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Feminism

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Headshot of Emma Mair with shoulder-length light brown hair and tortoiseshell glasses, posing in front of trees

Where Are They Now? RVF Alum Emma Mair

Sarah Biskowitz

JWA talks to Rising Voices Fellowship alum Emma Mair for our series marking the 10th anniversary of the fellowship.

Collage of Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift's Feminism is Death by a Thousand Cuts

Sara Weinstein

Despite my love for Swift, her music, and the community she provides, we as Swifties must recognize that her activism, and specifically her feminism, deserve our critique.

Topics: Music, Feminism
Bettina Aptheker, April 1967

Bettina Aptheker Saved My Life

Ariadne Wolf

Seeing a Jewish woman defy efforts to silence her was life-giving.

Bettina Aptheker

Bettina Aptheker is an American feminist, writer, educator, and political activist. She advocated for racial justice, studied and taught African American women’s history, and founded the Feminist Studies department at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Young woman with dark hair and black sweather standing in front of a pillar

Where Are They Now? RVF Alum Isabel Kirsch

Sarah Biskowitz

JWA talks to Rising Voices Fellowship alum Isabel Kirsch for our series marking the 10th anniversary of the fellowship.

Portrait of Lauren Tuchman smiling in front of a stained glass window wearing a maroon top and gold necklace

7 Questions For Rabbi Lauren Tuchman

Sarah Groustra

JWA chats with rabbi and disability justice advocate Lauren Tuchman.

Collage of Jewish Women Who Died in 2023

Jewish Women Whose Memories I’m Carrying into 2024

Judith Rosenbaum

The year 2023 brought the deaths of several powerful and influential Jewish women, whose insights and voices changed the world and are all the more painful to lose in this difficult time. 

Joan Nestle

Joan Nestle is an activist, writer, and educator known for her work on lesbian identity, sexuality, culture, and history, among other topics. Nestle also co-founded the New York-based Lesbian Herstory Archives, the largest lesbian-focused archive in the world, in 1975. Her essays and stories, which she began writing in the late 1970s, have been published in three anthologies.

Young woman sitting surrounded by signs: "Protect kids, not guns!" and "Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. How about you fucking do something?"

Where Are They Now? RVF Alum Ilana Goldberg

Sarah Biskowitz

JWA chats with Ilana Goldberg for our series of interviews with Rising Voices Fellowship alums to mark the 10th anniversary of the fellowship. 

Drawing of male and female holding basket and looking at each other

Maraviglia's Fifteenth-Century Prayer Book

Evelyn Cohen

The British Library shares a fifteenth-century prayer book commissioned by a father to his daughter, Maraviglia, a testament to women’s participation in fifteenth-century Italian Jewish ritual life.

Gilda Bruckman

Project
Ga’avah: LGBTQ+ Jews

Nicole Zador interviewed Gilda Bruckman on November 10, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts as part of the Ga'avah LGBTQ+ Jews project. In this interview, Gilda discusses her upbringing, connection to the Jewish community, coming out experience, co-founding of the book store New Words and its evolution into a non-profit, as well as her extensive involvement in various volunteer programs and organizations, highlighting how her research into her family history as well as her relationship with her partner, Judy Wachs, strengthened her bond with Judaism.

Young woman with brown curly hair and glasses wearing dark gray shirt and posing in front of trees

Where Are They Now? RVF Alum Hannah Elbaum

Sarah Biskowitz

The first in our series of interviews with RVF alums to mark the 10th anniversary of the fellowship. 

Collage of open book on top of red and pink patterned and torn papers

How I Became An Intersectional Feminist

Lucy Targum

Reading A Brief History of Feminism with my camp friends acted almost as a shared secret or understanding between us. All of us were realizing together that this was a movement we cared deeply about.

Shayna Rhodes

Project
Boston Women Rabbis

Ronda Spinak interviewed Shayna Rhodes on March 17, 2014, in Newton, Massachusetts, as part of the Boston Women Rabbis Project. Shayna reflects on her Orthodox upbringing, her frustration with limited questioning in her early education, her feminist awakening during her time at Barnard College, and her journey towards becoming a rabbi, emphasizing the support of her family, her evolving religious practices, and her mission to empower women's voices in Talmud scholarship.

Elyse Winick

Project
Boston Women Rabbis

Lynne Himelstein interviewed Rabbi Elyse Winick on March 23, 2014, Newton, Massachusetts, as part of the Boston Women Rabbis Oral History Project. Elyse's journey from her early Jewish upbringing, college experiences, and mentorship led her to become a rabbi, where she now serves as the Jewish chaplain at Brandeis University and reflects on the role of women rabbis in the present and past, while also discussing her personal connection to Judaism.

Carol Anshien

Project
Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America

Jayne Guberman interviewed Carol Anshien on October 30, 2005, in New York, New York, as part of the Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America Oral History Project. Carol Anshien, a Bronx native, reflects on her family's World War II service, her fond memories of the Jacob H. Schiff Center Synagogue, her pioneering experience as the first female bat mitzvahed in the 1950s, and her later involvement in feminist activism with the New Jewish Agenda Feminist Task Force while navigating her religious practice with secular life.

Diane Balser

Project
Women Who Dared

Julie Johnson interviewed Diane Balser on March 8, 2005, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Balser discusses her journey into activism, including her early involvement in peace activism and the women’s movement, and her efforts to raise awareness on global gender inequality issues and facilitating discussions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Nairobi.

Episode 97: Golda Reconsidered

Golda Meir is known as Israel's "Iron Lady": gruff, chain-smoking, and fiercely ambitious. In the eyes of many, she was also responsible for the Yom Kippur War, which cost thousands of lives. But Golda's story is far more complex.

In this episode of Can We Talk?, as we approach 50 years since the Yom Kippur War, we go beyond the caricatures and talk about aspects of Golda's career that are often overlooked: the ways she helped build the fledgling state of Israel, her relationship with Israel’s Mizrahim, and her complicated attitude toward feminism. We speak with Guy Nattiv, director of the new film Golda, starring Helen Mirren, and with author Francine Klagsbrun, whose biography of Golda, Lioness, came out in 2017. 

Michele Lenke

Project
Boston Women Rabbis

Ronda Spinak interviewed Rabbi Michele Lenke on April 1, 2014 in Massachusetts, as part of the Boston Women Rabbis Oral History Project. Rabbi Lenke reflects on her journey from her Jewish upbringing and transformative experiences to overcoming obstacles as a female rabbi and finding fulfillment in her work, particularly in helping young Jews with B'nai Mitzvot and officiating same-sex weddings.

Installation of crocheted white bra and underwear with a prayer book, on a dark background

7 Questions For Artist Gavi Weitzman

Sarah Biskowitz

JWA talks to Gavi Weitzman, a multimedia artist based in Philadelphia whose work explores Judaism, the body, and identity.

Collage of torn magazine photographs and flowers

To My Fellow RVF Fellows

Aviva Schilowitz

On the surface, our Rising Voices Fellowship has been about Jewish feminism, thought, and writing. But, to me, it was also about the power of words.

Topics: Writing, Feminism
Line drawings of Jewish symbols on background of stylized women's faces

The Beauty of Female Friendships

Leila Nuri

There's always that reassuring idea that in a time of need, another woman will be there to support you.

Topics: Feminism

Episode 96: Can We Talk? 2022-23 Season Wrap

That's a wrap! In this episode of Can We Talk?, Nahanni Rous, Jen Richler, and Judith Rosenbaum recap the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 seasons—from a celebration at a queer Jewish chicken farm to the fight for Israel's "chained women" to reproductive rights after Roe, and much more. 

Episode 95: Word of the Week: Shiksa

From Portnoy’s Complaint to Seinfeld, the word “shiksa” is firmly embedded in popular culture. Where does the word come from, and how has its meaning changed over time? In this episode, we’re bringing back our “Word of the Week,” feature, where we dig into one word and explore how it relates to Jewish women. Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath, Keren McGinity, and Kylie Ora Lobell give us their takes.

Collage of three women with their arms around each other on blue and white background

A Conversation on the Future of Jewish Feminism

Miriam Niestat

I realized that in our seventeen years of knowing each other, I could count on one hand the number of times the three of us had talked about our places as women in Judaism.

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