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Activism

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.

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!

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. 

Abby Phon thinks primetime is ready to "go green"

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. 

We asked, you answered!

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.

Submit your environmental activist before Tu B'Shevat!

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.

Add an environmental activist to our list!

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.

Lynn Amowitz: physician for human rights

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.

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

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.

Art, justice, and Adrienne Rich

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.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Activism." (Viewed on January 21, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/activism>.

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