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Assimilation

Anne Fleischman Bernays

Through her novels, Anne Bernays explored the Jewish experience of America, the pressures of assimilation, and the then-taboo subject of sexual harassment.

Angela Buchdahl named one of America’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis

April 16, 2011

"Once people enter my synagogue and hear me chant, the fact that I am Korean begins to melt away.” Rabbi Angela Buchdahl

Esther Jane Ruskay

At a time when the Jewish community was focused on the benefits of assimilation and the possibilities of ethical culture, Esther Jane Ruskay argued passionately for a return to traditional religious practice and study.

Anne Roiphe

A prolific journalist, essayist and novelist, Anne Roiphe is known for tackling issues of feminism and Jewish identity in her writing.

Maxine Kumin

Maxine Kumin explored her position as a Jewish woman in the larger Christian culture through her highly acclaimed poetry, and fought to ensure equal representation for minorities in the Academy of American Poets.

Mary Antin

An immigrant girl who achieved literary fame at the age of thirteen, Mary Antin became a symbol of the American dream.

Grace Aguilar

In her short life, Grace Aguilar wrote twice as many books as Jane Austen, from popular historical romances to an introduction to Judaism that was used by both churches and synagogues.

Food, Fat, and Feminism: Navigating the Contradictions of Judaism and Food

We’re all familiar with the stereotype of the zaftig Jewish bubbe, stuffing her offspring with chicken soup and brisket, shouting, “Eat! Eat! You’re skin and bones.” We love to talk about these mythical kitchens of our childhoods—tables overflowing with kugels and babkas, tsimmus and kneidlach. But for many Jewish women, there was another, more painful, side to this abundance. Our bubbes didn’t just say, “Eat! Eat!” they also said “Why are you eating so much? You’re getting fat!” I don’t think this contradiction is unique to Judaism, but I do think there’s a distinctive cultural spin to this schizophrenic relationship to food. And considering the prevalence of eating disorders, if there are cultural roots, we need to weed them out.

Parshat Matot-Masei: What is our Journey?

While we aren’t still wandering the wilderness of Maob, or navigating the hard working conditions of the lower east side, we must not forget what it means to be a newcomer to a foreign land. And we must take alongside us the reminder that we are the links to our past and our future. We serve as the reminder to not take for granted our ability to be both freely Jewish and American at the same time and to empathize with the conditions new Americans face today. For just as we were slaves in Egypt, so too were our families the ones who paved the path for great opportunity.

Dagbladet, Dawkins, Intactivists & How Demonizing Choice Makes Militancy

This intimidating cartoon really got to me, a moderate believer who made what I thought was a minor sacrifice to tribal loyalty—twice—over 20 years ago when I chose the traditional ceremony for my newborn sons. Of course I did not like causing my babies pain, but I had seen the ceremony several times and knew that it did not last long at all, and having just gone through childbirth, I knew pain was part of life.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Assimilation." (Viewed on July 23, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/assimilation>.

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