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Mazel tov to Elena Kagan, Supreme Court nominee!

We at the Jewish Women's Archive were thrilled to watch President Obama officially nominate Elena Kagan to the United States Supreme Court. If confirmed, she would be the third woman on the Supreme Court and the fourth woman Supreme Court Justice in American history! She would also join Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second Jewish woman on the court.

Topics: Law

Navah Paskowitz-Walther: The Jewish Mother of Surfing’s First Family

Knowing Navah Paskowitz-Walther today as a San Fernando Valley stay-at-home mom who is active in her synagogue and children’s Jewish day school, it is hard to believe that, as a child, she lived a peripatetic existence in a 24-foot camper.

Topics: Mothers, Sports

Changing Targets: Technology and Jewish Education

Earlier this week I listened in on the “Technology and Jewish Education” conference organized by the Lippman Kanfer Institute and Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner, held at the JESNA offices in New York. I heard many familiar themes: Jewish education is underfunded, and in particular Jewish educators lack both resources and training to take advantage of technology.

More search stories: What if Lillian Wald and Henrietta Szold used Google?

We had so much fun making Emma Goldman's search story that we took requests and made two more! I wonder what else we could do with this neat tool.

Finding a Jewish feminist home

I walk into what is undoubtedly the most beautiful house on campus. Its simplicity allows for the exuberance of the people within it to shine. The rabbi opens the door, a young father of twins, all smiles and joking about having to convince me to attend the university even though my mind was already made up. I follow my friend Tobah, a Conservative Jew who has yet to skip a week of coming to the multi-denominational Havurah, into the living-room-turned-synagogue. We squeeze onto a couch with a sisterhood of freshmen and sophomores who make up the majority of the Kabbalat Shabbat crowd.

Topics: Feminism, Prayer

If Emma Goldman used Google

Tamar Fox over at My Jewish Learning discovered the new Search Story tool at Youtube that allows you to easily mimic Google's renowned Parisian Love Story commercial. She saw the potential in this right away, and put together two videos, one about the history of the state of Israel and one about Jewish lifecycle events.

On Being a Jewish Mother, Professionally

I am an actress, currently rehearsing a one-woman show at the Nora Theatre in Cambridge, MA.  I play Ann Landers, a.k.a. Eppie Lederer. The title of the show is The Lady With All the Answers.

Topics: Mothers

Like our work? Tell the world!

You use Yelp to find restaurant reviews, Amazon for book reviews, and TripAdvisor to find hotel reviews. But where can you go to read and write reviews of nonprofits like the Jewish Women's Archive

Womens' Words: Should we stop cursing?

Today's guest post comes from high school student Talia Weisberg, creator of Bleep!, an organization dedicated to eradicating the use of foul language by today's youth. Talia created Bleep!

Topics: Feminism

History Next Door

New Yorkers know better than to bother an actor, celebrity or otherwise famous person when they see one on the street (or in a restaurant, store, or park – not to mention stepping out of a taxi).  As a New Yorker for fifteen years, I upheld this unwritten rule – even when it came to a famous neighbor.

Topics: Midwifery

Happy 90th Birthday, Gerda Lerner!

"I am a Jewish woman, I am an immigrant, and I will no longer permit others to define me." A Death of One's Own (1978).

A few Friday links

Have you seen any other interesting posts or articles this week? Share them in the comments!

Dorothy Height, Honorary Jewess with Attitude

Like countless other Americans, here at the Jewish Women's Archive we were great admirers of Dorothy Height, who died on April 20 at the age of 98 and is being buried in Washington, DC today. Given what we know about Dr. Height, we couldn’t help but be struck by President Obama’s statement that "the godmother of the civil rights movement" had “served as the only woman at the highest level of the civil rights movement, witnessing [italics added] every march and milestone along the way."

Topics: Civil Rights

Mikveh Dreams

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about niddah, or the laws having to do with a women’s monthly immersion in the mikveh (this is what happens when you run a Jewish blog---you read a lot of random things). I am no expert on this issue---far from it---but I think it’s a really interesting topic, and something that more women should be aware of, especially in light of the battle over mikvaot that is going on in some communities in Israel right now. 

Topics: Ritual

The "real" Sarah Silverman

Last Friday I went to a sold-out book reading in Coolidge Corner. Sarah Silverman, probably the most (in)famous Jewish woman comedian today, was reading from her new memoir, The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee. Since she is without a doubt a "Jewess with attitude," I thought it was important that I be there.

Topics: Comedy, Memoirs

Another "Jewess with attitude" on the Supreme Court?

Mere minutes after news of Justice John Paul Stevens’ retirement went public two weeks ago, speculation about his replacement began. As Republican lawmakers declared their opposition to all and any hypothetical candidates and the Obama administration played coy while strategically leaking information to the media, political junkies began to analyze the President’s “shortlist”: those few candidates strongly rumored to be up for the job. The initial conventional wisdom pointed to three contenders: Appeals Court judges Diane P. Wood and Merrick B. Garland, and Solicitor General Elena Kagan.

Earth Day: Honoring Jewish women environmentalists!

In January, we asked you to help us recognize the many Jewish women working to increase environmental consciousness and protect our planet. We were delighted by the response, and have been working on adding these new and important stories to our collection. 

Topics: Activism

Story Time

The work of the historian is to not only tell a story, but to tell it in a way that makes it real, vivid, alive, and human for the receiver. I learned this on Monday when I had the privilege of attending the Matrix Awards and hearing Doris Kearns-Goodwin’s acceptance speech. This wisdom instantly struck a chord because it describes exactly why I write and what I want to do with my writing.

Topics: Feminism

From the Supreme Court short list to mother-daughter body issues - Link Roundup

  • In a response to this New York Times piece, Elissa Strauss tackles the Jewish relationship to body hair and hair removal. [Sisterhood]
  • For Elana Kagan and Judge Diane Wood, the two "Jewesses with attitude" on Obama's Supreme Court short list, their pro-gay and pro-choice politics will be the focus of media vetting.

The Loaded Tattoo

Today on Truth, Praise & Help, Renee Ghert-Zand expressed her displeasure at two Israeli men who decided to honor their Holocaust survivor matriarch with a tattoo of her Auschwitz number on their forearms. She, like many Jews, has trouble with tattoos and finds Holocaust remembrance tattoos particularly offensive.

Topics: Holocaust

Mary Gaitskill’s Liliths

Guggenheim Fellowship recipient and writer of fiction about women, strip poles and sexual guilt, Mary Gaitskill read a story at Franklin Park bar in Brooklyn on April 12 in which cuckolded political wives Silda Spitzer and Elizabeth Edwards become the Eves to Ashley Dupré’s and Rielle Hunter’s Liliths, and in doing so they take a muted sort of revenge by way of compulsory pedicures in Queens.

Topics: Fiction

Abby Phon thinks primetime is ready to "go green"

We have seen our fair share of crime dramas, medical dramas and political dramas. Is it time for a new genre? Abby Phon, Executive Producer and star of Life Without Green, is on a mission to bring environmental issues to primetime. 

Never too late to become a Jewish mother

Is 73 too old to become a first-time mother? Not for the trailblazing Marylin Berger, who is now raising an 8 year old boy from Ethiopa.

Topics: Mothers

Hipsters, Hasids and the war over women's bodies

I am neither Hasid or hipster, yet I am linked to both fringe communities in different ways. Every generation has a counter-culture, and every religion has a fundamentalist extreme. The hipsters are my friends, and the Hasids are my tribe. They both live in the same neighborhood in New York City, and they are at war over women's bodies and bike lanes.

Meet our guestblogger Dina Lamdany

Hi, I’m Dina Lamdany, usually found at from the rib? with Shira, another guestblogger here. I’ve only been a part of the Jewesses with Attitude community for a short while, but I’m so glad to be one of the newest guestbloggers here.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Blog." (Viewed on May 4, 2016) <http://jwa.org/blog>.

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