Esther Broner: A Weave of Women
"Esther Broner: A Weave of Women" debuted this summer to rave reviews at the San Fransisco Jewish Film Festival (If you check out the trailer, you'll understand why.)
Esther Broner, or E.M. as she was known, was a Jewish feminist, prolific author, professor, and pioneer of the feminist movement. Known for re-imagining traditional Jewish customs and rituals, she co-wrote The Women’s Haggadah, which encouraged women to devise their own version of traditional rituals.
According to Letty Cottin Pogrebin,
She was our spiritual leader. She made room for us at the table by creating a whole new one—a Seder table at which women’s voices were heard. She encouraged us to ask the Four Questions of Women and to recite women’s plagues, of which there were always more than 10. She honored our foremothers—not just the matriarchs, but also women in the Bible who are unseen, unsung and unnamed; women scholars of the Talmud; the wives and mothers who made it possible for children to flourish and for men to study Torah: the union organizers, suffragists, partisans, peaceniks, lawyers and legislators who won us our rights. Esther Broner coaxed all these women out of their silence, and in so doing, she empowered our generation.
Now that this film is being featured in more festivals, I encourage you to check it out- and to learn more about the innovative women who helped to build our Jewish, feminist traditions.
For those of you in Boston, please join us at the Boston Jewish Film Festival on Sunday, November 17, at noon for a screening of the film. The screening will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Lilly Rivlin, Joyce Antler, professor of American Jewish History and Culture and Women's and Gender Studies at Brandeis University, and Lori Lefkovitz, professor and director of Jewish Studies at Northeastern University. The discussion will be moderated by Gail Twersky Reimer, Executive Director of the Jewish Women's Archive. Tickets can be purchased online.