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Activism

Have you seen "Girl Rising?" This documentary is (rightfully) having a moment

Some readers of Jewesses with Attitude might remember that almost a year ago, I wrote about the documentary film Girl Rising, which at the time was being shown here in Boston as Abby Mohr’s bat mitzvah project. I was frustrated that I couldn’t see the film at the time, so I was thrilled when Tara, JWA’s Director of Engagement and Social Media, posted on our Facebook that the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) would be screening a shortened version of the film. I made it a priority to go to this event—not only to make up for missing it last year, but also to finally see what I’ve been hearing so much about since the making of this film.

Girl Rising tells the stories of girls in developing countries fighting to earn the educations they need and deserve. What’s so powerful about the film is that it is truly a docu-drama. Each story focuses on a young woman who worked with a writer from her country to present her story the way she wanted it told.

The Personal is Political: What I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Rejecting

When I was in tenth grade, a male friend of mine told me he would kill himself after I said I wouldn’t go out with him. The next day, he confronted me in the hallway and told me I was, among other things, a terrible person, a tease, and a slut. Later that year, a senior who I was too shy to talk to approached me and told me he really liked me and wanted to go out. He tried to kiss me at my locker, in front of a teacher, and I pulled away. Later he told his friends that I wouldn’t have sex with him and that I was obsessed with playing hard to get; that I loved the attention. Of course, this was news to me—I’d had a crush on him and was baffled when he stopped talking to me after the attempted public kiss. Later I learned that the two of them—I’m-going-to-kill-myself guy and kamikaze-kiss-guy—circulated a list detailing which sexual positions would best take advantage of my body—which, as was noted in the list, “would be really great if she lost 5 pounds.” There were other incidents that year, and many more throughout high school.

Dorothy Miller Zellner

As co-editor of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s newsletter, the Student Voice, Dorothy Miller Zellner helped craft the organization’s message and report on stories suppressed by the mainstream media.

Harriet Tanzman

Harriet Tanzman has become a chronicler of the civil rights movement, creating new entry points into civil rights history.

Carol Ruth Silver

Carol Ruth Silver was the first white woman to be jailed in the Freedom Rides, an experience that sparked a career in law and politics, fighting for the rights of others.

Debra L. Schultz

Debra Schultz served as an advisor to the Jewish Women’s Archive in creating the Living the Legacy curriculum based on research she had done on the history of Jewish women in the civil rights movement.

Vivan Leburg Rothstein

Vivian Leburg Rothstein’s early experiences fighting for civil rights led her to a long career advocating for peace, women’s rights, and the labor movement.

Trudy Orris

Shaped by her experiences in post-Holocaust Europe and older than most civil rights volunteers, Trudy Orris brought her children with her to participate in demonstrations down South.

Faith Holsaert

Faith Holsaert was one of the first white women field workers for the civil rights movement in the south, volunteering for voter registration in one of the worst counties in Georgia.

Elizabeth Slade Hirschfeld

Elizabeth Slade Hirschfeld’s search for a way to make a difference led her first to become a Freedom Rider and then a public school teacher.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Activism." (Viewed on October 26, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/activism>.

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