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Jewish Women, Amplified

  • LGBTQ Activist Quiz
  • Trans Rights
  • I'm Over It
  • Ask Emma
  • LGBTQ Quiz Cover Photo (Excluded)

    Which LGBTQ Activist Are You?

    As we work to create a better and more inclusive future for all, take our quiz to figure out which pioneering Jewish activist you are!

  • Trans Equality Cover Image

    As a Jewish Feminist, I stand for Trans Rights

    As a Jewish feminist, I have a particular obligation to fight alongside my transgender siblings as their rights are threatened at the state and national level.

  • Stock Image of Cat with Cat Food

    I'm Over It

    I came to spend the rest of my afternoon hauling a case of cat food to the local housing project. I was glad to do it, though I didn’t know why the woman had reached out to our temple ... She was very happy to see me, but, in part due to the fact that I was wearing sneakers, I’m pretty sure she thought I was a well-meaning volunteer. When she did realize that I was, in fact, the rabbi, and not some emergency cat food delivery service, she got VERY EXCITED.

  • Winding Road Stock Photo

    On Pulling Up Your Big-Kid Bloomers, and Running for the Hills

    Dear Emma,

    A friend I haven’t seen for over a year is planning to visit my city and stay for two weeks. Last time she stayed with me, we ended up fighting (and then didn’t see each other for over a year). She called yesterday to see if she can stay with me. Do I have an obligation to host her?

    ––Unwilling Host

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Other Recent Stories

Which LGBTQ Activist Are You?

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sk Emma

Got a question on life, love, or anarchy? Ask Emma! All submissions are confidential.

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The Five Books of Miriam

At the root of The Five Books of Miriam is our great cultural urge as Jewish people—a desire to question, to be in a constant dialogue with God, with ourselves, and with each other.

Rising Voices Fellows at Winter 2018 Retreat (Intersectionality Talk)

Practicing Allyship

These Rising Voices Fellows are standing up against racism, and for diversity and racial equality. From attending rallies and conferences, to tackling race-related issues in their own communities, these young women are modeling good allyship, and reminding us that we must advocate for others, not just for ourselves.

Votes for Women and March for Our Lives Composite

Stories Don't Stop

March is almost over, and we all know what that means. 

We’re done. Finished. 

We came, we saw, we hashtagged WomensHistoryMonth and now we can retreat to our feminist lairs, cackling and dreaming of government-subsidized maternity leave and free tampons.

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Vegetarian Kuku for Passover

I offer a nutritious, delicious dinner recipe to stave off the Passover madness. It is easily made parve, so you can have it with your meat or dairy meals. It works great for large or small seder gatherings, and with vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Kuku is an Iranian/Persian egg dish that I would describe as frittata-like.

Topics: Recipes, Passover
Image of crowd from 2017 Women's March

Humility as an Intersectional Practice

The messiness of the world and the limits of intersectionality as a theory have re-asserted themselves once again in the events surrounding Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory’s embrace of Louis Farrakhan and refusal to publicly condemn his anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ diatribes. I’d like to make a case for an intersectionality rooted in humility. What if, instead of using theory to express what we know, we used it to create space for what we don’t know?

Toothbrushes

The Gifts of Toothbrushes and Anarchy

Dear Emma,
Recently, I stayed over at my S.O.'s apartment and needed to borrow their toothbrush. They looked horrified that I would suggest such a thing and said it felt unhygienic. For me, it feels like a non-issue. It has led to a few fights so I have to ask: is it okay to expect a S.O. to be willing to share their toothbrush?

Gerda Lerner at Sarah Lawrence College

10 Quotes from the Jewish Founder of Women's History Month

Here are some choice quotes on marginality, what progress looks like, and why women’s history matters, from the Jewish woman who started it all!

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Grace and Frankie: Bashert

The popular Netflix show Grace and Frankie gives unique narrative space to a friendship between two women who I would venture to classify as soulmates, bashert. Their relationship, like many of the real-life female friendships I see around me, calls into question the necessity of romance in a meaningful companionship.

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Dispatches from the Jewish Solidarity Caucus

I assumed the labor movement had largely died, the efforts of Emma Goldman and Pauline Newman a relic of a different time. For these women, their identities as Jewish women were interwoven with their identities as radicals and reformers.

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In response to the Parkland school shooting on February 14, 2018, JWA’s Rising Voices Fellows decided to put their minds together and do what they do best: write. These are the stories of teenage girls from all over the United States, who have grown up after Columbine, after 9/11, and in the age of gun violence and terrorism.

Composite Image for Ester and Ruzya Interview

Reflecting on Ester and Ruzya

Our March Book Club pick is Masha Gessen’s Ester and Ruzya: How my Grandmothers Survived Hitler’s War and Stalin’s Peace, a family history chronicling Gessen’s grandmothers’ experiences in the 1940s and 1950s. When Marina Adelsky, a Russian immigrant and JWA family member (her daughter-in-law is our development director, Dina Adelsky), read this book, she had one word to describe it: familiar.

Silence Breakers Throughout History Composite (Color)

Historical Silence Breakers

Here are just a few of the Jewish women throughout history who spoke out, breaking long-held silences about social issues and women’s disenfranchisement. Their stories remind us that change happens when women use their voices, loudly and together.

Topics: Feminism, History
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Between Andrew Jackson and Hitler: An Interview with Sarah Deer

Sarah Deer is a Jewish Native American lawyer and professor who has worked to end violence against women for more than two decades. Her activism has led to legal updates that enable tribes to more easily prosecute sexual assault on their land. She’s also the author of four textbooks about tribal law, and in 2014, received a MacArthur Fellowship for her work.

Chocolate Tahini Hamentaschen (Final Photo)

Hamentaschen with Strawberry Balsalmic and Chocolate Tahini Fillings

Celebrating Purim involves listening to the reading of the scroll of Esther and donating to charity. It also, crucially, involves eating hamentaschen. These recipes, inspired by my favorite fillings as a child, are a combination of sweet and savory, cutting the often overly-sweet jam and chocolate fillings with a little bit more depth of flavor.

Topics: Recipes, Purim
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Addressing #MeToo with Jewish Teens

If you work with teens in any number of settings, you know that for many of them, the #MeToo movement is at the forefront of their minds ... Although it’s not our primary role as educators to provide counseling for teens who may be struggling with their own #MeToo experiences, we can play a part in helping them navigate this complex and multi-faceted conversation, and in a Jewish context.

Students at the Library circa 1910s

To Women Writing Bravely

By coming to know our foremothers, we are actually coming to know ourselves and by taking up the weight of the pen and writing our own story, we are freeing all women, then and now. For women’s stories are the keys to our collective liberation. To all the women writing bravely today, I dedicate this piece.

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More than “Galentine's Day”: Recognizing Female Friendships

Recently, a few of my clergywomen friends dropped by a congregational Shabbat dinner, and we spent the latter half of the evening catching up while people finished their meal. Some members of my community didn’t know how to process the presence of these women at my table, and a few expressed resentment that my attention was divided.

Warriors, Witches, Whores by Rachel Harris (cropped)

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Julie Seltzer

And It Will Touch Your Heart

At the museum in that first week, between introductions and protocol and photo shoots, I finally took out my Tikkun, the book used to copy the Torah from, word for word, line for line, eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. I opened up to page two. Here were the first words of my Torah. My Torah – as if these words were mine.

והוא ימשל בך . And he will rule over you.

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Video Interview with Jaclyn Friedman

Jaclyn Friedman has been researching and radicalizing the way our culture understands sex, pleasure, and women's empowerment since she was an anti-rape activist in college. Now, Friedman is one of the most powerful voices in the conversation on how we can live authentic sexual lives while existing in our country's screwed up sexual culture.

Ruth Franklin Einstein

From the Archives: Saturday Luncheon Club

With the wonders of social media, I have a place to ponder the fate of Jimmy Hoffa and share anecdotes that I find in the archives. In 1921, a group of women with curious minds found a different method to uncover and share stories: The Saturday Luncheon Club (SLC).

Composite Image of Women's Marches (1913 and 2017)

Marching with Sadie

Sadie Loewith would have marched this weekend, joining a million other women around the world as they took to the streets to demand a more equal society. I know this because Sadie did march in 1920, joining the multitudes of other women in the streets of Washington D.C. who were fighting for the ratification of the 19th amendment.

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Painting Courage and Painting History

Marlis Glaser, a German artist, grew up in rural Germany, not knowing any Jews or her father’s previous involvement with the Nazi party. Glaser was introduced to a German Jewish woman who had survived the Holocaust. Now, Glaser has shaped her art around Judaism, and recently converted. Her colorful work includes hundreds of portraits of Holocaust survivors, their families, and other Jewish figures throughout history.

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Unscrewing Ourselves

Friedman’s book dives into the national narrative of female sexual submissiveness that’s perpetuated by our patriarchal culture. This narrative comes in the form of abstinence-only sex education, widespread toxic masculinity, and a collective reluctance to support women’s sexuality on a social and political level.

Carolina Jews for Justice at HKonJ, February 12, 2017

Organizing Jewishly in North Carolina

When I started college, I didn’t expect to get involved with Jewish organizing. I was Jewish because other people saw me as such—despite my mixed-religious parentage and upbringing, I was always the odd kid out. Never quite Jewish enough to become a bat mitzvah, but enough to be the subject of slurs, wielded by children who had never met Jewish people before.

 

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2 days
And that's a wrap on season 2 of our podcast! Check out the last episode of the season, in which host https://t.co/Rbjb3DpCzW
2 days
Do you dream of working to change our cultural narratives and preserve the stories of Jewish women from the past, p… https://t.co/XRdVzDn5TP
3 days
"As a Jewish feminist, I have a particular obligation to fight alongside my transgender siblings as their rights ar… https://t.co/uCXhzj4lNC