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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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The fortieth anniversary of the first National Women's Conference is tomorrow! Check out this reflection from the o… https://t.co/xk17BK9wNd
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Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Challah Roles, Plated photo

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Challah Rolls

Recently, instead of lying on the floor feeling impending doom, I’ve been trying to do positive things, one of which is baking challah. Here’s a recipe that has cheered me up, and I hope will cheer you, too––or at least give you something to do while you watch the horrible/amazing new CW drama Riverdale and wonder when Betty and Veronica will get together.

Topics: Recipes
Laura Moser

Combating Extremism, Ninety Seconds At A Time

Americans who oppose Trump could be forgiven for feeling some fatigue these days. Since the president took office in January, it seems that a day can’t go by without a news alert about another controversial appointment or executive order. With this never-ending barrage, it can be difficult to determine which issues to take a stand on, and how.

Topics: Activism
America Undiscovered, JLTV

Community Stories: One Woman’s Journey to Give Jewish Americans a Voice

Given the rising incidents of anti-Semitism and racism, the Islamophobia, and threats to abortion access under this new administration, I find myself scared about being a Jewish woman. I hate feeling powerless but have found a way to channel some positive energy by sharing stories that exemplify tikkun olam. I’m taking a page from Michelle Obama’s book and trying to “go high” in the face of many choosing to “go low.”

Topics: Television
Paid Sick Time Rally, 2016

The Other Side of Reproductive Justice: An Interview with Sherry Leiwant

Abortion rights often dominate our national conversation about reproductive justice. There’s another side to this issue that doesn’t make as many headlines: the right to parent. Luckily, there are plenty of organizations working to ensure that no one has to choose between work and children, including the national nonprofit, A Better Balance.

Angela Peoples: Don't Forget White Women Voted for Trump

Black History Month: A Time to Share or Shut Up?

In the wake of the Women’s March on Washington, many participants and from-afar admirers celebrated the success of a watershed political moment: a coming together of millions of women all over the world to voice opposition to the new American president and his stance on a variety of political and social issues.

Topics: Civil Rights
Blanche Hart

From the Archives: Blanche Hart, the Jane Addams of Detroit

This article is part of the series From the Archives. From the Archives highlights primary sources that have changed the course of history, for an individual, a community, or the world.

The year Blanche Hart was born, the United States celebrated its 100th birthday. The telephone was patented, Mark Twain published The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and the Transcontinental Express train traveled from New York City to San Francisco in just 83 hours and 39 minutes.

Topics: Volunteers
Imperial Wife, Irina Reyn Composite Photo

Powerful Wives, Then and Now

I did not set out to write a historical or timely novel but I do think The Imperial Wife proved to be both. Ironically, it was only by looking back at eighteenth-century Russia, during the time of the fascinating ruler Catherine the Great, that I was able to think more deeply about the challenges facing contemporary women in America.

Topics: Fiction
Statue of Jewish Refugees in Shanghai

China's Jewish Sanctuary City

I should be able to tour the neighborhoods that sheltered hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees in New York, Chicago, Boston, Montreal and Toronto, London and Manchester. But thanks to xenophobia, inaction, and fear, these neighborhoods never existed.

"The only hope is shoulder to shoulder" Women's March sign

All The Mornings After

After the profound depression and helplessness I felt on Friday, I woke up on Saturday energized and hopeful. As I got my coffee and walked to the train for the Women's March in Boston, I saw a multitude of pink pussy hats, rolled up signs, discreet pins. I felt like the whole city was part of something, that my people were all around me. I was delighted rather than upset by the many trains that passed my station, completely full, and grateful when the MBTA opened a fresh train on the maintenance track to handle the overflow.

Judith Rosenbaum and daughter march on Washington

Marching Forward as a Movement

On Saturday, I joined hundreds of thousands of people in Washington, DC, to march for women’s rights, human rights, and to represent the strong resistance against the bigotry and disrespect of the new administration. I’ve participated in many marches before, but this one felt unique: the largest, most peaceful, most loving and fired up gathering I’ve ever experienced. The Women’s March was both a balm and an outlet for the fear and disillusionment of the recent months, and I hope just a warm-up for the organizing and resistance to come.

Abby Richmond and her friends, campaigning for Hillary Clinton

Continuing Hillary's Work

Tuesday, November 8, 2016, started out as a great day. At 6:45 AM, I eagerly jumped out of bed, brushed my teeth, and put on my “Hillary: Smashing the Glass Ceiling 2016” t-shirt and Rosie the Riveter socks. Once I got to school, I was too excited to focus in any of my classes. During lunch, I took some cute pictures with my friend who was also sporting Hillary apparel, and confidently voted in my school’s mock election (Hillary won with 73%). I was so pumped that I even managed to ignore the cluster of boys that hissed and yelled “Hillary for prison” at me on my way to math class.

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, but also about the present—it’s unfolding every day. Recent events 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.

Taken together, those actions tell a story—a story about how people protest, honor, resist, and remember; about how we struggle, hope, dream, and make change.

Hidden Figures Movie Still

Hidden Figures, Hidden Stories

There is a repeated scene throughout Hidden Figures in which Katherine Goble Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) types her name into the bylines of her reports only to be told that “computers” (most of whom are women) don’t author papers; she must erase her identity from her work. This scene helps explain why the contributions of Johnson and other women were forgotten for so long, but it also says something important about which stories, and whose contributions, we validate as part of our culture.

Topics: Film
ThirdLove Bras

A New Love with ThirdLove: How One Jewish Woman is Taking on the Sexist Lingerie Industry

Oh, bras. Is there any garment more ubiquitous and more controversial to the modern Western feminist? We’ve all spent too much money on a bra that fell apart too soon; we’ve all chafed under uncomfortable underwire or too-tight straps; we’ve all wrestled with the question of whether to wear a bra at all. At first glance, intimate apparel might seem like a trivial topic but think about this: these garments have literally shaped millions of women’s bodies every single day for centuries. They have a concrete, physical presence in so many of our daily lives.

Women March for Hope, Oct. 2016

Women March, and Speak Out, for Peace

On January 21, 2017, women across the country will come together to march in protest of a Trump presidency. Earlier this year, across the world, another passionate group of women rose up to speak out against violence and to stand in support of peace. The Women Wage Peace (WWP) movement planned and executed their signature event this October: the March for Hope.

Topics: Protests
Members of the Commission on the Ordination of Women Rabbis

The One Personal Question You SHOULD Ask a Rabbinical Candidate in an Interview

If you want to ask your (future) rabbi a personal question, it should be: “How can we best support you?”

A few years ago, I wrote a blog post comparing rabbinical placement to dating. It was meant to be lighthearted advice for my colleagues as they searched for “the one”: a congregation that would nurture and challenge them during the next phase of their career. Now, as some of my new colleagues enter the job market for the first time, I have some advice for the search committees.

Topics: Rabbis
Carrie Fisher

Jewish Intergalatic Princess

I was five when I saw Star Wars for the first time at my friend Danny’s house. We loved it so much that we spent the next two years playing games where we clambered up on rocks and swung down on tree branches like we were maneuvering through the Death Star together.

Topics: Comedy, Film, Memoirs
Rachel Weisz and Deborah Lipstadt

Jewish Women's Top Ten Memorable Moments in 2016

I’ll admit it: 2016 has brought some seriously challenging moments, and I won’t be sad to turn the calendar’s page to a fresh new year. But before we move boldly ahead into 2017, let’s reflect on the standout moments—both highs and lows—for Jewish women this year. In no particular order, here are my top ten memorable moments for Jewish women in 2016 ...

A Bintel Brief Main Image

A Bintel Brief: An Interview with Liana Finck

How many ways can you tell a story? To tell hers, artist and graphic novelist Liana Finck combines history, humor, and art in her book, A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York.

GeltFiend's Hanukkah Sweater

The Rise of the Hanukkah Sweater

For many years, while Christmas celebrators were dressing in their finest ugly holiday apparel, those of us who wanted to celebrate Hanukkah were left out in the cold, sans kitschy knitwear. What was a festive Jew to do while the Christians flaunted their light-up Rudolf sweatshirts and tinsel appliques? How could she attend a party without a dancing rabbi knit into her shirt? Could she light the menorah with no dreidels emblazoned on her sleeves?

Luckily, those days are behind us.

Cover Art for "Judith in the Enemy's Tent"

Judith the Activist

In times of struggle, uncertainty, and fear, we are called to act. In the recent words of Charles Blow in the New York Times, “America needs you … now. Speak up.”

But, for those of us who do not identify as activists—those of us who are speaking up for the first time within the political system, those of us who are realizing that we need to move off of social media into more active engagement—it is easy to become discouraged and overwhelmed.

Reading is Sexy

Slut Lit: The Literary Feminist's Friend or Foe?

The Bed Moved, a new short story collection by Rebecca Schiff, features 23 stories with young female narrators. One of these women finds porn on her dead dad’s computer; another––a community college professor–– struggles with difficult, unmotivated students; still another wrestles with the question of whether to break up with a partner during a birthday trip to Boston.

Topics: Publishing
Good Girls Revolt

Did Amazon Just Cancel Feminism?

The night before the election, I was too anxious to sleep, and in an effort to distract myself, I binge-watched the new Amazon series, Good Girls Revolt. Though the events it fictionalizes—when women brought a sex discrimination suit against Newsweek magazine—took place 47 years ago, it felt timely. As we stood on the cusp (I thought) of shattering the presidential glass ceiling, I reveled in watching young women in the waning days of the 1960s come into a sense of their own potential and their right to equal opportunity.

Topics: Television
Main Image: Sufganiyot Powdered Donuts

Sufganiyot (Jelly-Filled Donuts)

Many American Jews are surprised to discover that donuts—specifically, jelly donuts—are a traditional Hanukkah food. Eating donuts at Hanukkah dates back several centuries in Europe, and is associated with the holiday for the same reason latkes are—foods fried in oil are symbolic of the Hanukkah miracle of a small amount of oil lasting for eight days.

Topics: Recipes
Playbill Image for Shades, a 2016 play by Paula J. Caplan

Shades and Stories: An Interview with Paula J. Caplan

The people who make stories a central focus of their life come in all genders, colors, creeds, and professions. JWA was lucky enough to speak with Paula J. Caplan, who first championed women’s stories as a clinical and research psychologist,and has now turned her attention, as a playwright, to the struggles that returning veterans face. Her newest play, Shades, is at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York until December 17th.

Topics: Plays

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Women, Amplified." (Viewed on November 18, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog>.

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1 day
The fortieth anniversary of the first National Women's Conference is tomorrow! Check out this reflection from the o… https://t.co/xk17BK9wNd
1 day
We're celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first National Women's Conference this week! Get inspired.… https://t.co/FXs8O3oPIi
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"Like Congresswoman Bella Abzug, 'I’ve always had a decent sense of outrage.'"https://t.co/rPMQm9INLJ https://t.co/DUTpU9FofB