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Judaism-Orthodox

Meet “Bulletproof Stockings” and “Yiddish Princess”

Today we feature female American Jewish musicians who aren’t softly crooning classic Hebrew folk songs, traditional prayers, or even hava nagila. They are not belting out Broadway tunes or love songs à la Barbra Streisand or Bette Midler. These women are rocking out to their own beat.

Bulletproof Stockings by Sefira Ross

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Bulletproof Stockings hails from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and features Dalia Shusterman and Perl Wolfe.

Courtesy of Sefira Ross.

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Creative Commons (attribution non-commercial share alike)

Bulletproof Stockings hails from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and features Dalia Shusterman and Perl Wolfe.

Courtesy of Sefira Ross.

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Hurricane Katrina: Community Responsibility and Tikkun Olam

The Kabbalah (Jewish mystical school of thought) teaches that God created the world by projecting a beam of light into the universe and then created vessels to hold the light. But the divine light was too strong for the vessels and they shattered into bits. These bits and holy sparks scattered into the world. Our job as humans is to redeem the holy sparks through prayer and action. In doing so, we act as partners with God in the work of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).

Wrestling with God and Jewish Tradition

The biblical figure of Jacob is also called Israel, the one who wrestled with God (Genesis 35:10). As the "Children of Israel," the Jewish community has carried on this legacy of wrestling with God and tradition in our attempts to create meaning in our lives. This Go & Learn guide uses the artwork of the Jewish feminist artist Helène Aylon to explore how we—as individuals and as a community—grapple with ideas about God and Jewish tradition.

Ray Frank's Yom Kippur Sermon, 1890

Ray Frank (1861-1948), called the "Girl Rabbi of the Golden West," became the first Jewish woman to preach formally from a pulpit in 1890, when she delivered sermons for the High Holy Days in Spokane, WA. Although the language of her Yom Kippur sermon may sound old fashioned, Frank's message remains both relevant and compelling.

"We Can Do It" Poster, circa 1943

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"We Can Do It" poster, c.1943.

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Creative Commons (attribution non-commercial share alike)

"We Can Do It" poster, c.1943.

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The Rabba Revolution Continues

Three years ago this month, Rabba Sara Hurwitz made history in the Jewish world by becoming the first publicly ordained female rabbi in the Orthodox community. Since then, the 35-year-old mother of three has been working as Dean of Yeshivat Maharat, an institution dedicated to training women Orthodox clergy, as well as working as Rabba at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, which this June will graduate the first three women with the title of Maharat — an acronym for “Religious, spiritual, Torah leaders” — marking yet another important milestone for women in Orthodoxy. Rabba Hurwitz explained to "The Sisterhood" what this all means.

The name may change but the belief stays the same

Not surprisingly, the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade kicked up a great deal of dust. In early January, Planned Parenthood announced that it will abandon the term "pro-choice" to describe people who believe abortion should be every woman's right; on January 25th, tens of thousands of  activists gathered on the Mall in Washington, D.C. for the annual Walk for Life. One of our regular guest bloggers, high school student Talia bat Pessi, shares her thoughts on the issue. 

Pro Choice Protester, 2010

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Ottawa Pro Choice Presence at the 2010 National March for Life.
Photo by Jenn Farr via Flickr

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Creative Commons (attribution)
Contributor: Submitter
Orcha, Gabrielle

Ottawa Pro Choice Presence at the 2010 National March for Life.
Photo by Jenn Farr via Flickr

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Judaism-Orthodox." (Viewed on April 30, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/judaism-orthodox>.

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