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Synagogues/Temples

The Power of Resilience

Change: the act or instance of making or becoming different. Change can be wonderful. Change can be terrifying. Change can be exciting, but change is never easy. Whether we want it to happen or not, change doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye. It takes time and effort. I learned this lesson when I decided to start a new position for my temple’s USY (United Synagogue Youth) board. 

Finding My Place

When the second half of 8th grade arrived, I was faced with what my 13-year old self believed was the most important decision I would ever have to make in my entire life. I had to choose a youth group to join. Even though Denver has fewer options than most cities, I was still overwhelmed by my choices. 

The Nerd Herd

If there’s one thing that characterized my formal Jewish education, it would have to be my profound dislike of it. Though I’ve always felt deeply connected to my Judaism, both culturally and religiously, organized religious school was extremely difficult for me. 

Where Have All the Boys Gone?

As soon as anyone tries to say that feminism is about women’s rights alone, someone pops up and points out that it’s a movement about equality.  But if that person then turns around and says that men are inherently sexist or that men cannot be victims of sexism, they contradict themselves.  Sexism towards men is real. It’s a parent telling their son, “big boys don’t cry.”  It’s a boy feeling unable to ask for help because he’s afraid of being perceived as weak. 

B'nai Jacob Synagogue

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View over the mechitza (divider between men and women) from the women's balcony of the B'nai Jacob Synagogue (Ottumwa, Iowa).
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Public Domain

View over the mechitza (divider between men and women) from the women's balcony of the B'nai Jacob Synagogue (Ottumwa, Iowa).

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Mechitza

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A mechitza (barrier between men and women) in an Orthodox synagogue
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Public Domain

A mechitza (barrier between men and women) in an Orthodox synagogue

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How The Internet Made Me A Better Jew (Also, A Feminist)

The variety of feminist voices gives me all the more reason to look for a variety of Jewish voices. Both Judaism and feminism give me the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with feeling like you truly belong somewhere. These two aspects of my life are so closely intertwined that sometimes I can’t even tell one from the other, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Delaney Hoffman in Shadow

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Author Delaney Hoffman in shadow.

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JWA use only on jwa.org

Author Delaney Hoffman in shadow.

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Harriet Perl, 1920 - 2013

Like everyone who took Harriet Perl for English or American literature at Hamilton High School in West Los Angeles, I never forgot her. She was a gifted teacher who gave the job great stature. What came back most vividly when I thought of her was her smile—radiant and affirming—and my joy in getting an A on a book report.

Harriet Perl

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Harriet Perl.
Courtesy of Tracy Moore.
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JWA use only on jwa.org

Harriet Perl.

Courtesy of Tracy Moore.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Synagogues/Temples." (Viewed on May 26, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/synagoguestemples>.

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