Hanukkah is coming, and with it my usual debate with my husband’s family. They are wonderful--sophisticated, warm and accepting of my last-minute hysterical gift decrees (no plastic toys, no battery-operated toys, whatever is bothering me that year). They are flexible about what a proper Menorah is, especially if a grandchild constructs it. But, don’t touch their toppings.
Lynn Amowitz was born and raised in North Carolina. Her community had very few Jews –- so few that her parents founded a synagogue in order for her to have a Bat Mitzvah. Amowitz suffered anti-semitic harassment from her peers, an experience which, she said, led to her work in human rights.
This week I had the opportunity to screen a documentary about a community of Holocaust survivors who bought a bungalow colony in the Catskills called the Four Seasons Lodge to spend their summers together at each year. I was looking forward to seeing the film after my cousin sent me a link to the trailer. I knew exactly why she was so excited about it -- the survivors in the trailer acted and sounded exactly like our grandparents, Ben and Rose Berkenwald.
In 1968, the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Council for Jewish Women embarked on an oral history project to record the experiences of Jewish Eastern European immigrants, who came to the U.S. between 1890 and 1924. In 1973, the project was expanded to collect the stories of Pittsburgh Jewish men and women who made contributions on local, national, and international levels. Today, this project is the longest running and largest oral Jewish history project known to exist in the world. Now the 500 plus interviews have been digitized and made accessible to the world, creating a "treasure trove" of primary source materials.
It has been a really interesting week in the world of Jewish women. Take a look at these important stories!
If you follow JWA on Twitter or Facebook, it should be pretty obvious that we think Making Trouble, the film about six trailblazing Jewish women entertainers, makes a great Hanukkah present for the whole family. Normally, the idea of pushing a "product" makes me queasy. Afterall, I chose to work for a non-profit, not an advertising firm! So I feel that I owe the JWA audience a real and honest explanation for why I think Making Trouble is something you should own.
December 1 is World AIDS Day, established in 1988 by the World Health Organization to raise awareness and focus attention on the global AIDS epidemic. World AIDS Day reminds us that for many across the globe, the spread of HIV/AIDS is a very real, very present, part of every day life, and millions are suffering.The global AIDS epidemic can be difficult for some Americans to accept or understand.
Ever since Bart Stupak finagled his anti-choice amendment onto the House’s Health Care Reform bill three weeks ago, my life seems to be all Stupak, all the time. I have attended rallies, visited Capitol Hill to talk to my Senators, helped plan a Lobby Day on December 2 with a broad group of progressive organizations known as the Stop Stupak coalition, supported students as they plan their own on-campus actions, and organized online to get the word out as much as possible.
I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend. I certainly did, which is why I missed so many great posts and articles over the weekend. Here is a Thanksgiving weekend link roundup, just in case you missed them too.
Friday is StoryCorps' National Day of Listening. Since you can order your Making Trouble DVDs conveniently online at www.makingtrouble.com, there is no need to go shopping on Black Friday. Instead, join Storycorps and sit down with a loved one and record their story. Ellen wrote about the National Day of Listening last year, and explained why the tradition of listening is so important to Jews, especially in the context of Thanksgiving, a holiday important to many Americans with immigration histories.
Things are wrapping up as we prepare for the holiday. But in the midst of the chaos of the end of the year mailing, Nora found time to share what she is grateful for this year.
The New York Times recently identified androgyny as the "it" fashion trend. It seemed to begin with "skinny jeans" -- skin-tight pants quickly adopted by fashion-forward men and women. Unisex hoodies, coats, footwear, t-shirts, and hairstyles were soon to follow. While women dressing in masculine clothing is old hat (the tomboy), the idea of heterosexual men dressing in feminine clothing is new, edgy, and raising eyebrows as well as questions about traditional gender norms.
On a cold November morning onehundred years ago today, more than 20,000 immigrant workers--mostly young Jewishwomen--took to the streets of the lower east side of New York, kicking off aneleven-week general strike of the shirtwaist industry knows as the Uprising ofthe 20,000.
Today is the 11th annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to mourn those who were killed by hatred, bigotry, and ignorance. Many of these deaths went unreported in the media, or if they were covered, the victims were reduced to attention-grabbing headlines and dehumanizing terms. You can read the names of the 162 trans people murdered between November 20, 2008 and November 12, 2009 here, and these are only the people we know about.
- The Senate's compromise on abortion, and the work left to be done. [Daily Kos] [Feministing] [Feministe]
- The truth about abortion and morality. [Forward]
- "Needling Worry": Marjorie Ingall discusses our anxiety over vaccinations and other decisions. [Tablet]
- Are the new recommendations for mammograms patronizing to women? [Feminist Law Professors]
Have you ever acted confident when deep down you felt unqualified or incompetent -- in short, like an imposter? Have you ever felt that someday you would be discovered as a fraud? A blogger for Psychology Today linked this “imposter syndrome” to women, asking “why do so many successful women feel they are frauds?” It’s an interesting question to be sure, but I can’t help wondering if the “imposter syndrome” is really specific to women, and if there might be a danger in framing it as a women’s issue.
The Center for Reproductive Rights is taking an exciting approach to fighting the Stupak Amendment and the potential loss of abortion coverage it would ultimately bring about. Cory Kahaney (one of the hosts of Making Trouble) stars in their new ad, "It's No Joke," which will air on MSNBC this week. Kahaney drives home her point with a quick standup routine about health care that makes it perfectly clear that the threat to abortion access is no joke.
The current issue of the JOFA Journal offers a smorgasbord of thoughtful articles about clothing in Orthodoxy, aka “tznius“.
President Carol Kaufman Newman writes about how different today’s Orthodoxy is compared to when she was growing up and freely wore cheerleader outfits. “I would be less than honest if I did not confess that all this covering up gives me pause.”
A few days ago, I wrote about how the House of Representatives threw women under the bus in order to pass the healthcare reform bill. All week the blogosphere has been buzzing with anger and disbelief at the fact that our elected leaders would pass such an unprecidented repeal of abortion coverage, which both prohibits the public option from offering coverage, and provides financial incentives for private insurance companies to drop the coverage they currently offer.
Today the Forward posted their list of the 50 Jews who have had the most dramatic impact on the Jewish community over the past year. These types of lists are somewhat gimmicky, because they are essentially a "supreme New Media trick of writing feature stories that are news events themselves," as Matthue Roth writes at My Jewish Learning.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Blog." (Viewed on October 10, 2015) <http://jwa.org/blog>.