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Education

Aunt Bev and Me: Jewish Women at a Women’s College

This Friday, as I host a social justice-themed Shabbat dinner, I’ll be thinking of Aunt Bev.

Post-It Note Privilege

Recognizing your own privilege for the first time is deeply disquieting. It can feel like you’re doing something wrong, or as if you can’t participate in social justice efforts because you benefit directly from the oppression of others. And those feelings may never fully go away, but that’s okay.

Voting: Still a Right, Right?

Typically, walking through the doors of my high school gym brings on a feeling of dread, accompanied by the smell of body odor and wet paint. When I walked into the gym this past November, however, the only thing I felt was excitement. On the day of the 2018 Midterm Elections, I had decided to spend my Tuesday afternoon and evening as an election official, helping voters register, cast ballots, and, most importantly, go home with an “I Voted!” sticker proudly affixed to their shirts.

My Power is My Privilege

Power and privilege have always played, and will continue to play, a very significant role in my life. As a biracial, Jewish woman, my life has always been complicated, and oftentimes, confusing. That being said, I acknowledge and know I have an incredible amount of privilege.

Open Conversations and Dairy Products

“Where are you thinking about going to college?” I’ve been asked this question by almost everyone I know. It feels like after your bat mitzvah, there’s a second rite of passage that no one tells you about: college decisions. Since the winter of Junior year, every conversation seems to take a turn towards schools. The question, “How are you?” has been replaced with, “How are the applications coming?”

Who Gets To Choose

In 2007, with long chestnut pigtails sprouting from the sides of my head, I attended my first day of kindergarten at a public school just outside of Boston. I was enrolled in what was called the Choice Program, an institution that four years later would implode with scandal.

Mind Your Own Business

My accelerated math class has nearly twice as many boys as girls. There are only five of us. I’m no stranger to a good mansplaining, or to feeling like an anomaly in a math bros club. While many interactions in Honors Precalc make me feel like a fish out of water, a comment like “mind your own business” really highlights just how different it is to be a girl in an advanced math class.

Gaping Ideologies at Whole Foods

I’ve spent my formative years in various liberal bubbles, shielded from the reality of a bigoted and unaccepting America. I’ve been fortunate enough to live in New York City, a progressive hub and notoriously accepting city, to spend five summers at Eisner Camp, a Reform Jewish camp where we often discuss gun violence prevention, and to attend the progressive Temple Shaaray Tefila my whole life.

Dyslexia, the World, and Me

When I was five years old, I was diagnosed with dyslexia. My parents were told that I’d need extensive therapy in order to read and write. At five, I never thought I would read. I threw books on the ground and refused to even try. I would yell, “I don’t need to read! I hate reading!” over and over again.

This is Not My Story

Besides its bike-friendly status, Madison also has a reputation for being incredibly liberal. You can’t go one block in Madison without spotting a Prius sporting a bumper sticker in support of a Democratic candidate. Often, Madison feels like an insulated left-leaning bubble within red Wisconsin.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Education." (Viewed on March 25, 2019) <https://jwa.org/topics/education>.

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