Feminism

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Girl Speak Event

Pressing “Post” on Speaking Up

by Emma Cohn

Last winter, I created Girl Speak, an event-based organization built to foster education and action on issues affecting teenage girls as an answer to the calling I’d felt for years. When I first started labeling myself a feminist in middle school, I began searching for a way to become more engaged in social justice work and start making more of an impact on the world.

Topics: Feminism
Man and Woman Talking, Question Marks

Let’s Talk about the C-Word

by Hannah Downing

While I can understand why some feminists want to reclaim this word, I personally believe it’s one of the vilest things you can say to or about someone. It’s indicative of our society’s contempt and disgust for the female sex.

Topics: Feminism
"Judith Slaying Holofernes" by Artemisia Gentileschi, circa 1614-20 (cropped).

Loving Judith

by Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

Gentileschi’s rendition of Judith is a self-portrait—allowing her to wield a sword and take revenge, if only in fantasy. Judith Slaying Holofernes was the first piece of feminist art that really moved me. Even now, I get chills when I view it. I thought a lot about Judith this week, after dusting off my menorah and dutifully buying candles and gelt.

Ruth Zakarin and her mother crop

My Mom Used To Say...

by Ruth Zakarin

It was her go-to statement whenever she was cajoling me into doing something she considered a mitzvah, especially when I wasn’t exactly jumping at the opportunity. She would look at me with that, you know, mom look, and say, “Do good things and tell people you’re Jewish.”

The Personal is Political

Politically Personal: Personally Political

by Ava Berkwits

To me, being a feminist means working to achieve equity for all members of society, confronting personal bias, alleviating institutional sexism, and prompting others to do the same. There are so many ways feminism manifests itself in my life, but until freshman English class, I didn’t even think to consider one of the most significant ways that I’m involved in political feminism.

Topics: Feminism, Schools

#MeToo and Women's Activist History

JWA and Facing History and Ourselves partner to present this program about the #MeToo movement within the larger context of women's activist history.

Episode 24: Archiving #MeToo (Transcript)

Episode 24: Archiving #MeToo (Transcript)

Judith and daughter at the 2017 Women’s March in Cambridge

Ten Thoughts About Antisemitism and the Women’s March

by  Judith Rosenbaum

Judith Rosenbaum, Executive Director of JWA, shares her thoughts on the Women's March leaders and their associations with Louis Farrakhan. She writes, "I don’t have any easy or solid answers, but here are 10 brief thoughts to add to the conversation."

Zioness Movement

Don’t Fence Me In

by Amy Jarkow

I feel proud of my Jewish and feminist beliefs as separate and intersecting parts of my identity and yet, especially after what happened at the march, I shy away from labeling myself a “Zionist.” Maybe it’s because I’m really not a Zionist, or maybe it’s because I’m afraid of the consequences that come with such a label.

Topics: Feminism, Israel
Mirabel Sandler at her Bat Mitzvah

My Big Fat Feminist Bat Mitzvah

by Mirabel Sandler

The very idea that I would have to proudly chant and accept this story, this version of Judaism that so obviously conflicted with my feminist sensibility, forced me to question my Jewish identity in a very real way, and for the first time.

Naomi Bethune Wearing Grandmother's Ring

La Rosa

by Naomi Bethune

When I think of something that represents my Jewish and female identity, I often go to a ring that my grandmother, who I call my abuela, gifted me. It had belonged to her before, and I had always admired it whenever she wore it.

Topics: Feminism, Family
Phoebe Chapnick-Sorokin and Family at Disneyland

Leaving My Liberal Bubble

by Phoebe Chapnick-Sorokin

Because of my upbringing, the gender separation at my cousin Zoe’s bat mitzvah came to me as a shock. Why couldn’t I stand with my dad and all my male cousins? Why wasn’t Zoe reading Torah like all the other girls I knew did at their bat mitzvah services?

Western Wall

Looking at the Kotel Through a Feminist Lens

by Madelyn Gelb

I remember being four years old and writing notes to God to put into the fake Kotel we had constructed at my preschool. It was about three feet tall and made out of colorful building blocks, but to me, that was as good as it got.

Hanna Weinberg

Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Shalom Bayit

by Steph Black

For too long some Jews have held onto the belief that abuse “just doesn’t happen” in the Jewish community. We, as Jews, are “better than that.” Nice Jewish boys don’t abuse anyone. But unfortunately, many of us know that this simply isn’t the case.

Nina Baran's Tanakh

Interpreting the Torah Through a Feminist Lens

by Nina Baran

I got my own Tanakh and started doing some research. I looked up different passages, including some that I’d heard that seemed to go against my beliefs as a feminist and activist.

Lily Drazin at her Bat Mitzvah

Orthodoxy, Feminism, and Me

by Lily Drazin

My family, being more progressive than most in our community, are strong believers in women reading from the Torah. My older sister, Jennie, read Torah at Robinson’s Arch, the egalitarian section of the Western Wall, for her Bat Mitzvah, so it was a given that I would do the same.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

She Said "Hello"

by Rabbi Leah Berkowitz

Rabbi Leah Berkowitz reflects on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and explores the pressure placed on women to be "nice," even at the expense of their own wellbeing and safety.

Women's Liberation Movement Protest 1970

New Year, New Blog Editor!

by Rebecca Long

Why is it important to amplify the voices of Jewish women? Because in a society that has historically refused women the right to speak and deemed our stories unimportant, it is a radical act to communicate our experiences.

Fruit Geode Book Cover

Alicia Jo Rabins On Her New Poetry Collection, "Fruit Geode"

by Alicia Jo Rabins

Alicia Jo Rabins’s second poetry collection, Fruit Geode, is a searingly personal account of making the transition to motherhood as a Jewish woman in the early years of the millenium. Exclusively for JWA, Rabins reflects on her inspiration and creative process for two selected poems.

Jewish Radical Feminism, by Joyce Antler

An Interview With Joyce Antler About "Jewish Radical Feminism"

by  Joyce Antler

JWA sat down with Joyce Antler, renowned social and cultural historian, to discuss her most recent book, Jewish Radical Feminism: Voices from the Women's Liberation Movement.

Flyer for Betty Friedan's 1963 Presentation in Detroit

From the Archives: To Volunteer or Not to Volunteer? The Betty Friedan Conundrum

by Robbie Terman

Betty Friedan helped pave the way for women in the workforce, and the world is better for it. But, contrary to her early advice, we should not forget the contributions of volunteers to our society.

Cover of Iliza Schlesinger's Elder Millennial

Respect Your Elder (Millennial)

by Larisa Klebe

Having watched all of Iliza’s specials, read her book, and watched much of her talk show, there are any number of aspects of her comedy I could talk about. I’d like to focus on what I see as her evolution as a feminist, paired with the rising trend of comedy specials that challenge our perceptions of what comedy can be.

Cropped Image of RBG portrait

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Michigan, and Me

by Bella Book

When I think of William W. Cook’s virulent desire to refuse admission to all Jews at the University of Michigan ... I am comforted and emboldened by the thought of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. William W. Cook would not have liked the notorious RBG.

Cropped Image of Emily Raskin and her 5 year old daughter Hannah Roan Raskin

Your Jewish Feminist Protest Toolkit

by Steph Black

We Jewish women are no strangers to protest or dissent. We’re loud. We’re opinionated. And we mobilize. Did you forget sunscreen at your last rally? Failed to create a quippy poster that captured your rage when you marched for gun rights? If you find yourself anxious to make change but unsure about what to bring, we've got you covered.

Composite Image of Amanda Knox and the Scarlet Letter Cover from 1934

The Scarlet Letter Reports

by Rebecca Long

In the 2018 Facebook series, The Scarlet Letter Reports, host Amanda Knox explores this idea: that the world wields a woman’s sexuality against her like a weapon. In each episode of the Broadly-produced show, she interviews a famous woman who has been attacked or disbelieved because of her sexuality or sexual history.

Topics: Feminism, Television
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