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Mirabel Sandler at her Bat Mitzvah

My Big Fat Feminist Bat Mitzvah

The very idea that I would have to proudly chant and accept this story, this version of Judaism that so obviously conflicted with my feminist sensibility, forced me to question my Jewish identity in a very real way, and for the first time.

Lydia Kertz's Family 1930s Cropped

A Refugee Tale

I have told myself that these strangers, whose microaggressions have plagued me for years, do not deserve my life story. It is usually strangers who demand it, who scrutinize my accent, singling me out as someone who does not belong in the only country that has granted me citizenship. I am an American, and I am a refugee.

Topics: Immigration
Lila Zinner at Consecration

Growing Up Jewish

I made the decision to continue Hebrew school after seventh grade when my friends informed me that they signed up because it “sounded fun.” That decision, although not well thought out, was one of the best choices I’ve ever made.

Peaches in Seattle

Playlist: Jewish Ladies Who Rock

Allow the comfortingly familiar piano chords of track one, Vanessa Carlton’s certified jam “A Thousand Miles,” to transport you. Whether you’re “making your way downtown, walking fast,” or just “lying here,” there’s a song in this playlist for everyone.

Naomi Bethune Wearing Grandmother's Ring

La Rosa

When I think of something that represents my Jewish and female identity, I often go to a ring that my grandmother, who I call my abuela, gifted me. It had belonged to her before, and I had always admired it whenever she wore it.

Migrants from South America 2018

The Land of the Living

I want to be in a world where all those around me get to not just exist, but fully live. I want to raise my children in an environment that allows folks to breathe deeply, function without fear, and be who they truly are. But it takes more than just wanting.

Phoebe Chapnick-Sorokin and Family at Disneyland

Leaving My Liberal Bubble

Because of my upbringing, the gender separation at my cousin Zoe’s bat mitzvah came to me as a shock. Why couldn’t I stand with my dad and all my male cousins? Why wasn’t Zoe reading Torah like all the other girls I knew did at their bat mitzvah services?

Memorial outside Tree of Life Synagogue

A Rabbi Revisits Terror: Reflections on Pittsburgh

Despite the despair that comes easily these days, we must continue to believe that change is possible and that we have the responsibility to bring it about. Thankfully, we find ourselves at a moment when there is one obvious way to exercise this responsibility—in these final days of the election season, we must dedicate ourselves to getting out the vote.

Promotional Poster for Wonder Woman

The Wonder of Representation

Watching Patty Jenkins’s 2017 film Wonder Woman was nothing short of a transformative experience. It was a victory, glorious and all-consuming, and it was my victory. I was the hero. And as I sat in that theater, tongue dry with over-buttered popcorn and stale air, I cried.

Topics: Film
Western Wall

Looking at the Kotel Through a Feminist Lens

I remember being four years old and writing notes to God to put into the fake Kotel we had constructed at my preschool. It was about three feet tall and made out of colorful building blocks, but to me, that was as good as it got.

Trans Jews Belong Here

Community Worth Fighting For

And then it hit me: I could change my Jewish community. I wasn’t going to be silent anymore about the ways my Jewish community was failing me; I had already done that for nineteen years.

Abigail Glickman's Shabbat Candlesticks

Lighting Candles, Linking Hands

Before it was safe for me to use matches, I remember looking forward to the first Shabbat when I could light my own candles. Now, when I light the candles on Friday nights, I feel empowered. I feel as if my mother and I are physically bringing Shabbat into our home as we strike our matches and light our candles.

Hanna Weinberg

Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Shalom Bayit

For too long some Jews have held onto the belief that abuse “just doesn’t happen” in the Jewish community. We, as Jews, are “better than that.” Nice Jewish boys don’t abuse anyone. But unfortunately, many of us know that this simply isn’t the case.

2018-2019 Rising Voices Fellow Shira Minsk in First Grade

Why Keep Passover When You Love Carbs?

Now that I’m out in the secular world, I have to decide what Judaism really means to me. I have to distinguish between the things that are actually important to me and the things I’ve just done out of habit.

Nina Baran's Tanakh

Interpreting the Torah Through a Feminist Lens

I got my own Tanakh and started doing some research. I looked up different passages, including some that I’d heard that seemed to go against my beliefs as a feminist and activist.

Women Voting in 1936

Keeping the Faith in Our Democracy

This election is a referendum on the character of our society. It’s up to all of us to use our voices and our votes to create a more just and compassionate country.

Lily Drazin at her Bat Mitzvah

Orthodoxy, Feminism, and Me

My family, being more progressive than most in our community, are strong believers in women reading from the Torah. My older sister, Jennie, read Torah at Robinson’s Arch, the egalitarian section of the Western Wall, for her Bat Mitzvah, so it was a given that I would do the same.

Clash of Clans

The Art of Attack

Video games are inherently sexist. I’ve accepted this fact as true and immutable ever since I began playing multiplayer games. From the way they’re marketed towards boys and the sexist character designs, to the anonymous players’ offensive language, everything about video games seems to scream at me: YOU ARE NOT MEANT TO BE HERE!

Topics: Holocaust
To All the Boys I've Loved Before

The Fashion of "To All the Boys I've Loved Before"

This summer, no movie captured our hearts like Netflix's To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Rafaella Rabinovich, the costume designer responsible for film's iconic looks, discusses the most popular outfits from the movie and the importance of representation in film.
Kotel Mechitza

Finding My Space

I visited the Western Wall twice as part of my school’s eighth grade trip to Israel—once on a weekday, and once on Friday night. These two experiences couldn’t have been more different.       

Sweet Pumpkin Coils

Recipe: Sweet Pumpkin Coils for Fall

Exclusively for JWA, Paola Gavin shares the perfect autumn recipe for sweet pumpkin coils from her cookbook, Hazana: Jewish Vegetarian Cooking.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

She Said "Hello"

Rabbi Leah Berkowitz reflects on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and explores the pressure placed on women to be "nice," even at the expense of their own wellbeing and safety.

Women's Liberation Movement Protest 1970

New Year, New Blog Editor!

Why is it important to amplify the voices of Jewish women? Because in a society that has historically refused women the right to speak and deemed our stories unimportant, it is a radical act to communicate our experiences.

Regina Persisted Book Cover

An Interview with Rabbi Sandy Sasso About Regina Jonas

JWA Executive Director Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Rabbi Sandy Sasso about her 2018 children’s book, about the world’s first woman rabbi. Watch their fascinating conversation here, and learn about Regina Jonas’s legacy and impact on Rabbi Sasso and the other women rabbis who followed in her footsteps.

Topics: Rabbis, Fiction
Gateway to the Moon Book Cover

The Origin Story of "Gateway to the Moon" by Mary Morris

In an exclusive piece for JWA, Mary Morris details her inspiration for her newest novel, Gateway to the Moon.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Women, Amplified." (Viewed on February 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/blog>.

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