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Jewish Women International: 7 Years Later

When Jewish Women International opened the doors to its first International Conference on Domestic Abuse on July 20, 2003, there was optimism… there was ambition… but nobody knew for certain what would become of the work we were starting that day. Or rather, the work we were continuing – JWI had already been working in domestic violence (DV) for nearly a decade by then, since we had changed our name from B’nai B’rith Women to Jewish Women International, and focused our mission on aiding and empowering Jewish women and families – especially those suffering from abuse.

Kicking off the 2010 Institute for Educators!

Since 2006, The Jewish Women’s Archive has been holding a bi-annual Summer Institute for Educators, a conference that allows teachers to explore ways of incorporating Jewish women’s history into their curricula. This year, the focus of the Institute is Jewish involvement in the civil rights movement. Many history classes from elementary to high school emphasize the civil rights movement as an inspiring story with an importance message about tolerance and diversity.

Vampire Mania: Paying tribute to the original "vamp"

We are a country in the grips of vampire mania.

Topics: Acting, Film

The Sisterhood 50: America's Influential Women Rabbis

The Sisterhood, the Forward’s women’s issues blog, has twice called attention to the chronic underrepresentation of women on Newsweek’s annual “50 Most Influential Rabbis” list.

Topics: Rabbis

Thinking about women and food on Tisha B'Av

This Tuesday marked Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av. Tisha B’Av is a Jewish fast day marking the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, but over the years, it has come to serve as a symbolic day of mourning for tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people over the course of history.

Topics: Food, Tisha B'Av

Why We Must Boycott "The Biggest Loser" Casting Call for Jews

I just found out that NBC's The Biggest Loser is looking to cast Jews in it's upcoming season. The casting agents will be in Boston July 24 and are even offering a handful of "VIP audition passes" through JewishBoston.com.

Topics: Television

The "Women's Pages": Then and Now

Recenytly, Ruth Rosen wrote in the Ms. Magazine blog that the "women's pages" of the 1950s and 60s have been reincarnated on the internet. While she acknowledges the differences in content between those women's pages (society, cooking, and fashion) and today's "women's pages" (analytical coverage of events, trends or stories overlooked by mainstream news), she argues that the designation of separate women's sections keeps us tied to the assumption that women's stories don't belong on the front page.

Eating Jewish: Mandelbrot (Mandel Bread)

When thinking about what I should write about next for Eating Jewish, I came across Lenore Skenazy’s article entitled “You Say Mandel Bread, I Say Biscotti” in The Forward. In the beginning of her article Skenazy confesses her lack of affinity for mandel bread, a baked good she associates with bubbes and paper lined tins. On the other hand, it’s clear that she is a fan of biscotti, cookies she describes as “the world’s coolest cookies, the supermodels of sweets: tall, thin, Italian, expensive.

Topics: Food, Recipes

Maybe I’d Feel More Jewish If I Could Afford It?

I’ve often kvetched about the high cost of being Jewish. From synagogue dues to the JEA membership to Sunday School tuition to tzedakah to summer camp, it adds up to many thousands of dollars a year, and don’t get me started on the projected costs of hosting a bar mitzvah in a few short years. Sometimes I add it up mentally and fantasize about the fabulous vacation the family could take (to Israel, even!) or what I could contribute to the kids’ college funds.

Mazel Tov, Heather Booth!

Yesterday Heather Booth, Director of Americans for Financial Reform, wrote a piece in the Huffington Post called V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!!! lauding Congress for passing the most significant financial reform legislation since the Great Depression.

Finding Women's Empowerment in Jewish Literacy

I’ve been thinking a lot about literacy lately. Maybe it’s because I’m working for a children’s book company this summer or maybe it’s because I am now open to seeing the holes in my own literacy. Of course, when I think of literacy, I tend to associate it with Judaism because that is where many of my holes originate.

Jewish women on abortion, burqas, money and more - Link Roundup

Jamie Keiles: Teen Writing About Teens

I already wrote about The Seventeen Magazine Project over on my blog, from the rib?, but I wanted to write about Jamie Keiles, the girl who ran the project, here, because I personally find her to be incredibly inspirational (and, although she does not mention it often or prominently, she also happens to be a Jewess.) She started the Seventeen Magazine Project in May, in which she promised to use the magazine’s beauty, diet, exercise, and activity tips for an entire month. And use them she did—she chronicled her adventures in her blog, complete with pictures of herself and data analysis of various aspects of the magazine.

Topics: Writing

When Harry Met Sally: 21 Years Later

It was twenty-one years ago on July 12th, 1989 that audiences were introduced to characters Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) and Harry Burns (Billy Crystal), who brought the perennial question of whether men and women could just be friends to the big screen in the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally. It has become one of the most iconic films of the twentieth century with people still watching and talking about the movie today.

Topics: Film

Outraged: Linda Lingle vetoes Civil Unions bill and compares gay marriage to incest

Earlier this week, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle vetoed the state's Civil Union bill designed to give all couples access to the economic and legal benefits of marriage. I suppose this is not too surprising, considering the fact that she is a Republican. Still, her explanation as to why she vetoed the bill makes me pretty upset.

Sarah Jones and the Performance of Ethnicity

Sarah Jones is an activist who spreads her message from the stage, portraying characters of many different ethnic backgrounds and in a monologue from each person, discussing issues of ethnicity, diversity, and social justice. Many of these characters are based on people she knew or observed while growing up in Queen’s New York.

Topics: Theater

Women of the Wall Leader Arrested for Carrying a Torah

Following the arrest today of Anat Hoffman — chair of Women of the Wall, and former Jerusalem municipal council member — for being a woman holding a Torah at the Western Wall plaza, Hoffman offered me her first-hand account of this morning’s events. 

Eating Jewish: Muhammara

Hosting dinners, whether it is for Shabbat or any other occasion, is something I truly enjoy because I love cooking for other people and it also gives me a chance to try out new dishes. However, despite the fact that I enjoy trying new recipes, there are certain standbys that I know I can rely on to be crowd pleasers. One of these recipes is the roasted red pepper and walnut dip called Muhammara. This dip originated in Aleppo, Syria where there was a sizable Jewish community, many of whom immigrated to the United States and formed a community in New York.

Topics: Food, Recipes

Don't Settle: 5 Life Lessons From Your Red Hot Mama

I have always loved Sophie Tucker, but after seeing the New Rep Theatre's production of Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas with our new JWA intern, Gwen, I see her in a new light. What struck me about the show was that it condensed Sophie's wisdom into five important life lessons -- ones that I found particularly relevant to my life as a single woman today.

Red Hot Yiddishe Mama

On Friday July 2nd, I had the pleasure of watching the New Repertory Theater of Watertown, Ma put on Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas. I'd recently discovered Sophie while watching Making Trouble, and fallen in love with her witty and larger than life personality.

Topics: Comedy, Theater

Eating Jewish: Orange Salad with Olives

After having spent an entire day in the library, the thought of cooking anything when I got home seemed impossible to fathom. On my way home I tried to think of something simple that I could throw together with a few of the ingredients I had lying around my kitchen. I remembered that I had bought three oranges the day before and I also had some pimento stuffed green olives in the cupboard that I could use to make a delicious salad with. I simply added some olive oil, cumin, paprika and salt to the oranges and olives, and dinner was ready.

Topics: Food, Recipes

Elena Kagan's chutzpah (and Jewishness) on display

Yesterday marked the final day of Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearings are regarded by some as a useful tool for gauging a nominee’s judicial philosophy and by others as a farcical display of senatorial bluster and skilled evasiveness.

Eating Jewish: Cream Cheese Rugelach

Freshly baked cookies are, in my mind, one of life’s pleasures and are hard for anyone to turn down. Jewish cookbooks abound with recipes for cookies and other baked goods but it is rugelach that has come to hold a place in my heart and my stomach. They are one of the first Jewish cookies that I began baking and I’ve been hooked on them ever since.

Topics: Food, Recipes

Irna Phillips: the woman behind TV's longest running soap opera

Creating a wildly popular soap opera full of sensational family drama might be the last thing we’d expect of a nice Jewish woman in 1950’s America, but Irna Phillips proved us wrong! Fifty-eight years ago today, her soap opera Guiding Light first went on the air. The show had already been a successful radio drama since 1937, and it would run until 2009, making it the longest running TV drama in history.

Topics: Television

Kagan's confirmation hearings and more - Link Roundup

All about Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Blog." (Viewed on December 8, 2016) <https://jwa.org/blog>.

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