Feminism

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Collection

Queen Esther and Bella Abzug: Costumes, Leadership, and Identity

Discover how two remarkable Jewish women: The biblical figure, Esther, and the historical figure, Bella Abzug, both fought for justice and liberation by adopting personas that helped them achieve their goals.

Taking Risks, Making Change: Bat Mitzvah and Other Evolving Traditions

The letters from one girl's campaign to have the first Saturday morning Bat Mitzvah in her congregation in 1974 serve as a case study for exploring how we confront controversial issues and make change in our communities.

Tefillin Barbie: Considering Gender and Ritual Garb

Using the provocative image of "Tefillin Barbie"—created in 2006 by soferet (ritual scribe) Jen Taylor Friedman—examine the relationship between gender, body image, and ritual garb.

The American Jewess on Liberation and Freedom

Investigate what it means for American Jews to celebrate Passover and the Fourth of July in the context of religious and national freedom, by reading an editorial from the April 1897 issue of The American Jewess.

Wrestling with God and Jewish Tradition

Learn about Jewish immigration and the development of the Jewish community in America through a 1790s letter, originally written in Yiddish by Rebecca Samuel to her parents in Hamburg, Germany, describing her life in Petersburg, Virginia.

Marj Jackson Levin

Journalist Marjorie “Marj” Jackson Levin was an important voice for feminism in Detroit, raising awareness of domestic abuse and other women’s issues.
Group Shot, 2016 Ghostbusters

Who Ya Gonna Call? Feminism and Race in This Summer's Ghostbusters Reboot

by Bella Book

This summer, paranormal activity gets a new set of adversaries as four awkward and highly intelligent women come together to prove not only that ghosts are real, but that women are capable of rebooting a previously all-male franchise.

Topics: Feminism, Film
Stack of Magazines

Celebrity Status

by Hani Fish-Bieler

I don’t think I fully understood the importance of my mother's words at the time. But looking back, this lesson, and being raised in a household that constantly preached passion and hard work over vanity, are some of the things that have shaped me most into who I am today.

Topics: Feminism, Motherhood
High School Graduation Photo of Rising Voices Fellow Ariela Basson

The Beauty of Insignificance

by Ariela Basson

I wouldn’t really say I write for change. In theory, yes, that’s a wonderful idea: the idea that everything can be changed through the power of the pen (or should I say keyboard), but I honestly don’t believe that’s true in my case.

Topics: Feminism, Writing
Maya Franks Photo Collage

I Am My Own Person and Proud

by Maya Franks

Each day when you wake up in the morning, you have a choice. You can be positive, or you can be negative. Sometimes people blame what choice they make in the morning on what is going on in their lives, be it trivial or life threatening issues. I am one of those people.

Topics: Feminism
Delaney Hoffman with a Camp Friend

On Feminism’s Place in a Conventional Summer Space

by Delaney Hoffman

My summer camp has rats in the walls and rotting wooden decks and haunted basements. My summer camp is hot and cold, made up of love and hate and freedom and restriction and myth and reality. My summer camp is more corrupt than the Brazilian government but still comforting enough to call it a religion. My summer camp is where I grew up two weeks at a time. 

Heather Booth / Alicia Garza

Organizers

Organizing for Equality

Feminist Relics in Rising Voices Fellow Sarah Groustra's Room

Cool Girls Club

by Sarah Groustra

When I was nine, I idolized Hermione Granger. I had just finished the Harry Potter series, and I was convinced that she was everything I aspired to be--bookish and intelligent, a powerful witch who stood up for what she believed in, but who could also snag the world’s best Quidditch player as a prom date. 

Empty Journal

A Journalistic Odyssey: Or, Why I write obsessively

by Caroline Kubzansky

I’ve kept a journal since I was ten years old-- just over a third of my life. After seven years of writing, I’ve filled eighteen notebooks, all of which I’ve kept in a box under my bed. I can get lost for hours in these old volumes; I’ve been known to lose full weekend evenings to re-reading my thoughts from sixth grade. 

2015-2016 Rising Voices Fellowship Cohort Selfie

Finding A Community

by Rana Bickel

Such is the life of a Rising Voices Fellow.  Late nights full of soul searching and edited drafts covered in red. Going to sleep feeling like your latest piece is worse than your third grade diary, and waking up realizing it’s halfway decent. But it’s not just about the writing. 

Topics: Feminism, Writing
Rising Voices Fellow Sarah Groustra

This is Purely Theoretical

by Sarah Groustra

You are female.

You wake up in the morning and get ready to go to school. Picking out clothes can sometimes be a little emotional for you. Like 91 percent of other girls, you are unhappy with the way you look. Doing your makeup isn’t easy either. The day that you ran out of time to put any on, someone called your skin gross. A few days later, your friend tells you you’d be prettier if you just didn’t wear so much makeup. 

Man and Woman in Profile

Are they picking on you?

by Hani Fish-Bieler

I appreciate an outstretched hand in a moment of need. Kindness is a necessary building block for a just world. I do not, however, appreciate my voice being minimized because of my gender. I do not appreciate condescension in a moment when I am working to prove myself. 

Topics: Feminism, Schools
Yael Marans

Decompartmentalizing Jewish and Feminist Identity

by Noam Green

In continuing with the Jewish Women’s Archive’s goal of elevating the voices and sharing the stories of Jewish women, I decided to interview and profile Yael Marans, a childhood friend and overall mensch. 

#Meninist

What drives teenage boys away from feminism?

by Elisabeth Eigerman

I for one do not believe that teenage boys just wake up in the morning and say to themselves: “I hate women, and they don’t deserve rights.” No, the descent into alienation from feminism is a much longer slow moving process, and those who fall down this path are frequently driven away for understandable reasons. 

Topics: Feminism
Visualization of Gender Equality

Empowerment 101

by Eliana Gayle-Schneider

Throughout my life the word “feminist” has come to take on many meanings. It’s a word I’ve both heard and used infinite times growing up in the heart of one of New York City’s most politically liberal neighborhoods. Now, the very word “feminism” is one that brings gratification. However, by the time I reached the ever-menacing years of high school, I knew that the sense of affinity that came with the word “feminist” was not shared by the general whole of the New York high school students. 

Rising Voices Fellow Delaney Hoffman's Middle School Student, Natalie

Why we need to love middle school girls. Hear me out.

by Delaney Hoffman

I have lots of stories about preteen girls. Like, lots. I’ve done my rounds as a camp counselor, older sister, babysitter, and (recently) elementary Jewish educator. I have stories about misusing urine, ginger chews, trombones, boys, and matchmaking. I feel #blessed to have been able to witness pivotal experiences in the lives of preteen girls, because preteen girls are incredible. 

Rising Voices Fellow Rana Bickel Gardening with her Mom

My Mama Loves Every(body)

by Rana Bickel

I was never allowed to have a Barbie doll. My mom decreed it a rule in the Bickel household. I asked her why one time when I was six or seven, and she told me that she didn’t want us having dolls that portrayed unrealistic body standards. She didn’t want me and my two sisters growing up thinking that we were supposed to look like Barbies when we grew up

Sally J. Priesand

Throughout her career, Sally J. Priesand has grappled with her role as the first woman rabbi ordained in America.

Rising Voices Fellow Caroline Kubzansky Behind Spools of Thread and Other Materials

Coloring in Between the Lines

by Caroline Kubzansky

When I was in 6th grade, I hit a boy in my class over the head with my lunchbox because he called my best friend gay and said that my jacket made me look gay too. I knew that he wasn’t using “gay” as a nice thing, and I was infuriated on my friend’s behalf. 

Jill Hammer

As co-founder of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, Jill Hammer blends ancient and modern spiritual practices to offer women alternative ways of connecting with Jewish tradition.

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