Activism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chanel Dubofsky

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

Gloria Steinem, 1972

Gloria Steinem: An unheralded GLBT advocate

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

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

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.

Shoshannah Stern Takes a Silent Stand Against Sexual Violence

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

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

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

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

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.

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