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Don't Settle: 5 Life Lessons From Your Red Hot Mama

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.

Red Hot Yiddishe Mama

On Friday July 2nd, I had the pleasure of watching the New Repertory Theater of Watertown, Ma put on Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas. I'd recently discovered Sophie while watching Making Trouble, and fallen in love with her witty and larger than life personality.

Topics: Comedy, Theater

Eating Jewish: Orange Salad with Olives

After having spent an entire day in the library, the thought of cooking anything when I got home seemed impossible to fathom. On my way home I tried to think of something simple that I could throw together with a few of the ingredients I had lying around my kitchen. I remembered that I had bought three oranges the day before and I also had some pimento stuffed green olives in the cupboard that I could use to make a delicious salad with. I simply added some olive oil, cumin, paprika and salt to the oranges and olives, and dinner was ready.

Topics: Food, Recipes

Elena Kagan's chutzpah (and Jewishness) on display

Yesterday marked the final day of Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearings are regarded by some as a useful tool for gauging a nominee’s judicial philosophy and by others as a farcical display of senatorial bluster and skilled evasiveness.

Eating Jewish: Cream Cheese Rugelach

Freshly baked cookies are, in my mind, one of life’s pleasures and are hard for anyone to turn down. Jewish cookbooks abound with recipes for cookies and other baked goods but it is rugelach that has come to hold a place in my heart and my stomach. They are one of the first Jewish cookies that I began baking and I’ve been hooked on them ever since.

Topics: Food, Recipes

Irna Phillips: the woman behind TV's longest running soap opera

Creating a wildly popular soap opera full of sensational family drama might be the last thing we’d expect of a nice Jewish woman in 1950’s America, but Irna Phillips proved us wrong! Fifty-eight years ago today, her soap opera Guiding Light first went on the air. The show had already been a successful radio drama since 1937, and it would run until 2009, making it the longest running TV drama in history.

Topics: Television

Kagan's confirmation hearings and more - Link Roundup

All about Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings.

Deconstructing the "Sassy Gay Friend"

David Levy, writing for JewishBoston.com, recently challenged us at JWA to comment on the gender/sexuality dynamic of the Second City's new video series, "Sassy Gay Friend." He wrote:

There's a long tradition in Judaism of imagining different versions of our favorite stories, from rabbinic midrash to contemporary novels.  Comedy troupe The Second City has thrown their hat into the ring this week with a new Youtube video in their "Sassy Gay Friend" series.

What Makes a Women’s Website?

Forbes magazine came out this week with a list of the Top 100 Websites for Women, and it got me thinking about what makes a website “for women.”

Topics: Feminism

Eating Jewish: What is "Jewish food?"

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.

Topics: Food

A sex scene for Anne Frank?

Sharon Dogar, a British author known for her novels aimed at teenagers, has reimagined the Anne Frank story to include romance with Peter van Pels, and sex. Annexed: The Incredible Story of the Boy Who Loved Anne Frank is told through Peter's diary entries and covers the period in the annex as well as his experience in the concentration camps, which she reportedly told The Sunday Times was the most important part of her book. Important as it may be, an Anne Frank sex scene will undoubtedly be the focus of attention for the novel's release.

Topics: Fiction

Crisis pregnancy center targets Jewish women

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

Introducing "Eating Jewish": The World of Jewish Food

The centrality of food to the Jewish experience is a fact that is undeniable. It serves to identify one as a Jew, while at the same time defines one’s particular identity within the wider sphere of the Jewish community.

Topics: Food

Catching up with "Rhymes With Orange's" Hilary Price on the 15th anniversary of her national syndication

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with Hilary Price about the upcoming 15th anniversary of the national syndication of her popular comic strip, Rhymes with Orange. With its debut, Hilary Price became the youngest woman ever to have a nationally-syndicated cartoon strip at age 25.

21 Women Visionaries Get the Recognition they Deserve

The Jewish community seems to love making lists of its best and brightest. Every time a new list is announced, we cringe to see how many women have made the cut. Two out of 10? Five out of 50?  Seven out of 50? Let's not forget the National Museum of American Jewish History poll where women made up 47 of the 218 nominees.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz tells it like it is

Last week, victories by several women in primaries led the media machine to suggest that 2010 is the "Year of the Women." NPR's Ken Rudin describes the phrase as "a hackneyed phrase that gets regurgitated at convenient times, and by now it often results in a rolling of the eyes" and reminds us that 1984 and 1992 were also dubbed "Year of the Women." In 1984, all 9 of the women candidates lost to male candidates.

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.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Blog." (Viewed on June 29, 2016) <http://jwa.org/blog>.

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