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May You Be Blessed In All That You Are

Each Shabbat my parents bless me with the words, “Be who you are and may you be blessed in all that you are.” These words have been embedded in my mind as my family’s traditional blessing, signifying the start of Shabbat.  While other families bless their children saying, “May God make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah,” this alternative prayer has been our way of welcoming the Sabbath for as long as I can remember. 

Elisheva Bichovsky

As one of Palestine’s first Hebrew poets, Elisheva Bichovsky helped shape the emerging country’s new literary scene.

Esther Dischereit

Esther Dischereit’s poetry, essays, operas, and radio plays incorporate her experiences as “other,” growing up Jewish in post-war Germany.

Helene Cixous

In her rich and prolific writing, feminist thinker Hélène Cixous elided the term “juifemme” (Jewoman) to articulate her complex experiences as “other” in society.

I Came to Explore the Wreck

Boxes of slide reels still cover my repurposed kitchen table. To help with storage, a nearby closet offers enough space for a whopping twelve boxes for a total of sixteen, all compiled by my paternal Grandfather. I’m no mathematician but I can easily calculate that, with sixteen boxes of eighty slides, there must be over twelve hundred squares of film.

Maxine Kumin, 1925 - 2014

It is thrilling to be celebrating Maxine Kumin as a Jewish women, for although Kumin was determinedly secular, she is for me a quintessential woman of valor, one who was both practical and compassionate, who in her life and her art followed the command “therefore choose life.” Among those of us who have been traveling in her wake for decades, she was and is a model of how to live, as well as how to write, courageously and sanely, with artistic craft and generosity, out of a profound love of our shared life.

Feminist Poets

Writing Truth To Power

Erika Meitner

Erika Meitner’s poetry plays with the idea of overlooked but vital spaces, from malls and suburban developments to women’s bodies.

Rivka Basman Ben-Hayim

Interweaving her personal experiences with nature imagery and Jewish legends, Rivka Basman Ben-Hayim became one of Israel’s most celebrated Yiddish poets.

Zsofia Balla

Zsófia Balla persisted in her craft despite government censorship, becoming a celebrated poet in both Romania and Hungary.


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Poetry." (Viewed on December 1, 2015) <>.


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