Activism

Content type
Collection
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.

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….

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.

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.

Unit 3, Lesson 4 - Moving Inward: bringing liberation movements into the Jewish community

Act out, through tableaux vivants, the ways Jews took what they had learned from the Civil Rights Movement and other liberation movements and used these insights to change the Jewish community.

Jewish Women International: 7 Years Later

by Jewish Women International

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.

Unit 1, Lesson 4 - Power, Privilege, and Responsibility

Analyze how power and privilege shape our relationships and involvement in social justice and activism, using sources including clips from the film Driving Miss Daisy.

Unit 1, Lesson 3 - Jews and the Civil Rights Movement: the Whys and Why Nots

Assume the roles of Southern Jews participating in a Temple board meeting on whether or not to support Northern Jewish activists staging a protest in town.

Unit 1, Lesson 2 - How Does My Identity Inform My Actions?

Consider how Jewish experiences and values – in both conscious and unconscious ways – informed the actions of Jews in the Civil Rights Movement, and inform our own allegiances and behaviors.

Earth Day: Honoring Jewish women environmentalists!

by  Leah Berkenwald

In January, we asked you to help us recognize the many Jewish women working to increase environmental consciousness and protect our planet. We were delighted by the response, and have been working on adding these new and important stories to our collection. 

Topics: Activism

Abby Phon thinks primetime is ready to "go green"

by  Leah Berkenwald

We have seen our fair share of crime dramas, medical dramas and political dramas. Is it time for a new genre? Abby Phon, Executive Producer and star of Life Without Green, is on a mission to bring environmental issues to primetime. 

Topics: Activism, Television

We asked, you answered!

by  Leah Berkenwald

Last year in honor of Tu B'Shevat, we created a new page on jwa.org to feature Jewish women in environmental activism, and honored six women actively engaged in that work. After it “went live,” we were excited to find that several people submitted comments suggesting other Jewish women who deserved recognition. We heard those suggestions, and this year we brought the question to you—“who would you add to our list?” We asked, and you answered!  We have received the names of over 30 women in response to our call.

Topics: Activism

Submit your environmental activist before Tu B'Shevat!

by  Leah Berkenwald

Saturday is Tu B'Shevat, known as the "Jewish New Year for trees," the "Jewish Arbor Day," or the "Jewish birthday for trees." The holiday has an interesting history that, believe it or not, began with taxes.  Lenore Skenazy explains in The Forward:

Back about 2,000 years ago, Tu B’Shevat — literally the 15th day of the month of Shvat — was a tax deadline, of sorts. Any trees planted before Tu B’Shvat were considered to have been “born” the previous year. Those planted after Tu B’Shvat (or, perhaps those that started blooming after Tu B’Shvat) were part of the next year’s crop. As the amount of fruit you were required to tithe from each tree was determined by its age, this date was significant. And since the easiest way to remember a tree’s birthday was to plant it on that day, that’s what some folks did: planted.

Topics: Activism, Tu B'Shvat

Add an environmental activist to our list!

by  Leah Berkenwald

Beginning with the commandment for Adam and Eve to protect the Garden of Eden, Jewish tradition teaches that sustaining the health of the earth and all of its living things is a moral imperative.

Topics: Activism, Tu B'Shvat

Lynn Amowitz: physician for human rights

by  Leah Berkenwald

Lynn Amowitz was born and raised in North Carolina.  Her community had very few Jews –- so few that her parents founded a synagogue in order for her to have a Bat Mitzvah.  Amowitz suffered anti-semitic harassment from her peers, an experience which, she said, led to her work in human rights.

Topics: Activism, Medicine

Abby Shevitz -- a role model in the global fight against AIDS

by  Leah Berkenwald

December 1 is World AIDS Day, established in 1988 by the World Health Organization to raise awareness and focus attention on the global AIDS epidemic. World AIDS Day reminds us that for many across the globe, the spread of HIV/AIDS is a very real, very present, part of every day life, and millions are suffering.The global AIDS epidemic can be difficult for some Americans to accept or understand.

Topics: Activism, Medicine

Art, justice, and Adrienne Rich

by  Judith Rosenbaum

Here we are, poised on the edge of a "holiday weekend" in which we celebrate America's independence through those ever-meaningful traditions of barbeque, fireworks, and shopping sales.

Topics: Activism, Poetry

Podcast: Rita Arditti on Being Invisible in Argentina

by  Jordan Namerow

As April comes to a close and as we kick off Jewish American Heritage Month in May, we're featuring an oral history clip of Rita Arditti as our podcast of the month. With her lilting Spanish-accented English, Arditti's voice is striking, as her journey is unique - perhaps one that many of us don't immediately associate with Jewish American heritage.

Birth of poet Muriel Rukeyser

December 15, 1913

Muriel Rukeyser was a challenging poet whose work mixed together radical politics and a spiritual quest.

Subscribe to Activism

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

Can We Talk?

listen now

Get JWA in your inbox