Feminism

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You Are Worthy

How to Practice Radical Self-Love

Rachael Dubinsky

Post Valentine’s Day, peep these tips for how to practice radical self-love.

Topics: Feminism
Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, 1983

Rosalie Silberman Abella: The Canadian RBG

Nina Baran

In my opinion, Abella has demonstrated intersectional feminism through her work as a legal advocate and supporter of civil rights for marginalized communities. Before her appointment to the bench, Abella was considered one of Canada's foremost human rights lawyers.

Bernice “Bunny” Sandler, 1928 - 2018

Bunny’s passion for changing the field of education’s treatment of women was spurred by her own experience in academia. In 1969, after earning a doctorate at the University of Maryland, she hoped to secure one of seven open teaching positions in her department at that university. When she learned that she had not been considered for any of them, she asked a male colleague why. His reply was, “Let’s face it. You come on too strong for a woman.” For Bunny, those were fighting words, and battling discrimination in educational institutions became her lifelong passion.

Ilana and Abbi in Broad City Episode, "Witches"

Why I Rewatched Broad City's “Witches” For My Birthday

Rena Lubin

For my 22nd birthday in December, I decided to rewatch Season 4 Episode 6 of Broad City—“Witches”and let it all sink in as another year goes by, another birthday passes, and I apparently keep growing older.

Topics: Feminism, Television

Episode 27: The Power of Women’s Anger

On this episode of Can We Talk?, Judith Rosenbaum talks to Rebecca Traister, author of Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger, one of JWA’s Book List picks this year. We explore the topic of women’s anger: how it is perceived, how it has historically been put to use, and how in 2018 midterm elections, women harnessed it to win a record-breaking number of seats in Congress. From Abigail Adams, to labor organizer Rose Schneiderman, to Congresswoman Bella Abzug, women have wielded their anger to create political change.

Mind The Gap

Mind The Gap

Ava Berkwits

I know that with every conversation I have with my friends, I will walk away with a stronger, more nuanced point of view, and hopefully they will too. When engaging in respectful discourse, my ideas become bigger, and my ignorance fades.

Lila Zinner in Fifth and Eleventh Grade

Reclaiming “Bossy”: How Sexism Shaped Who I Am

Lila Zinner

As a child, I was loud and outspoken. I prided myself on my intelligence and eagerness to learn; I truly had killer confidence. I told people I was going to be “the dictator of the world” when I grew up. But as time went on, it became increasingly apparent that the education system didn’t have room for a personality like mine. Well, at least when that personality belonged to a girl.

Pauline Steinem Letter 1 (1910)

I Learned it in the Archives: Women’s Rights Activism Runs in Steinem Family

Lisa Rickey

The letterhead listed the names of all the officers, and one name in particular caught my attention. The woman’s name was Pauline Steinem.

Girl Speak Event

Pressing “Post” on Speaking Up

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

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

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...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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"

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.

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