Feminism

Content type
Collection
Glasses Resting on Open Tanakh

The “Jewish Women Question”: Can Women Learn Gemara?

Rena Kosowsky

I’ve learned the value of endurance in activism through my experience with Talmud learning.

White chairs against a black wall

A Seat at My Orthodox Jewish School’s Ma’ariv Service

Lana Klein

There were no chairs in the women's section of my school's shul. 

Close up image of Shoshanah Curiel-Alessi's tie-dyed pink and purple tallit

How My Bat Mitzvah Tallit Helped Me Find My Voice

Shoshanah Curiel-Alessi

This prayer shawl was the antithesis of everything I’d told myself I was supposed to be; it challenged tradition, caught attention, and took up space.

2019-20 Rising Voices Fellow Hannah Landau's Zine Pages

How to Be Perfect: A Guide for Girls

Hannah Landau

Perfection is the goal and trying is the consequence.

Topics: Feminism, Crafts
Illustration of Raised Hands with #MeToo Written on the Palms

Why We Still Need to Be Talking about #MeToo in the Jewish Community

Dahlia Soussan

As too many Jewish women find their allegations unheard and unaddressed, I am responsible to amplify those female voices.

Illustration of Parts of the Body

Social Media “Influencers”: Start Influencing Girls to Love Ourselves

Neima Fax

Girls today are given an image of what an ideal body should look like on social media, and our introduction into womanhood and knowing our bodies is through the lens of fixing it.

Topics: Feminism, Media
Woman measuring her stomach

It's Ok to Gain Weight during the Pandemic

Larisa Klebe

A pandemic is no time for fat-shaming.

Joan Nestle

What Does Sex-Positive Feminism Look Like?

Belle Gage

Joan Nestle opened the door to important conversations about women and sexuality. Contemporary feminist activists must continue them.

Suffrage in the United States

At the turn of the twentieth century, Jewish women in the United States participated vigorously in virtually all the era’s mass social movements, including the suffrage movement. Although individual American Jewish women had supported suffrage since the movement’s beginning in the mid-1800s, its revitalization during the 1890s—just when the American Jewish population was growing tremendously due to mass migration from eastern Europe—brought ever-increasing numbers of Jewish women (and many men) of all class, ethnic, national, and religious backgrounds to the cause.

"The Feminine Mystique" Book Cover by Betty Friedan

Dear Betty Friedan

Lilah Peck

Every good dystopian novel is about a character who questions the system. In this way, Betty Friedan is like my favorite characters: Katniss, Tris, Jonas. 

Topics: Feminism
"Sleeping girl," painting by Sonia Delaunay, 1907

Blu Greenberg: Making a Home at the Intersection

Neima Fax

I learned from Blu Greenberg that to accept the discomfort of existing in the intersection between feminism and Judaism is an empowering thing to do.

Topics: Feminism, Jewish Law
Eli Wiesel Banner at the Jewish History Museum in Tucson

Jewish Diaspora in the Borderlands: An Interview with the Tucson Jewish History Museum

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

We talk to Josie Shapiro about the Tucson Jewish Museums's role in advocating for immigrant justice in Arizona and creating queer-affirming, feminist Jewish space.

#MeToo Scrabble blocks

The Work of a Movement: #MeToo and Vicarious Trauma

Emily-Rose Baker

#MeToo is not just an ephemeral social media phenomenon. It's a movement, and movements require work.

Sign with #MeToo written on it

Someone You May Know

Hannah Downing

I never, ever imagined that I would be sexually harassed. I thought that my environment was safe, and that I was doing everything I could to keep myself safe.

Topics: Feminism, Schools
Banner that reads, "men of quality respect women's equality

Why Feminism Needs Teenage Boys

Emma Nathanson

The boys in my class created a self-fulfilling prophecy. Their worry over claiming a title because of their lack of action made it impossible for them to take action in the first place.

Topics: Feminism, Schools
Rosie the Riveter

Finding My Femininity

Ilana Jacobs

I was weird for being strong. “Weird” because physical strength is not often an attribute associated with women.

Photograph from the Oslo women's march

A Jewish Day School Revolution: Combatting Injustice

Lily Drazin

With the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements on the rise, I knew I wanted to deal with the issue of sexual violence.

Pete Holmes doing stand-up

No, I Can’t Take This Joke

Emma Cohn

In between the mutters of “slut” thrown out like gut punches, the message was clear. They were making rape jokes.

Topics: Feminism, Schools
Women of the World club yearbook photo

“Less Feminist”

Madelyn Gelb

Women of the World was the club where I could talk about issues I really cared about, such as sexism and the wage gap.

Topics: Feminism, Schools

Vicki Gabriner, 1942 - 2018

Activist, agitator, proud Brooklynite, feminist, lesbian, socialist, wit, wife, cherished friend and relative. Vicki Levins Gabriner was articulate, principled, often ahead of her times.

Still Photo from "Working Woman" (2018)

Film Review: "Working Woman"

Karen Davis

Exclusively for JWA, film critic Karen Davis reviews Working Woman, a film about one woman’s #MeToo story in Israel.

Audre Lorde, Meridel Lesueur, and Adrienne Rich, 1980

Poetry as Protest: Adrienne Rich Fought for All Women

Abigail Glickman

Rich once said, “In a time of frontal assaults both on language and on human solidarity, poetry can remind us of all we are in danger of losing–disturb us, embolden us out of resignation.” In other words, poetry has the power to express the things that unite us all as humans and can inspire us to work together toward a common goal.

Fabric Collage

Vashti's Story: A Midrash

Rabbi Rachel Bearman
Rabbi Paul Kipnes

Rabbis Rachel Bearman and Paul Kipnes retell the story of Vashti in her own voice in this “Midrashic Monologue.”

Topics: Feminism, Purim
Phonetic Spelling of Privilege

Privilege and the Chosen People

Ava Berkwits

I feel as if I won the lottery by being born Jewish, as so many of my most cherished memories and values are inherently tied to this part of my identity. As proud as I am of my Jewish identity, I’ve always been troubled by one of the fundamental ideas in Judaism: that Jews are “the chosen people.”

"Jewish Feminisms/American Visions" Conference Poster

Seven Lessons from our Feminist Foremothers

Judith Rosenbaum

JWA’s Executive Director Judith Rosenbaum reflects on her experience at the “Jewish Feminisms/American Visions” conference at the University of Michigan.

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