Feminism

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Episode 65: Regendering the Torah (Transcript)

Episode 65: Regendering the Torah (Transcript)

Gail Twersky Reimer

Gail Twersky Reimer is a teacher, writer, editor, passionate advocate for the humanities, and visionary pioneer of Jewish feminism. Reimer founded the Jewish Women’s Archive in 1995 to ensure that Jewish women’s stories would become integral parts of the historical record. Under her leadership, JWA pioneered the use of virtual technology in collecting, chronicling, and transmitting knowledge of Jewish women’s lives.

Episode 65: Regendering the Torah

Yael Kanarek wanted a more direct relationship with the Divine than she experienced through male-centric Jewish sacred texts-- so she rewrote the Torah.  In Toratah, or Her Torah, Yael has switched the genders of each character.  The result is a familiar text that resonates very differently, with a new set of matriarchs and patriarchs, and stories that draw new connections and pose new questions.

Photo of Books Arranged in an S-Shaped Pattern Across a Blue Background

Confronting Harmful Themes in Young Adult Fiction

Lily Pazner

The themes in the YA fiction I read in middle school fueled my internalized misogyny.

Topics: Feminism, Fiction

Jewish Women in Screendance

Jewish women made overwhelming contributions to the creation of the field of Screendance.  Maya Deren, Amy Greenfield, Anna Halprin, Yvonne Rainer, Meredith Monk, and others have created a legacy of socially conscious dance for the screen that collectively exhibits and performs principles of Jewish ritual and practice. Many of these artists share a focus on social justice and a collective approach to what might be called a feminist Jewish art form.

Rita Arditti

Rita Arditti was an Argentinian Sephardic scientist, feminist, educator, and activist who spent most of her adult life working for social justice and human rights while living in the United States. She co-founded Science for the People, New Words Bookstore, and the Women’s Community Cancer Project. She co-edited anthologies on science and politics and reproductive technologies and wrote a book about the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo in Argentina.

Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz

Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz (1945-2018) was a lesbian-feminist writer and editor. She made multiple theoretical contributions to understanding Judaism, lesbianism, and feminism as intersectional identities, extended an awareness of class and economic justice through a Jewish lens, and made visible racial differences within Jewish communities. She advocated Radical Diasporism as a progressive alternative to Zionism.

Judith Herman

Dr. Judith Herman was a pioneer in identifying the frequency with which sexual abuse of female children occurs within the family, in the treatment of victims of abuse, and in psychotherapeutic confrontations of abusers.

Susan Brownmiller

Susan Brownmiller is a radical feminist writer and journalist. She was a leader in the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s to 1980s (second-wave feminism). Brownmiller is bes-known for Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape (1975), the first comprehensive study of sexual violence.

Alix Kates Shulman

Alix Kates Shulman is a radical feminist writer and activist and a leader in the second-wave feminist movement of the 1960s through 1980s.  She is best known as the author of “The Marriage Agreement” (1970) and the best-selling Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen (1972), which was heralded as the “first important novel of the Women’s Liberation movement.” She was honored with a Clara Lemlich Award for a lifetime of social activism in 2018.

Esther Luria

Esther Luria was a freelance journalist whose work appeared in many politically left-of-center Yiddish publications in the early twentieth-century United States. A socialist, a feminist, and a political activist, she was also an educator. She used her columns not only to advocate for the ideas in which she believed, but also to provide her mainly east European immigrant readers with a better understanding of their new environment.

Rivka Carmi

Rivka Carmi is a medical geneticist, neonatologist, pediatrician, the first woman to be appointed president of an Israeli university (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev), and a feminist trailblazer who broke the glass ceiling for women in academia.

Irena Klepfisz

Irena Klepfisz is a poet whose legacy is key to the history of Jewish, American and lesbian literature. Klepfisz is also a pioneer of the recovery of Jewish and Yiddish women’s writing, to which she has dedicated translations, research, teaching, and activism.

Diesel La Torraca as Austin, Brianne Howey as Georgia, and Antonia Gentry as Ginny in Ginny & Georgia

"Ginny and Georgia": A Jewish Feminist Take

Rose Clubok

Ginny and Georgia raised significant questions for me as a Jewish feminist. Given its recent renewal for a second season, I think these questions are worth engaging.

Pearl Hart

Pearl M. Hart was a pioneering attorney, activist, and educator. She devoted her life to defending the legal rights of the vulnerable and oppressed, especially women, children, immigrants, and gay men and lesbians. Her work in Chicago was instrumental in the development of the LGBTQ community there in the middle of the twentieth century.

Episode 58: Playing Fair with Eve Rodsky

Who does the laundry? Who takes the call from school when kids are sick? These are some of the questions author Eve Rodsky asks in her book and accompanying card game Fair Play. The pandemic has laid bare the unfair burden placed on women in the home—but could this be a moment to "re-deal the deck" as we rebuild our society? In this episode of Can We Talk?, Judith Rosenbaum talks to Eve about the dynamics around caregiving and domestic labor, how to make sure responsibility for household tasks is shared fairly, and how to value women's and men's time equally.

Erica Jong

Erica Jong is an American writer most famous for her bestselling novel Fear of Flying (1973). Sometimes controversial in her role as a media celebrity, Jong has published novels, poetry collections, memoirs, works of literary criticism, and literary anthologies, most often focusing on the explicit expression of women’s sexuality and neglected or untold stories of contemporary and historical women.

Diane Noomin

Diane Noomin was an acclaimed cartoonist and editor and the creator of her alter ego, DiDi Glitz. Noomin was a central figure in women’s comics beginning with the early feminist publications of the 1970s. In 2011 she published an anthology of her work, Glitz-2-Go: Diane Noomin Collected Comics.

Anita Diamant

Anita Diamant is a novelist, feminist, and liberal Jew who has written five novels, the best known of which is The Red Tent (1997), made into an American television miniseries (2014). She is the author of many books Jewish self-help books, the best known of which is The New Jewish Wedding. She is the founding president of Mayyim Hayyim, the Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center.

Berta Gerchunoff

Berta Wainstein de Gerchunoff was an Argentine socialist, feminist, and later Zionist leader. As President of the Argentine branch of WIZO, she led an exponential growth of women’s Zionist commitments all over Latin America.

Background of Figures in Profile; Figure with Megaphone in Forefront

Lessons From Andrea Dworkin: On Creating the Feminist Movement We Need

Lily Pazner

Dworkin didn’t try to make feminism trendy or more appealing; instead, her contributions were biting, radical, and definitely controversial.

Illustration of plus-size women doing various exercises.

A Prayer for Reentering the World in a Bigger Body

Larisa Klebe

A blessing for everyone reentering the world in a larger body.

Topics: Feminism

Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance

JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, was the first Orthodox feminist organization in the United States. Since 1997, it has striven to expand Jewish women's religious and spiritual roles within the parameters of halakhah and to address specific halakhic issues related to women in marriage and divorce. JOFA provides practical suggestions for increasing women's participation in religious rituals and halakhic-theoretical views on modern Jewish observance.

Judith Hauptman

The first woman to receive a PhD in Talmud, Judith Hauptman has made significant contributions to the academic study of the origins and development of the works of the “canon” of rabbinic literature of Late Antiquity. A second prominent focus of both Hauptman’s scholarly and other work has been Jewish feminism and the status of women in rabbinic and related literature, particularly exemplified in her best-known work, Rereading the Rabbis: A Woman’s Voice.

Joy Ladin

Joy Ladin is the Gottesman Professor of English at Stern College, a prolific poet, and a central figure in transgender theology. Her numerous written works reframe classical Jewish theological questions from a transfeminist perspective.  

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