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Simone Veil

Women’s Rights are Human Rights

If anyone has an indelible sparkle, it’s women’s rights activist and French politician Simone Veil. Although she’s not a household name in the United States, she’s regarded with unwavering praise and awe in France, her home country. 

"Eating Disorders: Obesity, Anorexia Nervosa and the Person Within" Front Cover by Hilde Bruch, 1973

Hilde Bruch and the Persistence of Eating Disorders

Clinical descriptions of eating disorders date back centuries, yet it took until the 1970s for the pioneering research of doctor, psychologist, and writer Hilde Bruch to bring the issue to public attention. 

Linda Cohen, with father, in Vermont

Finding Your God's Work: The Gift of Loss

When my father died in 2006, I spent six months in a place that felt unbalanced, out of sync, and unsettled. I needed to sit with the feelings I was having and be present with the opportunity that grief had offered me.  It's baffling to me that today an entire decade has passed since my father's death. The journey and life lessons that have come from this loss, and other losses since, have forever changed me.

Topics: Memoirs
Stock image of a teacher working with students.

Age is Just a Number

Ask any middle schooler and they will tell you that lunch and recess are treasured time. A few years ago, when I found out my school was taking away half of this precious time, I was furious. My lunch period transformed from 45 minutes of eating and relaxing, into fifteen minutes of rushed eating (which, by the way, is an unhealthily short period of time to eat and digest) and 15 minutes of study hall. I decided to act.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg from MAKERS

When I think of Ruth Bader Ginsburg...

One of this year’s JWA Book Club picks is Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s inspiring new collection of writings, My Own Words. In one chapter, her late husband Marty shares a story about the D.C. Circuit clerks who, in honor of her fiftieth birthday, collected “when-I-think-of-Ruth-Bader-Ginsburg” letters that they compiled into a book of warm recollections.

Stock image of a woman holding an iPhone

Texts about Hillary

Friends, let me take you back to a dark time in our nation’s history. The time is late July 2016. After four days of insanity at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the country is settling down to watch the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Hannah Himmelgreen Visiting Colombia

Politics and My Dual Identity

I love to listen to other people’s perspectives, and jump in only when I feel that staying silent isn’t an option. When I’m passionate about something, I can temporarily push my introverted nature aside, and speak up.

Topics: Family, Judaism
Cartoon Image of a Woman with a Thought Bubble

Tongue-Tied

There’s pretty much only one way to make sure your opinions are heard: speaking up. While this might be the best way to get your ideas out there, it's not always easy.

Topics: Feminism, Schools
Main Plating: Sweet and Savory Pull-Apart Challah

Eating Jewish: Sweet and Savory Challah Rolls

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you are able to enjoy the holiday, but if Thanksgiving is a stressful holiday for you, I hope you are at least able to enjoy some good food. In pursuit of that goal––I present Sweet and Savory Challah Pull-Apart Rolls!

These are so good! They’re great to share with your family, whether you want a sweet or a savory bread roll; and they’re fun, delicious, and a perfectly decadent companion to your Thanksgiving feast, or really any large meal event.

Topics: Recipes
2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Lili Klayman on a Service Trip

Cleaning The World of Mansplaining

“It doesn't seem to matter if you have a PhD in neuroscience, that won't stop some [man] from assuming you are ignorant on the subject and carefully explaining what he learned in his high school bio class.” This quote, from an article by Lily Feinn published on Bustle, perfectly explains the art of mansplaining. 

Topics: Feminism, Schools
Thanksgiving-themed Knish Plating

Eating Jewish: Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Knishes

Hi, everyone! Incredibly, along with everything else happening in the world right now, it’s almost Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving, honestly, and after what has undoubtedly been an extremely difficult year, I can think of nothing better than being around family and/or loved ones.  

2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Eden Olsberg Snapchat

Strongly Undecided

Every morning when I wake up, I immediately open the New York Times app on my phone to read the morning briefing to which I’m subscribed. I’m instantly informed of worldwide events from the past 24 hours. Then, I scroll through my Facebook feed and find out what my friends think about these same topics.

2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Isabel Kirsch with her Model UN Partner

My Power Outfit Deserves Its Name

Although I've learned to embrace my short stature and recognize its impact on my confidence as a woman, when I was younger, my height was my biggest insecurity. 

This is Where I Leave You, Main Image, Film, 2015

Sitting Shiva Post-Election

It wasn’t until people started calling me on Wednesday to express their condolences for “my loss” that I realized that I am grieving. I’m not grieving because I am disappointed that we didn’t shatter the glass ceiling, or because my party didn’t “win.” I am grieving because a candidate was elected to this country’s highest office by running on a platform of hatred and fear. I am grieving for the America I knew, for all of the setbacks that women and minorities are going to suffer, and for all the progress that was about to be undone.

2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Molly Pifko at Camp

The Challenge of Teamwork

Competitions can bring out the best in people. Unfortunately, they can also bring out the worst. Team competitions, even silly camp ones full of crazy outfits and team cheers, require leadership, and unfortunately, some leaders don’t value everyone’s voices equally.

"That's funny. Do you want me to ruin it with my feminism?"

I Walk the Line: The Shaky Tightrope of Male Validation

Freshman year, my new friend John (name changed to protect the male ego) made a lot of gay jokes, and I laughed at every one of them. He would make all these jokes about Jews, egged on by his Jewish friends, and I laughed at every one of them. Freshman year, John would joke about rape, and when I didn’t laugh, John laughed at me. 

Topics: Feminism, Schools
National Organization of Women Meeting

Stories matter, now more than ever

Stories will heal us—individually and as a nation. So reach out to someone and share a story or engage in conversation. We offer these questions as conversation starters.

Clinton Family Portrait

The Radical Shift When Women Lead

So, you want me to explain why I think Hillary Clinton should be president without mentioning her gender. And I get it. I’m not sure why you need me to defend her against someone as unqualified as her opponent, but I do understand the question. I hear you when you say that Hillary’s gender can’t be the sole reason to elect her. I didn’t want Carly Fiorina to be president. Her vision for our country was wholly at odds with mine, and her gender didn’t outweigh that. Arguing that we should not elect our next president solely on the basis of gender is a totally understandable argument.

Cartoon Image of a Girl Looking Embarrassed

Can I Ask You Something?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve butted heads with Orthodox men. There was the time in third grade when I volunteered to sing the Torah trope, but was discouraged  by a boy in my class who said that “girls don’t actually read Torah at their bat mitzvahs.” In other words, why bother? Then in sixth grade, when all I wanted was to learn advanced Talmud,  I was met with a discrediting, “okay, Abigail, okay. We’ll see.” 

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season Two Poster

Second Season with Crazy

I started watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend during the long days of summer. I had seen earlier videos by Rachel Bloom, the creator and star of CEG, including a “Santa Baby” parody for Hanukkah and her interpretation of a bar mitzvah student’s day dream. I pressed “play” hoping  her television show would bring the same well-produced music videos and irreverence about stereotypes––especially stereotypes of Jewish women. The first season surpassed my expectations.

Lea Rubel, An Advocate for Senior Rights in Detroit

Stories from the Archives: The Power of a Voice

This article is part of the series From the Archives. From the Archives highlights primary sources that have changed the course of history, for an individual, a community, or the world.

Topics: Civil Rights
2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Maya Jodidio Pipetting DNA into a Gel

Whoever Said Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend Never Saw a Girl Doing Science

High school boys often try to explain physics or calculus problems to me in a way that clearly implies they think I have no idea what I’m doing. Sometimes a classmate asks me a science question and almost immediately a male peer nearby says, “Don’t worry! I can explain this if she can’t!” In addition to mansplaining, jokes about feminism and subtle sexist comments occur on a daily basis at my high school, so I’ve become used to it. 

2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Sarah Biskowitz and her Sister Lighting Shabbat Candles

The Ham Sandwich

Looking back, I now know that the comment about my sandwich choice was an extremely inappropriate thing for a coach to say to a student. It was also just rude. But most of all, it capitalized on my outsider-ness. 

Stock Image of Girl Wearing Athletic Jersey and Visor

Fifth Grade Feminist Football Fight

I didn’t want to play football, I just wasn’t accustomed to being told no, especially without being given a logical reason. So the right for girls to play football, which I could’ve cared less about personally, became a cause for which I fought with persistence.

2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Isabel Kirsch and her Twin Brother as Infants

Almost Identical

I have a twin brother. Most people, upon finding this out, ask if we’re identical. In the scientific sense of the word, my brother, Jacob, and I are fraternal twins, and I always have to suppress a laugh when I’m asked this question because it’s biologically impossible that we’re identical. However, except for our gender difference, Jacob and I share many social identifiers that influence how we experience the world. 

Topics: Schools, Children

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Blog." (Viewed on December 8, 2016) <https://jwa.org/blog>.

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At least you can still read about Nora Ephron at JWA, even if you can't watch a fictionalized version of her on TV. https://t.co/vF0yFuY1d4
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has an A+ take on Amazon's cancellation of Good Girls Revolt. Spoiler alert: it involves sexism. https://t.co/TOz3naZEsJ
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Reminds us of Laura Margolis, who led a life of daring & adventure while advocating for Jewish refugees in Shanghai… https://t.co/LLQPg6749G