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Jewish Women, Amplified

  • Marge Piercy Poem
  • Rosh Hashanah Recipes
  • Spotlighting Sephardi Women
  • Acting Our Age
  • Rosh Hashanah Marge Piercy

    The Birthday of the World

    As we say goodbye to 5777 and come together at the start of 5778, Marge Piercy’s poem “The Birthday of the World” has been resonating through the halls of JWA. Like Piercy, we’re asking ourselves: How have we worked to make change this past year? What have we dared? What will we do in the coming year to further justice, to speak out and take a stand?

  • Plated Spaghetti Squash

    Rosh Hashanah Spaghetti Squash

    It’s been a tough year, and 5777 perhaps didn’t bring with it all the promise and renewal we thought it would. I hope that, in this new year, we all have opportunities for positive change and growth. May we also have the strength and opportunity to create change in the world at large.

  • Dimona Twist Movie Poster

    A Review of Dimona Twist

    Upon arriving at the theater, I realize quickly that I am the youngest person in attendance by decades.This night of the film festival is titled “An Evening of Empowering Sephardi Women,” and I’m here to see Dimona Twist, an Israeli film created by documentarian Michal Aviad. Dimona Twist recounts the history of North African and Eastern European immigrants to Dimona, a development town in Southern Israel, told through individual stories of seven women.

  • Susan Goodman Headshot

    Acting Our Age with Susan Goodman

    While her life’s work is a testament to her commitment to helping people grow older with dignity, respect, and independence, Susan Goodman’s latest project is remarkable in both its scope and specificity. Currently, in order to be interviewed on Susan’s blog Acting Our Age, you must be a woman 85 or older.

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2 days
Rosh Hashanah is nigh! Before it begins, watch our interview with the first female Orthodox rabbi! https://t.co/RdsnQYnpCD
2 days
Wishing you all a happy, safe, productive New Year, full of family, friends, reading, learning, history, and badass… https://t.co/0Nn2JN6PvZ
2 days
All about Rosh Hashanah. What does the holiday mean to you? https://t.co/wICjI86vH2
All posts
Ghosting Anxiety Image

Is Your Crush Ghosting You or Do They Just Observe Shabbat?

It’s Saturday evening, and it feels like your crush hasn’t talked to you in days. You’ve texted them five times with no response. Are you being ghosted? Or are they just resting for the Sabbath? We’ve created this helpful checklist to help you find out.

Topics: Comedy, Writing
White Thin Bridesmaids Stock Photo

Size Matters

“We only carry sizes 1, 3 and 5. You could try Sears.”

We’ve all heard the saying, “it’s funny because it’s true,” and that certainly applies to this iconic quote from the movie Mean Girls. Even though the average woman in the US is a size 16, many clothing stores and companies have decided that if you’re not thin, you don’t deserve fashion

Henrietta Szold and Julia Aronson Travel to Palestine aboard the Guiseppe Verdi, 1920

Make America Great Again

I love the past. I have not one but three typewriters. I had a penchant for corsets in high school and now will dress as a flapper any chance I get. I can’t stop reading about the Romanovs, or about 1920s Berlin when life was a cabaret, or about those secretly tawdry Victorians.

A First-Generation Argentine Woman with her Daughter, 1936

Am I Glad My Mother Didn’t Abort Me?

I have one rule when it comes to writing opinion pieces: Never read the comments...It was harder to ignore the handwritten letter that arrived at my office.

Marianne Lieberman (Thumbnail)

Being Female, Feminist, and Very Political at 90

Marianne Lieberman is a Holocaust survivor and artist credited with incorporating the first NARAL affiliate in Raleigh in 1977 after undergoing her own illegal abortion in 1949.

YA author Kendra Fortmeyer

Smashing the Patriarchy with YA Literature

If you’ve ever been a teenage girl, chances are you know what it’s like to hate your body. This isn’t an accident: when you’re born female in America, you immediately embark on a lifelong lesson on how to police your own body and the bodies of others.

Topics: Fiction
Parade of Suffragists, July 4, 1910

How to Be a Disruptive Patriot

Let’s be honest: the Fourth of July is a fun holiday, what with the hamburgers, the watermelons, the fireworks, and the summer camps, but I’m guessing that many of us are not super enthused about celebrating the land of the free and the home of the brave this year, given the current garbage fire of American politics and the dark truths that said garbage fire has revealed about the priorities and mores of our nation.

JWA UK Logo

The Other JWA

JWA made a startling discovery recently: we have a doppelgänger. Okay, that’s not quite accurate. Perhaps it would be better to say that our URL, jwa.org, has a near-doppelgänger: jwa.org.uk. Who was this mysterious British JWA, we wondered? We soon found out that the British JWA stands for Jewish Women’s Aid. It’s an organization that supports Jewish women affected by domestic violence.

Glow, a Netflix Original Series (2017-)

Wrestling with Women's Relationships in GLOW

The women who stumble into the wrestling show, filled with as much hope, desperation, and monotony as Ruth, do not simply to take over men’s parts, but redefine their own.

HIAS Image

On Being A Social Justice Rabbi

In her interview on the “Choice Between Activism and Learning,” Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld tells the story of being asked, during her rabbinical school interview, how it felt to be giving up an activist’s life to pursue a several-year course of learning.

Topics: Rabbis
Adina Verson and Katrina Lenk in Indecent

Indecent is Here to Stay! (Sort Of)

For the first time, ever, I decided to watch the Tony Awards earlier this month. This is unusual for me; even Rachel Bloom hadn’t convinced me to be interested. I know next to nothing about theater, but having studied Yiddish and been fascinated by how we tell the stories of Jewish immigration to the United States, I had tickets next month to see Indecent, a drama about a Yiddish play that featured Broadway’s first on-stage lesbian kiss in 1923. I was excited to see how this play would fare at the awards show.

Anita Diamant With the Jewish Wedding Now

An Interview with Anita Diamant

As wedding season kicks into high gear for rabbis everywhere, I’d be lost without The New Jewish Wedding, which has just been revised for the third time.

Buffy Season Six

Buffy Saw the Meninists Coming

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of my favorite shows when I was a teenager. Seven seasons of watching a teenage girl and her nerdy best (and Jewish!) friend alternately fight, and fall in love with, supernatural creatures was catnip for my seventeen-year-old self.

Cover of Sarah Silverman's A Speck of Dust

A Speck of Silverman

Sarah Silverman almost died last summer. It’s true! She went to the doctor for a sore throat that turned out to be a life-threatening case of epiglottitis, and she almost died. Thankfully, she survived, and went on to kill…in her newest comedy special that is! (I’ll be here all week folks). In Speck of Dust, Silverman delivers the type of no-holds-barred, crude, hilarious, smart comedy that we’ve all come to expect from her.

Henrietta Szold and her Parents, Lake Placid, 1897

Shout out to Feminist Fathers!

I like to think that some men are born feminists, some become feminists, and some have feminism thrust upon them when they become the fathers of daughters. While in an ideal world, men would support women regardless of women's relationship to them, alas, sometimes it takes having a daughter before men realize just how unbalanced, and unequal, the world can be when sexism enters the mix. Some fathers (the best fathers in my opinion) decide to change the world in order to correct this inequality.

Topics: Children
Ruth Messinger with her Young Children

Ruth Messinger: Inspiring Generations of Activism

Most of us, if not all of us, want to do the right thing in this life. But the hard truth that many activists and citizens must learn is that doing the right thing looks different to different people. Even people on the same side of the political spectrum who oppose the same politician can have very different ideas about the right kinds of actions to take; the groups to include in those actions; and the lens through which they should view their activism. 

That’s why we need pros to show us the ropes—pros like longtime humanitarian and activist Ruth Messinger. 

Gal Gadot cropped

Can Wonder Woman Come Fix Our World Now, Please?

At the onset of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, protagonist Diana Prince has spent her millennia-long life on Themyscira, an idyllic Mediterranean colony of Amazonian women where she grows up learning badass warrior skills from wise matriarchs. The plot kicks off when an American pilot crash-lands off the island’s coast. He tells Diana, played by Israeli actress Gal Gadot, about a cataclysmic war raging back in the world of men, instigated by the bad guys. Who are the bad guys? she asks. He explains succinctly: the Germans.

Topics: Feminism, Film
Bella Abzug at Rally to Impeach Nixon

Justice You Shall Pursue

Jews have a particular responsibility to ensure proper use of presidential power.

Every spring, my family reads from our Haggadah about four children: one who is wise, one who is wicked, one who is apathetic, and one who is silent, because s/he does not know enough to ask.

I’ve been thinking about the four children and their questions recently as the word “unprecedented” is applied to the Trump presidency. I think that’s happening because we, collectively, do not know enough to ask.

Topics: Passover, Law
"Stone Butch Blues," by Leslie Feinberg

Queer History and Stone Butch Blues

Two years ago to the month, I read Stone Butch Blues for the first time. Leslie Feinberg had made previous appearances in my life, distant traces of hir legacy filtering through references in other books and news of hir death months prior, but it wasn’t until May/June 2015 that I finally sank into Feinberg’s oeuvre and felt the force of hir most famous book.

"Nostalgia" from Anita Steckel's Giant Woman series

These Jewish Women Think You Should Masturbate

May is both Jewish American Heritage Month and National Masturbation Month, which is a great convergence, because Jewish women have played an integral role in advocating for and destigmatizing female masturbation throughout American history. May earned this lesser-known title in 1995 as a way to protest the firing of the first black Surgeon General, Jocelyn Elders. When asked about masturbation at the United Nation World Aids Day in 1994, Dr.

Topics: Feminism
The Book of Life Podcast Logo

Feminism, Podcasted: an Interview with The Book of Life's Heidi Rabinowitz

Podcasts are all the rage these days, but Heidi Rabinowitz’s The Book of Life podcast is no flash in the pan: on the contrary, this show about Jewish authors, books, and arts has been going strong for twelve years. Chances are if you’re a podcast fan or a Jewish book fan or both, you’ve heard this show somewhere, maybe even on JWA: a Book of Life episode recently appeared here as tie-in content to our May Book Club pick, Marjorie Ingall’s parenting g

Topics: Writing
The Wedding Plan (2017) Movie Poster

Rama Burshtein’s “The Wedding Plan”

I did not know what to expect from a romantic comedy about a woman intent on getting married in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, but The Wedding Plan by Rama Burshtein is one of the most feminist films I’ve ever seen.

Topics: Comedy, Film
Mechitza

Being a Rabbi, a Parent, and a Jew

As Erev Shabbat approaches, my little family is all getting ready for shul and even the toddler is excited. He’s running around the apartment singing “Shabbat shalom, hey!” and keeps saying how much he wants to go to shul. The moment we walk into the doors of our synagogue he starts running around the lobby. We wrangle him to remind him we are going into shul, not only into the building. He refuses to calm down.

Who Needs Feminism?

Where Have All the Good Men Gone?

Men! Hello there, men! You nice guys, you soft bois, you f**k boys; you manarchists, you tech bros, you entrepreneurs; you politicians, you beta males, you alpha males. Are you listening? I have a question for you:

Where are you?

Topics: Feminism
Image from Muslim Ban Protest

When Women Take the Lead

On January 29, 2017, a lone gunman entered the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City during the evening prayer and opened fire. He injured nineteen people and killed six. Less than a month later, the windows of Al-Tawuba Mosque in Montreal were vandalized. These two incidents are just a few of the many that have been on the rise in recent months. One young Muslim woman, Mona Abdullah, took the feelings of frustration and anger that this violence caused and channeled them towards rebuilding the Muslim community in Canada.

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2 days
Rosh Hashanah is nigh! Before it begins, watch our interview with the first female Orthodox rabbi! https://t.co/RdsnQYnpCD
2 days
Wishing you all a happy, safe, productive New Year, full of family, friends, reading, learning, history, and badass… https://t.co/0Nn2JN6PvZ
2 days
All about Rosh Hashanah. What does the holiday mean to you? https://t.co/wICjI86vH2