Activism

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Lily Winner and immigration, then and now

by  Leah Berkenwald
Ninety-one years ago today, journalist and playwright Lily Winner published an essay in The Nation entitled "American Emigrés."
"Women Resume Riots Against Meat Shops" New York Times, May 17, 1902

The Real Housewives of the Lower East Side

by  Judith Rosenbaum

One hundred and ten years ago today, something surprising happened. Jewish immigrant housewives in New York City—concerned and angry about a sharp rise in the price of kosher meat from 12 cents to 18 cents per pound—launched a kosher meat boycott that lasted nearly a month, spread to several other boroughs of New York, sparked violent riots and arrests, and attracted much media attention before ending with the successful lowering of meat prices.

Emma Goldman at a May Day Rally, Hyde Park, London, May 1, 1937

May Day: Celebrating through protest

by  Judith Rosenbaum

Happy May Day! Originally, May Day was a pagan springtime festival, roots of which survive in the traditions of flower-festooned maypoles and the crowning of the “Queen of the May.” Since the late 19th century, it has also been a workers’ holiday. Though in the US it has been officially replaced (and I would argue, coopted) by Labor Day in September, May Day remains an occasion for social protest of many kinds.

Marijuana

Jewish women and marijuana: Yay or nay?

by  Leah Berkenwald

If you listen closely, you may hear people wishing one another a "Happy 4/20" today. Why?

"The Songs of Joy," by James Jacques Joseph Tissot

The orange on the seder plate and Miriam's Cup: Foregrounding women at your seder

by  David Levy

Just before we drink the second cup of wine in the Passover seder, we speak of three symbols considered indispensible to the holiday's meaning: the shank bone, the matzah, and the bitter herbs.

Susan Rosenberg's "An American Radical"

Susan Rosenberg, An American Radical

by  Judith Rosenbaum

I guess it’s inevitable, when you’re at a book talk by a 1970s radical political activist who was wanted by the FBI, went underground, got arrested, and spent 16 and a half years behind bars, that someone will ask  “How do you understand what you did and why?” Susan Rosenberg made an honest attempt to answer a complex question, ending with a shrug and the explanation, “That's a different book.”

"In the Land of Blood and Honey" Movie Poster, 2011

"In the Land of Blood and Honey" premieres at Holocaust Memorial Museum

by  Kate Bigam

Angelina Jolie (not a Jewess but a definite do-gooder) visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum last week to premiere In the Land of Blood and Honey, a film she wrote, directed, and co-produced.

Topics: Activism, Holocaust, Film
Miriam and Aaron Complain Against Moses

They will spit: In the tradition of Miriam, Jewish women will continue to challenge the establishment

by  Susan Reimer-Torn

The ultra-orthodox establishment in Israel is reportedly losing sleep over women’s demands for equality.

Black History Month: Wednesdays in Mississippi

by  Judith Rosenbaum

You might think that I – a public historian – would love the opportunities on our public calendar to celebrate historical figures and communities. But truth be told, I’m a bit of a skeptic.

Women should be seen AND heard in Israel

by  Leah Berkenwald

Extremist Ulta-Orthodox groups in Israel are trying to erase images of women from public space.

Frances Goldin, 87-year-old Occupy protester unsuccessfully tries to get arrested

by  Leah Berkenwald

In response to the police crackdown on Occupy protests across the country, thousands of people assembled with renewed energy at Occupy Wall Street on November 17th, dubbed the Occupy Wall Street Day of Action. While most protesters understand there is a chance they might be arrested, one protester was actively trying to make that happen. Frances Goldin, 87, has been arrested nine times for civil disobedience; her goal is to make it 12.

Interfaith leaders rally to raise awareness of homelessness among LGBTQ youth

by  Chanel Dubofsky

When I moved to New York City, I was told that there are a set of rules one should follow in order to ride the subway safely.

It Gets Better: Where are the Jews?

by  Kate Bigam

By now, the It Gets Better Project has made headlines around the world, with everyone from Lady Gaga to president Obama posting a video to support and encourage LGBT youth. A number of Jewish leaders have joined the conversation by making videos of their own. Here are a few of my favorites. Let me know if I’ve missed any good ones!

Mazel tov to the women of the Forward 50

by  Leah Berkenwald

Another year, another Forward 50 list of Jewish leaders who have made the biggest impact (good or bad) in American Jewish life.

Alexandra Kukoff

A Jewish girl’s guide to a bat mitzvah project

by  Alexandra Kukoff

I felt overwhelmed when deciding what to do for a bat mitzvah project.

Bella Abzug at a Women Strike for Peace Protest

Women Strike for Peace: 50 years later

by  Chanel Dubofsky

Fifty years ago yesterday, the 1961 formation of Women Strike for Peace (WSP) marked a new era for activism, creating a new stage on which women could concentrate their power. In 1984, WSP described in their own words the beginning of their movement: "100,000 women from 60 cities came out of kitchens and jobs to demand: END THE ARMS RACE - NOT THE HUMAN RACE, and WSP was born."

Girl Scouts, 2009

Girl Scouts of Colorado take a stand against gender injustice

by  Kate Bigam

The Jewish community has had a varied relationship with scouting.

Not this again: Women asked to move to the back of the bus in Brooklyn

by  Leah Berkenwald

"Women told they must ride back of the bus in Brooklyn"

I saw this headline on Jezebel.com and thought, "Not again." It's been less than two weeks since we heard about Yiddish signs asking Jewish women to "move to the side when a man approaches." Is it just me, or is the Hasidic/secular battle for public space in Brooklyn getting out of hand?

Birth Control

Without apology: The atonement stops here

by  Chanel Dubofsky

For a few semesters in college, I was a Peer Health Sex Educator.

Gloria Steinem, 1972

Gloria Steinem: An unheralded GLBT advocate

by  Alan Kravitz

As I watched HBO’s incisive documentary Gloria: In Her Own Words, one irony became clear instantly: Gloria Steinem is an icon who is utterly uncomfortable with the whole idea of being an icon.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," Part II, 2011

Harry Potter: Four progressive lessons for the Jewish Community

by  Leah Berkenwald

Last weekend the eighth and final Harry Potter movie hit theaters. In the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling created a magical alternate universe.

Jaclyn Friedman

Meet Jaclyn Friedman: Jewess with attitude

by  Leah Berkenwald

I recently had the pleasure to sit down for brunch with Jaclyn Friedman, Executive Director of Women, Action and the Media and co-editor of Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape. Jaclyn Friedman is writer, speaker, activist, and rising star in the current feminist community.

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