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Jewish Holidays

Co-Parenting Hannukah-Style at Christmas: A Mom’s Eye View

My first Hanukkah as a single mom was lucky. My play A Body of Water was in rehearsal for its New York debut and I was traveling back and forth from Minnesota. I celebrated some nights with my son Josh at home in St. Paul and traveled to New York for others while Josh stayed with his dad. So instead of brooding about being a single mother on nights I would have been alone, I was preoccupied by rehearsals. Easy-peasy. For a while.

Icons for the New Year: Ray Frank

While seeking stories of transformation this holiday season, most of the tales that have caught my attention involved women who exchanged quiet domestic lives for active involvement in the public sphere. Ray Frank did the opposite: she swapped her life as a trailblazing Jewish leader for one away from the spotlight.

Lena Horne in the kitchen, cropped

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Lena Horne in the kitchen.
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Creative Commons (attribution non-commercial share alike)

Lena Horne in the kitchen.

This Shavuot, I’m Ditching the Cheesy Recipes

I feel a certain amount of discomfort in posting on JWA’s blog the glowing, cheerful recipes so common this time of year. As a Jewish organization that focuses on women’s history and feminism, what does it mean to fill our blog with recipes for baked goods and brisket? Though we boast an increasingly robust number of male readers, JWA reaches mainly women. Do I want to bombard them with tips for cooking for a large family during the holidays? No, not really.

Lena Horne

-lena_horne_conserves_fuel_gas.-_ca._1941_-_ca._1945_-_nara_-_535820.jpg
Lena Horne in the kitchen.
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Creative Commons (attribution non-commercial share alike)

Lena Horne in the kitchen.

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Bluma Rivkin Discusses Sukkot and Four Kinds of People

Drawing on an ancient interpretation of one of the rituals for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, Bluma Rivkin talks about the different kinds of people needed to rebuild her community after Katrina.

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JWA use only on jwa.org

Drawing on an ancient interpretation of one of the rituals for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, Bluma Rivkin talks about the different kinds of people needed to rebuild her community after Katrina.

Ray Frank's Yom Kippur Sermon (Modified by Jonah Hassenfeld)

This excerpt was modified by Jonah Hassenfeld from the original document and a longer excerpt of Ray Frank’s Yom Kippur Sermon “A Lay Sermon by a Young Lady” published in American Hebrew, October 1890.

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JWA use only on jwa.org
Original file name
modified-frank-sermon-for-web

This excerpt was modified by Jonah Hassenfeld from the original document and a longer excerpt of Ray Frank’s Yom Kippur Sermon “A Lay Sermon by a Young Lady” published in American Hebrew, October 1890.

How and Why We Remember

The people of a certain culture devote an entire week of each year to commemorating one of the worst parts of their history. They taste bitter things to appreciate the suffering of their ancestors. They consciously abstain from consuming bread to remind themselves what was eatenor rather, what was not eaten. They mourn the deaths of their ancient oppressors. They drink the metaphorical tears of their forefathers and foremothers. And year after year after year, they gather around tables to recount the suffering and the humiliation and the turmoil of their own people.

Seder Plate

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Seder plate for Passover.
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Public Domain

Seder plate for Passover.

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Vashti, Purim, and Women's History Month

I have a vague recollection of the first time I learned about Vashti. I was sitting at circle time on a primary-colored rug in my pre-K class at Sunday school and was told, “Vashti was not nice to the King. She would not dance for the King.” And we all just nodded our heads in sympathy for King Ahashuarus. “Poor King.” We all thought, “Vashti is evil.”

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Holidays." (Viewed on February 9, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/jewish-holidays>.

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