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Ritual

Cecillia Etkin

Cecillia Pollock Etkin’s faith in Judaism delivered her from seven concentration camps during the Holocaust and in 1950 to the Seattle Orthodox Jewish community where she lovingly served as the “mikveh lady” for 27 years, from 1970-1997. Born in Sighet, Romania in 1922, Cecillia was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 where her parents and many siblings were murdered. In 1945 Cecillia emigrated to New York City, married Seattle native Nathan Etkin, and moved to Seattle with him where she ran her own dressmaking business and raised four children. As Seattle’s first volunteer “mikveh lady” she prepared the ritual bath according to Orthodox Jewish law, and counseled brides and married women, converts, the sick and the elderly, who sought her quiet spiritual guidance.

Tillie Israel De Leon

An independent, intelligent, and industrious woman, Tillie De Leon is the matriarch of the original Peha family in Seattle, Sephardic immigrants from the Greek Island of Rhodes. One of the first Sephardic children born in Seattle, Tillie’s ground-breaking life continued when she left her close-knit community and moved to Los Angeles to take an accounting job. Married and widowed in Los Angeles, Tillie married Albert De Leon and returned with him to Seattle. Ever hardworking and optimistic, Tillie continued her paid work until age 80, and remains active in volunteer activities.

Sally Gottesman's Letter to Temple Shomrei Emunah

Sally Gottesman reading the letter she wrote in 1974 to the ritual committee of Temple Shomrei Emunah, requesting a Saturday morning Bat Mitzvah. View transcript.
Credit: Courtesy of Sally Gottesman
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JWA use only on jwa.org

Sally Gottesman reading the letter she wrote in 1974 to the ritual committee of Temple Shomrei Emunah, requesting a Saturday morning Bat Mitzvah. View transcript.
Credit: Courtesy of Sally Gottesman

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“A Blessing for This Day” Excerpt

From “A Blessing for This Day,” talk by Marcia Falk at “Illuminating the Unwritten Scrolls: Women’s Spirituality and Jewish Tradition” conference, November 1984. View transcript.

Courtesy of Marcia Lee Falk.
Rights
JWA use only on jwa.org

From “A Blessing for This Day,” talk by Marcia Falk at “Illuminating the Unwritten Scrolls: Women’s Spirituality and Jewish Tradition” conference, November 1984. View transcript.


Courtesy of Marcia Lee Falk.

Related content:

"A Blessing for This Day" Talk by Marcia Falk at "Illuminating the Unwritten Scrolls: Women’s Spirituality and Jewish Tradition" Conference, November 1984

From “A Blessing for This Day,” talk by Marcia Falk at “Illuminating the Unwritten Scrolls: Women’s Spirituality and Jewish Tradition” conference, November 1984. View transcript.
Credit: “A Blessing for This Day,”, © 1984 by Marcia Lee Falk.
Rights
JWA use only on jwa.org

From “A Blessing for This Day,” talk by Marcia Falk at “Illuminating the Unwritten Scrolls: Women’s Spirituality and Jewish Tradition” conference, November 1984. View transcript.
Credit: “A Blessing for This Day,”, © 1984 by Marcia Lee Falk.

Related content:

Hannah Elbaum, May 1, 2010

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Hannah Elbaum becoming a bat mitzvah, May 1, 2010.
Courtesy of Hannah Elbaum.

Hannah Elbaum becoming a bat mitzvah, May 1, 2010.

Courtesy of Hannah Elbaum.

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Feminism: More Than Just a Lens to View the World

Somewhere towards the end of my freshman year of high school, I became the class feminist. You know, the girl who always has to speak up about slut-shaming and rape culture and “where are the women in this narrative?”

I had begun to read feminist blogs, and the critical gender lens they used on everything from history, to clothing, to everything in between rapidly became part of my worldview. Right as I was hitting my stride as “that angry feminist,” I studied in the Dr. Beth Samuels High School Program at Drisha in New York. In addition to being a feminist, I was (and remain) a lover of Talmud. Spending the summer with other girls who took Judaism and Jewish text study seriously was a formative experience for me.

The erudite feminist women who taught us became my role models. (It was not unusual for us “Drishettes” to enthusiastically exclaim to one another that “I want to be insert-name-of-teacher-here when I grow up!” after a particularly great class.)

Avigayil Halpern Davening

avigayildavening.jpg
Avigayil Halpern davening.

Avigayil Halpern davening.

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JOFA: Beyond Belief - Part 3

In her final interview before leaving JOFA, Elana Sztokman talks about Orthodox feminism and JOFA. This is the final part of our three-part series, posting weekly.
Read part one here.
Read part two here.

Susan Reimer-Torn: Do most JOFA women want full inclusion in Jewish ritual life as currently practiced by men? Or are they looking for another, more woman-oriented approach to the communal or spiritual experience?

Rosie the Riveter Wearing Tefillin

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Rosie the Riveter wearing tefillin.
Courtesy of Miriam Atta

Rosie the Riveter wearing tefillin.

Courtesy of Miriam Atta

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Ritual." (Viewed on April 28, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/ritual>.

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