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Jewish Women, Amplified

  • Antisemitism and the Women’s March
  • Baking Babka, Taking in Tragedy
  • A Refugee Tale
  • Playlist: Jewish Ladies Who Rock
  • Judith and daughter at the 2017 Women’s March in Cambridge

    Ten Thoughts About Antisemitism and the Women’s March

    Judith Rosenbaum, Executive Director of JWA, shares her thoughts on the Women's March leaders and their associations with Louis Farrakhan. She writes, "I don’t have any easy or solid answers, but here are 10 brief thoughts to add to the conversation."

  • Justine's Babka

    Baking Babka, Taking in Tragedy

    My pocket buzzes again. “Did you not see the news?” I feel my entire body tense, my fingers shaking as I struggle to open Twitter. In a moment, I am inundated—11 dead, maybe more.

    When I wake up, I decide to make a babka.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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Which LGBTQ Activist Are You?

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Calling all Gender Outlaws!

A few months ago, at the Keshet Cabaret, I had the honor of meeting Kate Bornstein, writer, performance artist, and major Jewess with Attitude. I used to teach her book, Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us, in my women's studies classes, and it was always a favorite -- powerful, funny, and transformative.

Mazel Tov, Alysa Stanton!

Apropos of Judith's recent post on Sotomayor and other "firsts," here's a celebratory shout-out to Alysa Stanton who became the world's first African-American female rabbi when she was ordained yesterday, June 6th, at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati. What does Stanton make of her status as a first? "If I were the 50,000th, I'd still be doing what I do, trying to live my life with kavanah and kedusha ... Me being first was just the luck of the draw," she explained.

Topics: Rabbis

New GLBT Prayer Book

Just in time for Pride Month, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah (CBST), the world's largest GLBT synagogue led by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum (featured in JWA's exhibit Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution), has published a new siddur.

Musings on Rebecca Rubin, Our Jewish American Girl

After years in the making, she's finally arrived: The Jewish American Girl Doll. We've been hearing a lot about her over the past week and, on Sunday, she hit the store shelves.

Topics: Fiction

Sotomayor and motherhood

My earlier post on Sotomayor sparked some interesting conversation among my friends on Facebook that I thought worth bringing back to the blog. Most of it -- unsurprisingly, considering my demographic (thirtysomething mothers of young kids) -- was about motherhood.

Topics: Mothers

May Podcast: A Conversion Story for Shavuot

Tomorrow starts the festival of Shavuot, a time of spiritual liberation that commemorates the ancient Israelites receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. The holiday is also linked to the story of Ruth, a Moabite woman, and her relationship with her Israelite mother-in-law, Naomi. As recounted in the Book of Ruth, traditionally read on Shavuot, after Naomi and her daughters-in-law Ruth and Orpah all become widows, Naomi urges the two younger women to leave her and find new husbands.

Topics: Shavuot

Sotomayor and other "firsts"

Yesterday morning, as I heard the news that Obama would imminently announce Sonia Sotomayor as his nominee for the Supreme Court, my eyes welled with tears. I thought about the Latino and Latina kids who will grow up knowing that they, too, can serve on the highest bench, and also thought about the older people in the Latino community who undoubtedly feel pride and a sense of communal achievement.

Florence Kahn Portrait Unveiled at the Capitol

As a student at Wellesley College, I'd gotten used to seeing portraits of powerful women displayed on the walls of the library and in academic buildings.

Which Jewess with Attitude are YOU?

Ok, friends, the time has come for you to discover... Which Jewess with Attitude are you? (Aside from yourself, of course). Take our new Facebook quiz and find out! (I promise it will be more entertaining and definitely more edifying than "Which alcoholic beverage are you" or "Which Grey's Anatomy character are you?")

Discover your inner Jewess with Attitude and pass the quiz on to your friends!

The Hip Hop Violinist

Reading about the Washington Jewish Music Festival (which, incidentally, sounds fabulous), I learned about Miri Ben-Ari, aka the Hip Hop Violinist. Classically trained on the violin, at age 18 she decided to explore a different way to use her music. She moved to New York City, added some bling to her instrument, and began collaborating with artists including Kanye West (with whom she earned a Grammy), Alicia Keys, Wyclef Jean, Jay-Z, and others.

Mother's Day reflection, with thanks to Henrietta Szold

Frankly, I'm too burnt out by a day spent with my children to offer much in the way of my own reflections on Mother's Day. So instead I will share the words of Henrietta Szold to fellow Zionist activist Jessie Sampter on August 23, 1917.

Topics: Mothers

Celebrate Your Jewish Mother!

Often, what people celebrate on Mother's Day is the unpaid and under-valued labor of women as nurturers. Here at the Jewish Women's Archive, we celebrate this labor every day of the year along with the myriad ways mothers, and women at large, have touched our lives and transformed our world.

Topics: Mothers

This is news?

This is one of the strangest articles I've read in a long time. Apparently, the New York Times thinks it's breaking news that gender studies (a field that has existed for about 30 years now) is actually relevant to society at large! Turns out it matters, and not just to those crazy feminists!

Podcast: Rita Arditti on Being Invisible in Argentina

As April comes to a close and as we kick off Jewish American Heritage Month in May, we're featuring an oral history clip of Rita Arditti as our podcast of the month. With her lilting Spanish-accented English, Arditti's voice is striking, as her journey is unique - perhaps one that many of us don't immediately associate with Jewish American heritage.

Maira Kalman's Imaginary Best Friend Forever

I started off my Friday with some morning enlightenment from Maira Kalman's meditations on law and women breaking barriers—women like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Sojourner Truth.

Topics: Art, Journalism

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, z"l

Writing a blog post about a feminist theorist as sharp and influential as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick is an intimidating prospect, which is why it's taken me more than a week to get to this post in memory of Sedgwick, who died on April 12.

Remembering Miriam Goodman - Her Church, The Chicken; Her Guests, Her Minyan

Happy National Poetry Month! To celebrate, I've been reading some new poems and revisiting old favorites by women like Muriel Rukeyser, Adrienne Rich, and Maxine Kumin.

Topics: Poetry

Who says there are only four questions?

Yesterday,the Jewish Women's Archive sent out a Passover e-greeting with the subject line: "Who says there are only four questions?" One of several responses to ourgreeting was from Nina Amir who affirmed that, indeed, there are far more than four questions to explore on Passover.

Topics: Passover

Who’s your women’s health hero?

Our Bodies, Ourselves has created the Women's Health HeroesAward and is seeking nominations! I'm so excited about this opportunity to celebrate the activists I admire and to learn about the women whose work I'm not yet familiar with.

Live Webcast of Today's Ann Arbor Symposium ... with Women We Love!

In case you thought New York was the ‘be all, end all' of Jewish life, think again. Step aside, Upper West Side, because Ann Arbor, Michigan is where the action's at today.

Topics: Activism

Remembering Janet Jagan, President of Guyana

You might have read in the New York Times or in the Boston Globe that Janet Jagan, the first woman elected president of Guyana, died at age 88 this past weekend.

Two Wendys Who Dared

To cap off Women's History Month, we want to recognize two stellar women who were recently honored in Chicago as part of JWA's Women Who Dared project. You may have seen our online exhibition of Women Who Dared, which features interview segments with over 50 pioneering women in Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, and New Orleans.

Oranges, Miriam's Cup, and Other Passover Rituals

Passover is next week. How did that happen?! I haven't even begun to prepare, but was reminded that I better get on the ball after reading the opinion piece "Raising Cups, Dropping Oranges" by Aurora Mendelsohn in the Forward. Mendelsohn discusses the ways in which her Seder's feminist rituals have changed over the past decade: Miriam's Cup has endured while the orange on the Seder plate has disappeared.

Topics: Passover, Ritual

Women's History Month Podcast Feature #3

The third and final feature in JWA’s Women’s History Month podcast series, Jewish Women and Political Leadership, is now live! Listen to four political activists reflect on their journeys in shaking up the political “boy’s club” and tipping the gender scales -- from confronting miniscule quotas for women in law school, to pushing women’s health legislation in Congress, to becoming the first Jewish woman elected to the Maryland State Senate.

"We have found you wanting"

Ninety-eight years ago today, 146 people (mostly women, mostly Jewish and Italian immigrants, mostly young) burned to death in a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. The tragedy was particularly galling because it was the result of unsafe working conditions, a lack of fire escapes, and locked exits.

Topics: Labor

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Women, Amplified." (Viewed on November 18, 2018) <https://jwa.org/blog>.

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13 hr
“We women are gathering because life on the precipice is intolerable." in 1980, photogr… https://t.co/SLdPLdaJVu
15 hr
in 1950, renowned soprano Roberta Peters debuted at the . It was the beginning of a long career… https://t.co/WpxOXlWNdF
1 day
"I let go of the expectation that this space would look the way I wanted Judaism to look. I accepted that it was Ju… https://t.co/T5bHmEGXtn