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Jewish Women, Amplified

  • Rabbinic Work
  • Photographic Memory
  • Menstruation
  • Broad City
  • Rabbi Berkowitz at a Bat Mitzvah

    Rabbinic Work and the Second Shift

    Recently, I fielded two calls in one week about the under-representation of women rabbis: one was from an academic journal, the other was from a non-profit organization assembling a delegation of rabbis for a service-learning trip. Both of them needed more women to participate in their programs.

    I said no.

  • Delegates at the First National Conference for Women (1977), by Diana Mara Henry

    Photographic Memory: On Being the Official Photographer of the First National Women's Conference

    When, in 1977, Abzug and Senator Patsy Mink called for a national women’s conference, I foresaw that being hired to photograph the First National Women’s Conference as official photographer might be the most historic assignment of my lifetime.

  • Glitter Pad

    My Menstruation, Myself

    We at JWA decided to have an informal group chat about menstruation, our bodies, and sex. There was chocolate, honesty, and lots of laughter. Although we represent different ages and family backgrounds, we found plenty in common around this very normal (and under-discussed) topic.

  • Ilana Glazer Cropped

    Broad City Helps Us Come Back

    Broad City’s “Witches” is everything I need right now, and I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it’s what a lot of us need right now. In this Season 4 episode of Broad City, Ilana visits a sex therapist, Betty, because she can’t cum. I should say this now: get used to the word “cum,” because it’s going to be used a lot in this piece.

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Emma Goldman Sign

On More Perfect Unions

We have always been this bad. And we have always been better than this. Grappling with this contradiction has always been hard for us as American Jews, sometimes able to “pass” or be folded into the comforts of white privilege, sometimes abruptly and painfully othered

Kesha Praying

The Anthem I Needed

Amidst all the glitter and alcohol, I knew Kesha was an actual talent. A friend directed me toward an NPR interview in which she talked about her deep love of Bob Dylan, the fact that she does most of her own songwriting, and her deeply artistic spirit. I was smitten.

Bella Abzug at a Women Strike for Peace Protest

#JWAmegaphone: Voices of Power and Protest

At JWA, we believe that history is not only about the past; it is about the present. The events of the past year have made us more keenly aware than ever that we’re living through history in the making. And not just witnessing it—we are part of it, makers of history with each action we take.

Indecent Chat

Indecent Says Goodbye

Indecent, the play about the scandal-causing early twentieth-century Yiddish play The God of Vengeance, closed this past weekend. Originally scheduled to close in June, an outpouring of support allowed this play about Sholem Asch’s incendiary work (which featured the first onstage lesbian kiss in Broadway history) to stay open until the beginning of August.

"The Liberation of G-D Proclamation," by Helene Aylon, 1990-1996

Helène Aylon: Rescuing G-d from the Patriarchy

As far as I was concerned, religion was a conservative cult, and Abrahamic faiths didn’t seem to be interested in powerful women expressing themselves. I recently discovered Helène Aylon, an artist whose projects and story bring these struggles of faith and feminism into focus.

Lisa's dog

A Conversation with Food Writer Lisa Yelsey

JWA’s food writer, Lisa Yelsey, has been cooking and writing for JWA for almost a year! In celebration of her delicious recipes, her dog, Cassie, and teaching us how to bake and watch TV, we asked Lisa how she got her start in food writing, how to update a traditional recipe for modern palates, and what she does when a recipe isn’t turning out quite right.

Camping Stock Photo

The Campsite Guide to Exiting Relationships

Breakups are complicated. The models we get from pop culture often involve lots of drama, betrayal, and revenge. In the other direction, the Jewish value of shalom bayit, “peace in the home,” can be taken to an extreme where women are pressured to stay and try to fix things no matter how bad things get. But shalom bayit is not the only Jewish value that can be applied to relationships.

Andy Samberg in NOW t-shirt

What We Need from Jewish Male Feminists

Hello, Men! I interrupt our regularly scheduled content to bring you an important message: We need to talk. We don’t need to yell, argue, or break any tables, but we do need to talk.

Topics: Feminism
Bat Mitzvah or Check?

6 Bat Mitzvah Gifts to Look at Before Writing a Check

Here are six adorable Bat Mitzvah gifts to consider before just giving up and writing a check to the newly minted young adult in your life.

Final Sabich Salad Plating Photo (dressed)

Sabich-Style Summer Salad

I am not that into hot weather but love taking the summer as a time to hike without having to worry about ice, leave the house without having to strategically layer, and wear Tevas.

Summer is a great time to eat a lot of light, cooler meals. Here is a recipe that incorporates roasted vegetables and a tahini-based dressing.

Topics: Recipes
Illustration from Stop Sexual Assaults in Schools Cropped

Combatting Sexual Harassment and Assault in Schools

Esther Warkov, a Jewish enthnomusicologist, describes herself as a latecomer to activism. She is now the Executive Director and Co-Founder ofStop Sexual Assault in Schools, an organization that focuses on sexual harassment and assault in K-12 schools.

Trans Soldier Erez Shachar (media object)

Trans Bodies are Human Bodies

Trump et al seem to believe that there exists a template for a default American. A normal American, if you will. Surprise, surprise: that American is a white, able cis man.

Topics: Law, Military
Body Protest

(Reproductive) Justice, You Shall Pursue

Reproductive health includes the right to have children and to access all amenities necessary to care for those children. It means a right to bodily autonomy no matter one’s sexuality, gender, class, or ethnicity.

Hermione Granger (thumbnail)

Let's Celebrate our Hermiones

There’s so much about Harry Potter that sticks with me and my generation, but I want to talk about the character whose portrayal and trajectory feel all too pertinent in America in 2017: Hermione Granger.

Topics: Fiction
Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor

A Female Doctor: It's About Time

Over the past decade, some fans (as well as former stars of the show) have commented about the fact that while the infinitely curious and adventurous Doctor can regenerate into any body imaginable, somehow the actors that get chosen for the role have been uniformly white and male. Until now.
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

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Women, Amplified." (Viewed on November 17, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog>.

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3 hr
We're celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first National Women's Conference this week! Get inspired.… https://t.co/FXs8O3oPIi
3 hr
"Like Congresswoman Bella Abzug, 'I’ve always had a decent sense of outrage.'"https://t.co/rPMQm9INLJ https://t.co/DUTpU9FofB
21 hr
We will never not love this story. https://t.co/QAq4TEDWia