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Education

Empowerment 101

Throughout my life the word “feminist” has come to take on many meanings. It’s a word I’ve both heard and used infinite times growing up in the heart of one of New York City’s most politically liberal neighborhoods. Now, the very word “feminism” is one that brings gratification. However, by the time I reached the ever-menacing years of high school, I knew that the sense of affinity that came with the word “feminist” was not shared by the general whole of the New York high school students. 

Why we need to love middle school girls. Hear me out.

I have lots of stories about preteen girls. Like, lots. I’ve done my rounds as a camp counselor, older sister, babysitter, and (recently) elementary Jewish educator. I have stories about misusing urine, ginger chews, trombones, boys, and matchmaking. I feel #blessed to have been able to witness pivotal experiences in the lives of preteen girls, because preteen girls are incredible. 

Coloring in Between the Lines

When I was in 6th grade, I hit a boy in my class over the head with my lunchbox because he called my best friend gay and said that my jacket made me look gay too. I knew that he wasn’t using “gay” as a nice thing, and I was infuriated on my friend’s behalf. 

Sara Hurwitz

Sara Hurwitz, the first Modern Orthodox woman rabbi ordained in the United States, has worked to help her community grapple with reconciling women’s participation and a strict interpretation of Jewish law.

Laura Geller

One of the first women rabbis, Laura Geller has helped create new possibilities for Jewish women, from rituals to leadership roles.

Sue Levi Elwell

A pioneer of inclusive Judaism as one of the first openly gay women rabbis, Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell helped empower countless Jewish women to take ownership of Jewish tradition.

Gesa Ederberg

Gesa Ederberg’s status as the first woman rabbi to serve in Berlin since the Holocaust has helped her reinvigorate the German community that once represented the cutting edge of liberal Judaism.

Dianne Cohler-Esses

As the first woman rabbi from the Syrian community, Dianne Cohler-Esses has used teaching to open up new possibilities for others.

Shaking it up

Shaking it up. I’ve never been a typical “shaking it up” type of person, per se. I’ve always been a more “nervously try to go with the flow and hope it ends well” type of gal. However, when I got that question, “How have you shaken things up in your community?”, not one experience came to mind. 

People of Valor

It's Friday night. I'm sitting in a big tent, surrounded by some of the greatest friends I've ever made. The smell of chicken soup wafts under our noses. A man walks to the front of the room, and we smile and link pinkies with the people next to us. This is it. The moment we’ve been waiting for all week. I take a deep breath and close my eyes as he begins in Hebrew...

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Education." (Viewed on December 14, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/education>.

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