or any other occasion, is something I truly enjoy because I love cooking for other people and it also gives me a chance to try out new dishes. However, despite the fact that I enjoy trying new recipes, there are certain standbys that I know I can rely on to be crowd pleasers. One of these recipes is the roasted red pepper and walnut dip called Muhammara. This dip originated in Aleppo, Syria where there was a sizable Jewish community, many of whom immigrated to the United States and formed a community in New York.
I have always loved Sophie Tucker, but after seeing the New Rep Theatre's production of Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas with our new JWA intern, Gwen, I see her in a new light. What struck me about the show was that it condensed Sophie's wisdom into five important life lessons -- ones that I found particularly relevant to my life as a single woman today.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Blog." (Viewed on September 29, 2016) <http://jwa.org/blog>.