Feminism

Content type
Collection
Egyptians Admire Sarai's Beauty

Sarai and the Silence Breakers

Natalie Harder

Once a month, I meet with about ten other Jewish girls as part of the Rosh Chodesh program. We drink tea, bake cookies, do mindful meditations, and kvetch. Most importantly though, we talk about the impact our female identities have on our daily lives and within Judaism. Earlier this month, over a batch of half-baked brownies, we discussed a Torah portion that rattled the foundation of my identity as a Jewish woman.

Topics: Feminism, Bible
Unscrewed Close-up title image

Unscrewing Ourselves

Bella Book

Friedman’s book dives into the national narrative of female sexual submissiveness that’s perpetuated by our patriarchal culture. This narrative comes in the form of abstinence-only sex education, widespread toxic masculinity, and a collective reluctance to support women’s sexuality on a social and political level.

Sheryl Sandberg with Option B

Finding Strength From Our Foremothers

Sheryl Sandberg

Like many Americans, I owe an enormous debt to my ancestors who traveled here in search of a better life. Their courage created my family’s future. And in particular, I feel a special bond to the long line of women, stretching back generations, whose boldness and sacrifices made my life possible. 

Ask Me Another Rubiks Cube

That Time I Apologized for Winning

Rabbi Leah Berkowitz

As it turns out, I’m pretty good at word games, and I like to win. Once I figured the pattern of the game, I was able to answer the questions quickly and correctly. I didn’t even have a problem with the buzzer, as I’d feared. Somehow, I also had the mental bandwidth to realize that my behavior made it apparent that I was completely uncomfortable with winning.

Topics: Feminism

Enid Shapiro, 1925 - 2017

Enid Shapiro lived tikkun olam. She was an early feminist, a devoted Jew, an unceasing learner, and she made a difference in countless people’s lives through her devotion to repair the world and her commitment to kindness and care that came from a place of profound integrity.

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

A Feminist Hanukkah

Abby Richmond

Hanukkah is eight days long—a perfect amount of time to express your feminist values! I’ve compiled a list of Jewish, feminist-themed activities for Hanukkah—one for each day of the holiday. To be clear: these activities should be part of your life for the rest of the year, too! But sometimes it’s easy to fall behind, so without further ado, here is your recommended feminist Jewish agenda for this holiday.

Topics: Feminism, Hanukkah
Gloria Steinem and Linda Stein, Suited Up (cropped)

Diving into the Wreck with Linda Stein

Bella Book

Imagine my surprise when I encountered the equivalent of an androgynous rubber suit embodied in the sculpture of artist/activist Linda Stein. Unlike Rich’s suit, which is confined to the page, Stein’s art is tangible. In fact, some of these sculptures are wearable.

Rising Voices Fellow Emma Mair with her Cousin Izzy

A Letter to My Little Cousin

Emma Mair

In the past year a lot has changed in the world that we live in, and all of these changes–many scary–have inspired me to try my hardest to tell you the truth about the reality that girls once lived in, and the reality we live in today.

"Free To Be You And Me" Album Cover by Marlo Thomas

45 Years of Free to Be You and Me

Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr

When he was three, my son, Jacob, asked for Baby All Gone for Hanukkah. And I couldn't have been prouder.

Blame it on “Free to Be You & Me.” Like many of my generation, that album belonged to the soundtrack of my formative years. Teaching about gender equality in an informal and natural way, the songs and vignettes were snappy, clever, and extremely memorable.

Topics: Feminism, Music
Gloria Greenfield Cropped

Lights, Camera, Social Change!

Natalie Harder

Everyone has that movie. The movie you’ve seen a million times and every time you watch it you’re slightly horrified with yourself because you quoted the entire thing and sang some of the background music. But that isn’t what horrifies me most about Spy Kids now. What currently horrifies me the most is that its executive producer, Harvey Weinstein, has been accused by over 30 people of being a sexual predator. 

V

The Eve Ensler Monologue

Josephine Rosman

I’ve always believed in the power of words. I’ve learned the most from engaging with individuals’ stories, and the best way I know how to influence others is through my writing. I believe that using words as a way to push for social change is profoundly meaningful, and Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, is a perfect example of this phenomenon.

Topics: Feminism, Theater
Golda Meir, March 1, 1973

Badass Bubbee

Rachel Harris

She’s a confusing character in the feminist narrative. A pioneer in her field, yet so disappointingly anti-feminist. How do you label her? Should she be viewed as a hero, a villain, an accidental role model? The life and career of Goldie Myerson, or Golda Meir as she’s more commonly known, begs these questions.

Glitter Pad

My Menstruation, Myself

Bella Book

We at JWA decided to have an informal group chat about menstruation, our bodies, and sex. There was chocolate, honesty, and lots of laughter. Although we represent different ages and family backgrounds, we found plenty in common around this very normal (and under-discussed) topic.

Topics: Feminism
Cropped Rokhl Holzer

Feminists For Halloween

Emily Cataneo

These days, “witch” is no longer just the epithet you hurl at, say, an older female candidate for president; the fed-up feminist sector of our popular culture is proudly claiming it for its own.

Mitali Holding a Femininjas Sign (cropped)

To Men Questioning #MeToo

Rabbi Sarah Mulhern

I want you to see how freaking brave these folks are for coming forward, and I want you to realize that we're doing it *for your sake*, to help *you* see the magnitude of this problem. We are already plenty aware.

Betsy Devos, Offical Portrait

Betsy Devos and the Stacked Deck

Emily Cataneo

Maybe the Obama-era policies needed improvement. But DeVos’ new policy is built on the lie that men’s and women’s lived experiences and testimony are seen as equal in the eyes of society.

Ellen Umansky

Through both her scholarship, Ellen Umansky has reshaped our understanding of the influence women have had on centuries of Jewish practice.
Susan Goodman Headshot

Acting Our Age with Susan Goodman

Abby Richmond

While her life’s work is a testament to her commitment to helping people grow older with dignity, respect, and independence, Susan Goodman’s latest project is remarkable in both its scope and specificity. Currently, in order to be interviewed on Susan’s blog Acting Our Age, you must be a woman 85 or older.

2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Maya Jodidio Pipetting DNA into a Gel

To Girls Taking Their First STEM Classes

Caroline Kubzansky
Maya Jodidio
If you’re a female-identifying teen and you attend high school, chances are good that you take, or will take, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) class. Physics, biology, and chemistry are the usual suspects. We’re writing to share some collective wisdom with you from our own high-school experience.
Young and Feminist Cover

Young and Feminist

Bella Book

Abby Richmond has published four books, written for various publications, donated over $5,000 to nonprofits, and led a grassroots campaign for Hillary Clinton. Oh, and she’s seventeen.

Topics: Feminism, Schools
Composite of At The Well Logo and Sarah Waxman

At The Well with Sarah Waxman

Abby Richmond

Menstruation: A little over half of all bodies do it, have done it, or will one day be doing it, and yet we are encouraged to not be curious about this physical process that literally makes life possible. At The Well (ATW), a Jewish women's wellness nonprofit, is seeking to bridge that artificial (and patriarchally imposed) gap between women, their bodies, and spirituality.

Abigail Pogrebin

Through her writing, Abigail Pogrebin has explored what Jewish identity means in the 21st century.
Women's Equality Day Composite Photo

Three Thought Leaders Reflect on Women’s Equality Day in 2017

Bella Book

This Women’s Equality Day, we asked three Jewish feminist thought leaders to reflect on this moment in history, to help us better understand where we are, where we need to go, and how we can pick up the mantle, again, from the suffragists and Bella Abzug, and keep marching.

Topics: Feminism
Kesha Praying

The Anthem I Needed

Emilia Diamant

Amidst all the glitter and alcohol, I knew Kesha was an actual talent. A friend directed me toward an NPR interview in which she talked about her deep love of Bob Dylan, the fact that she does most of her own songwriting, and her deeply artistic spirit. I was smitten.

Topics: Feminism, Music
Bella Abzug at a Women Strike for Peace Protest

#JWAmegaphone: Voices of Power and Protest

Judith Rosenbaum

At JWA, we believe that history is not only about the past; it is about the present. The events of the past year have made us more keenly aware than ever that we’re living through history in the making. And not just witnessing it—we are part of it, makers of history with each action we take.

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