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Religious Movements

"The Feminine Mystique," by Betty Friedan

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"The Feminine Mystique," by Betty Friedan.
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"The Feminine Mystique," by Betty Friedan.

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Planting the seed: Memories of "The Feminine Mystique"

There’s a lot of buzz these days about Stephanie Coontz’s new book A Strong Stirring, an assessment of Betty Friedans’s 1963 manifesto The Feminine Mystique. It’s stirring up some personal memories of my own.

Project Frumway, 2011

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Project Frumway is a charitable fashion show and fashion design competition intended for women of all ages, hosting over 500 people from all over the NY area. This poster promoted the event on March 1, 2011.

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Project Frumway is a charitable fashion show and fashion design competition intended for women of all ages, hosting over 500 people from all over the NY area. This poster promoted the event on March 1, 2011.

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Frum, fashion, and feminism

Jewish designers are a staple on the fashion scene – famous names like Zac Posen, Isaac Mizrahi, Max Azria, Kenneth Cole, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren are all members of the tribe. A few years ago, Slate even published a story called “The Rise of Schmatte Chic”, which chronicled the fleeting trend of Orthodox Jewish influence in runway fashion.

Rabbah Sara Hurwitz

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Rabbah Sara Hurwitz.
Courtesy of The Forward
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Rabbah Sara Hurwitz.
Courtesy of The Forward

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Eating disorders and Orthodoxy

I’ve never been particularly offended by the various cultural stereotypes of Jewish women that portray us being zaftig, food-loving mamalehs-in-the-making; as someone who falls perfectly within the parameters of this description, I tend to favor anything that lends legitimacy to my, uh, lovely lady lumps. But when it comes to Jewish women’s body image, there may be a darker reality lurking out of the sight of stereotypes.

Who is Yalta?

This weekend has been very exciting for me–the synagogue that my family belongs to is hosting Sara Hurwitz as a guest speaker. For those of you haven’t heard of her: after studying for seven years at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, she was given the title of “maharat” by Rabbi Avi Weiss (an Orthodox rabbi) in March 2009, and deemed a Jewish spiritual and halachic leader.

Judith Kaplan Eisenstein, 1992

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Judith Kaplan Eisenstein at her second Bat Mitzvah ceremony in 1992.
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Judith Kaplan Eisenstein at her second Bat Mitzvah ceremony in 1992.

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Shulamis Yelin, 1913 - 2002

Shulamis Yelin came into my life at my grandmother's shiva. With auburn hair, bright pink lipstick and a multi-colored patchwork jacket, she didn't look like any other "old" person who had come to pay her respects and clearly that's the way she liked it. She didn't talk in hushed tones and she didn't say false things like "it's going to get better." After the minyan was over she asked me to walk her home. She did this like a girl of sixteen offering to take her girlfriend out for milkshakes to save her from too much family and too much death.

The scary subtext of "rethinking egalitarianism"

Last week in the Forward, Jay Michaelson writes about the need to rethink egalitarianism.  Egalitarian synagogues, he says, tend to be egalitarian in only one way: everyone is equally bored.  (“Egalitarian” in American Jewish life has historically referred to prayer services where men and women can both participate fully and take on leadership roles.)  He talks about friends who attend Orthodox prayer services because they find more meaning in the service, and about how attempts at inclusiveness and egalitarianism often translate into long responsive readings in English where nobody really believes a word.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Religious Movements." (Viewed on May 27, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/religious-movements>.

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