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Jewesses with Attitude

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An upsetting question mark

Today the Jerusalem Post reported that a homeless Holocaust survivor living in Manhattan passed away at the age of 92.  She left $100,000 to Hebrew University, and $100,000 to the man who gave her a room in exchange for parking his car all over the city.  She did not have any connections to Hebrew University, and according to the report, nothing else is known about her. Will we ever learn her name?

Justices Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and what it means to be "the only" woman

Sonia Sotomayor has just been confirmed as the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice! Wow. Just, wow.

Tu B'Av Love Link Roundup - August 5, 2009

In honor of Tu B'Av, here is a love and sexuality themed link roundup!

Embracing Tu B'Av - a joyful new holiday with some important lessons

Last night marked the beginning of Tu B’Av, a cool Jewish holiday that I just found out about!  The more I read and discover about Tu B’Av and its possible feminist undertones, the more excited I get.  It seems the Jewish community has, in recent years, began a movement to turn the 15th of Av into a modern Jewish holiday – the Jewish Valentine’s Day. Creating a holiday that celebrates love and sexuality from a progressive, feminist, and Jewish prospective?  Now that is a movement I can get behind!

Remembering Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney

Forty-five years ago today, the bodies of civil rights workers Andrew Goodman, Michael (Mickey) Schwerner, and James Chaney were discovered, buried in an earthen dam in Mississippi. They had disappeared six weeks earlier in Neshoba County, Mississippi, while participating in Freedom Summer, a project of the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

Beautiful women, female bosses, and modest dress - Link Roundup Aug 4, 2009

Everyday I encounter a number of interesting websites, articles, and blog posts that are definitely worth mentioning. I hope you find these as interesting as I do!

'Feisty, Jewish grandmother' to run for Lieutenant Governor of NJ

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine (Dem) has picked Loretta Weinberg to be his running mate for lieutenant governor.  The JTA reports that this "marks the first time a Jewish woman is running for state-wide office in New Jersey."

The JTA article does not paint a pretty picture of the history of women in New Jersey politics.

The Holocaust: Something to laugh about?

The most recent issue of Heeb Magazine is causing quite a stir.  The issue features Roseanne Barr wearing an apron and a Hitler mustache, pulling a tray of “burnt Jew cookies” out of an oven.  The Heeb publisher posted an article explaining the editorial choice, which discusses a cultural shift towards acceptance of “Holocaust humor.”  Heeb argues that old taboos are relaxing. Jews are beginning to embrace the Holocaust in a new way - as something to laugh about. Is this true? Has the Holocaust really become funny?

Orthodox divorce, Jewish rednecks, and a sad note on Tel Aviv - Link Roundup Aug 3, 2009

Everyday I encounter a number of interesting websites, articles, and blog posts that are definitely worth mentioning. I hope you find these as interesting as I do!

Bad mommies, vampire bubbies, and more! Link Roundup - July 31, 2009

Everyday I encounter a number of interesting websites, articles, and blog posts that are definitely worth mentioning.  I hope you find these as interesting as I do!

Jewish Women and Reality TV

Talented Jewish women like Gilda Radner, Roseanne Barr, Gertrude Berg, and many others, have made a significant contribution to American culture through television.  But where do Jewish women fit into our nation’s current obsession with reality TV?  As I began to think about it, I was hard-pressed to come up with well-known examples of Jewish women on reality shows.  After reading Jennifer Pozner’s thoughts on the new NBC reality show “More to Love,” I am convinced that the less Jewish women on reality TV, the better.

Topics: Television

A vagina by any other name…

Over lunch today, our conversation turned to an article a couple of us had recently read in Tablet about Yiddish words for vagina. (Yes, this is fairly typical lunchtime conversation at the Jewish Women's Archive.) None of us had really thought much about this topic before, but we were all quite intrigued. Why yes, it IS strange, we agreed with the author, Elissa Strauss, that Yiddish slang for penis has been assimilated into general English usage, while Yiddish slang for vagina is virtually unknown.

Topics: Yiddish

Getting Angry, Getting Results

By now everyone must have heard about the Henry Louis Gates/Officer Crowley debacle in which an African-American Harvard professor was arrested for disorderly conduct after being questioned by police when a neighbor saw him trying to break into his own house.  Now, both Gates and Officer Crowley are headed to the White House to "have a beer" with Obama and chat it out.

A Not-So-Formal Introduction

Hello, my name is Leah Berkenwald and I am the newest ‘Jewess with Attitude’ blogging for the Jewish Women's Archive.

Daily Link Roundup - July 27, 2009

Everyday I encounter a number of interesting websites, articles, and blog posts that are definitely worth mentioning.  I hope you find these as interesting as I do!

  • The Hadassah-Brandeis Institiute releases a new issue of HBI 614 eZINE on the titillating topic of Jewish Sex!  Editor Michelle Cove writes, "Who knew there were Yiddish lesbian poems published in the last century? Or that teen girls were giving oral sex as a gift to Bar Mitzvah boys? Or that the mikvah could be considered part of erotic foreplay? Given the sizzling weather outside, we decided to partner with the entertaining Jewcy (a lifestyle website for young Jews) to look at the heated and fascinating thoughts that Jewish women experience in and out of the bedroom."

“Only in America” – vote now!

Our friends at the National Museum of American Jewish History have recently announced a new project for which they are seeking public input. Their new museum, scheduled to open in November 2010, will include a gallery called "Only in America," that will -- in their words -- "examine the choices, challenges, and opportunities faced by a remarkable group of a token 18 American Jews on their paths to accomplishment."

Daily Link Roundup - July 22, 2009

Everyday I encounter a number of interesting websites, articles, and blog posts that are definitely worth mentioning.  I hope you find these as interesting as I do!

Daily Link Roundup - July 21, 2009

Everyday I encounter a number of interesting websites, articles, and blog posts that are definitely worth mentioning.  I hope you find these as interesting as I do!

  • The National Council for Jewish Women has officially backed Sonia Sotomayor!  NCJW President Nancy Ratzan said, "Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals is an eminently qualified jurist, who, throughout her legal career, has kept faith with the constitutional values of liberty, equality, and justice.  She will be a welcome addition to the Supreme Court."

Daily Link Roundup - July 20, 2009

Everyday I encounter a number of interesting websites, articles, and blog posts that are definitely worth mentioning. Since I don't always have time to write about each one, I have created the Daily Link Roundup as a way to share them with you. I hope you find them as interesting as I do!

Still Jewish: An interview with Keren McGinity

Recently, JWA hosted a fascinating webinar with Dr.Keren McGinity on "Gender Matters: a New Framework for Understanding Jewish Intermarriage Over Time." Keren is the author of Still Jewish: A History of Women and Intermarriage in America, and is the Mandell L. Berman Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Contemporary American Jewish Life at the University of Michigan's Frankel Center for Judaic Studies.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg tells it like it is

If you haven't read it already, check out this excellent NYT interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- a JWA hero -- by Emily Bazelon (a senior editor at Slate, a founder of their new online women's magazine, Double X, and a serious Jewess with Attitude in her own right).

Topics: Law

Happy birthday, Frida Kahlo!

Today would have been the 102 birthday of Frida Kahlo, the painter famous for her striking self-portraits and her marriage to Diego Rivera (not to mention her impressive eyebrows). Though she came to be known for her representations of Mexican life and was, in fact, referred to as La Mexicana -- the quintessential Mexican woman -- her work often explored issues of identity and its hybridity, informed by her own experience as the daughter of a German Jewish immigrant father and a Mexican Catholic mother.

Topics: Painting

Art, justice, and Adrienne Rich

Here we are, poised on the edge of a "holiday weekend" in which we celebrate America's independence through those ever-meaningful traditions of barbeque, fireworks, and shopping sales.

Topics: Activism, Poetry

Reflections on Stonewall

The wee hours of June 28, 1969, began with a routine enough event: a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village gay bar owned by the mafia (as nearly all gay bars were at the time, since bars that catered to homosexuals were usually denied a liquor license, and only mob-owned bars could afford to pay off the police so that they could operate without a license). The cops entered with their usual intentions: to check id cards and arrest those found to be cross-dressing. 

Pride podcast

In honor of Pride month (and a relatively calm and safe Pride Parade in Jerusalem today - yay!), I'm posting our latest podcast: LGBT activist Shulamit Izen describing her experience coming out at a Jewish high school and creating the first ever Gay-Straight Alliance at a Jewish School. I had the privilege of being Shula's teacher at the New Jewish High School during the events she describes, and I learned a lot from her about pride and integrity.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Blog." (Viewed on December 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog>.

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