Activism

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Shoshannah Stern Takes a Silent Stand Against Sexual Violence

by  Renee Ghert-Zand

The deaf Jewish actress Shoshannah Stern is more than a little bit angry — and for good reason.

Judith Frieze, June 21, 1961

Why do we act? Lessons from the Freedom Rides

by  Judith Rosenbaum

Fifty years ago, in May 1961, a small group of civil rights activists embarked on a journey that would change them and change America. Boarding buses headed south for what they termed a "Freedom Ride," these young black and white activists challenged segregation by sitting together on the bus and in the waiting rooms of bus stations.  Though the Supreme Court had already declared segregation in interstate travel illegal, the Federal Government was not enforcing the law, so the Freedom Riders engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience to call attention to this injustice.

Gail T. Reimer Recieves "Lives of Commitment" Award, May 6, 2011

Gail T. Reimer receives the Auburn Seminary's "Lives of Commitment" Award

by  Ellen K. Rothman

On Friday, May 6th, Auburn Seminary in New York held its annual “Lives of Commitment” breakfast.

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

The confrontational face of Miriam

by  Susan Reimer-Torn

When we are first introduced to Miriam in the Bible, the times are bleak. The Egyptian Pharaoh has decreed that all baby boys born to the Hebrew slaves be immediately put to death.

Women's Liberation Daughters: The Next Generation Panel

Women's Liberation and Jewish Identity: Bringing it home

by  Leora Jackson

Last week, I had the great privilege of attending the conference “Women’s Liberation and Jewish Identity: Uncovering a legacy of innovation, activism, and social change.” (JWA was a conference sponsor, and you can check out Judith Rosenbaum’s response to the conference here!) As a research intern for Professor Joyce Antler, the conference convenor, this past summer, I spent hours reading short essays, activist statements, and poetry by many of the conference’s speakers, who were primarily Jewish women involved in feminist activism in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Seeing their words come to life as they spoke to an audience of peers, academics, and a few young feminists was enlightening, particularly as it provided me with a chance to rethink my own relationship to Jewish feminism as it relates to Jewish ritual practice.

The Wandering is Over Haggadah: Including Women's Voices

The modern Haggadah: New voices and the reactionary

by  Elyssa Cohen

This year I tried something new at my family’s Seder. We used a new Haggadah!

Women's Liberation Daughters: The Next Generation Panel

Jewish Feminism and Feminist Jews: More Questions than Answers

by  Judith Rosenbaum

By now it's both a truth and a truism that the personal is political.

Synagogue Sanctuary

Is the shul a place for political activism?

by  Kate Bigam

I spent last Friday night celebrating Shabbat at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Mass., a Reform synagogue I’d never before visited. I was in awe of the chapel’s breathtaking, brightly colored stained glass windows, and I was fascinated by Rabbi John Franken’s take on Parshat M’tzora, which drew unexpected parallels between, of all things, skin diseases and marketing (all with a Jewish bent, of course). But it was a bright green insert in the Friday night program that struck me most.

Top 11 Labor History Landmarks in New York City

Labor History Landmark: No. 8 Carnegie Hall

by  Leah Berkenwald

The Top 11 Labor History Landmarks in New York City is a blog series on Jewesses with Attitudecreated in honor of Women's History Month and the 100th anniversary ofthe Triangle Waist Factory fire. Learn more about the series here, or check out JWA's online walking tour.

The 8th of the Top 11 Labor History Landmarks in New York City is the Carnegie Hall.

100 Years: Commemorating the Triangle fire

by  Leah Berkenwald

As regular readers of Jewesses with Attitude (and the New York Times) know, today is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Factory fire. On Sunday, March 13th, 230 people joined the Jewish Women's Archive in New York City for the first Living the Legacy awards luncheon held to commemorate the centennial of the fire and celebrate the contributions of Jewish women activists. 

Cards Created for JWA's Commemoration of the Centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Lunch with Fannia Cohn

by  Roslyn Bernstein

On Sunday, I had lunch with Fannia Cohn. So did Toba Penny from Moment, Sarah Perry, Rose Zoltek-Jick, and Leah Berkenwald from the Jewish Women’s Archive, and six other guests (including one man) at Table 24. We were gathered to commemorate the centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and to celebrate Jewish women activists, past and present. Each of us was given a numbered card with a part of Fannia Cohn’s life story.

Topics: Activism, Education
Top 10 Jewish Women in Labor History

The Top 10 Jewish Women in Labor History

by  Leah Berkenwald

Though we at JWA celebrate women’s history all year round, March brings us the great opportunity of Women’s History Month.

Egyptian women make their voices heard

by From the Rib

It’s an exciting, scary, and revolutionary time in Egypt right now. In spite of our opinions on the political implications of the anti-Mubarak and pro-Mubarak protests, I think we can all appreciate the large number of Egyptian female revolutionaries with roles in the spotlight. I read an interesting article on this in the New York Times today that described the surprisingly large involvement of women in the protests in Egypt.

Trees

Put a Jewish woman in environmental activism "On the Map!"

by  Leah Berkenwald

Next week is Tu B'Shevat, the Jewish birthday for trees. The meaning of the holiday has undergone some major evolution over the years; it started as a tax deadline, was co-opted by Kabbalists and then the Zionists, and is now considered a holiday celebrating the environment and environmental activism in a broad sense. At the Jewish Women's Archive, our Tu B'Shevat tradition is to seek out and celebrate Jewish women who have dedicated their lives to environmental activism.

Carla Furstenberg Cohen, 1936 - 2010

A world without a Carla in it just doesn’t seem possible (and certainly less interesting). But I know she will always be with us. Once you know her, you can’t forget her.

Racial Oppression Meme

Owning Our Jewish Privilege

by  Leah Berkenwald

A new meme blog is taking off.  "Privilege Denying Dude" represents the type of person who denies that they have privilege, usually the privilege that comes with being white, male, heterosexual, cisgendered (not transgendered), and American. It identifies the sorts of phrases and ideas that are used to deny this kind of privilege, like the idea that homeless people are lazy.

Gail Dolgin, 1945 - 2010

Gail Dolgin balanced her activism in the cause of social justice with an equally fervent commitment to the life of the spirit and was active in a close and cohesive spiritual community.

Donna E. Arzt, 1954 - 2008

In her a genetic disposition to the appeal of tikkun olam was evident, in the course of a life devoted to deploying the law in behalf of progressive causes of special concern to the Jewish people.

Lois Levin Roisman, 1938 - 2008

Lois' life was centered on the inherent goodness of humans and inherent humor of life. Everything she did was based on the principle that if you could make people laugh about the human condition, then you could make them do something to improve it.

Grace Paley, 1922 - 2007

But even more, even more than I admired the stories, which was a lot, I admired Grace Paley's activism and her moral courage.

Ruth Schachter Morgenthau, 1929 - 2006

Ruth deeply believed that economic empowerment was the basis for increasing human rights and gender equity for women. If women have economic power, they gain confidence and courage, and become greater participants with increased voice in their communities. Everyone benefits when women benefit.

Emily Shain Mehlman, 1941 - 2006

For those around her Emily served as a compass, both figuratively and literally. She knew how to help her community steer a clear course, guiding us with her own impeccable honesty and tenacious personality. You could also ask her for more practical directions and arrive with more clarity than mapquest can provide….

Sally Lilienthal, 1919 - 2006

Even though she wanted to turn swords into ploughshares, she wielded her own kind of sharp weapon: an inveterate (and sometimes intimidating) intelligence. She had an eye for detail as well as a sweeping perspective that always saw the bigger, more critical picture….

Elizabeth Scharpf's DIY Aid project: keeping African girls in school with affordable pads

by From the Rib

There was a really interesting article in The New York Times last week by Nicholas D. Kristof about individuals who are, in effect, creating foreign aid on their own. He writes about various people who, feeling passionately about helping the world, got up, changed their lives, and simply, did it. He tells a few stories, highlighting the fact that many of the members of the “Do-It-Yourself Foreign Aid Revolution” are women.

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