Israel

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Collection
Mezuzah mounted on wooden door frame. Scroll visible, in a test tube-like vial corked on light blue wood decorated with pomegranates and Star of Davids.

My Matriarchal Mezuzah

by Eleanor Harris

Inhaling the sweet scents of Nachalat Binyamin in Tel Aviv, I searched for the perfect new mezuzah. Following closely behind me were my mother and my grandmother, who were growing steadily wearier with how long it was taking for me to choose one.

Topics: Family, Israel, Ritual
Two women wearing tallit are moving away from the wall, a police officer looking at them and speaking to them. Another woman films the event on her phone.

The Wall Between My Identities

by Sasha Rosenfeld

I expected to feel emotion and attachment to the Kotel. However, despite the burning midday sun, my first visit left me cold.

Silwan

Revisiting Israel

by Elana Moscovitch

Elana Moscovitch revisits Israel after living there as a child and makes new discoveries through her daughter's eyes.

Topics: Israel, Palestine

Episode 16: Women Wage Peace (Transcript)

Episode 16: Women Wage Peace (Transcript)

Zioness at the D.C. Dyke March

Lessons from the D.C. Dyke March

by Sophie Hurwitz

What can we learn from the debate about Jewish and Israeli symbols at Pride?

Episode 13: Borders of Love (Transcript)

Episode 13: Borders of Love (Transcript)

Episode 30: Women in Israeli Politics: An Election Primer

On April 9, Israeli voters head to the polls. In this chaotic and potentially momentous election, the headlines are mostly focused on political maneuvering and corruption scandals in the top-ranks of the male-dominated political parties. But in this election, more Israeli women are running for Knesset than ever before, and they’re speaking out about women’s issues. Is anyone listening? In this special episode of Can We Talk, journalist Linda Gradstein brings us this report on where women candidates from a range of political parties stand in the upcoming Israeli elections. She speaks with feminist activist and writer Elana Sztokman and some of the candidates themselves.

Fallen "Israel" Sign, New Orleans, Louisiana, May 9, 2006

Writing on the Walls

by Yana Kozukhin

NYU’s Birthright trip did not give me answers. If anything, it only gave me more questions. And for that, I am grateful.

Topics: Israel, Palestine
Emma Goldman/Women of the Wall

Making Space Where There is None

by Ilana Jacobs

To ask for the space you need is a daunting, terrifying task. But to take the space you need without permission? That’s even more challenging. Emma Goldman and Avigail Antman are two women who refused to settle for less, and who weren’t afraid to demand more. 

Ruby Russell at the Kotel

Am I Welcome at the Wall?

by Ruby Russell

The first time I visited the Kotel (Western Wall), I cried. I know, this is nothing unusual. This historic place often invokes intense spiritual connection or deep reflection from its visitors, moving them to tears. I was certainly overcome by emotion, but for a completely different set of reasons.

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
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.

Kotel Mechitza

Finding My Space

by Molly Weiner

I visited the Western Wall twice as part of my school’s eighth grade trip to Israel—once on a weekday, and once on Friday night. These two experiences couldn’t have been more different.       

Sisters

A Sisterly Homeland

by Savoy Curry

As soon as I mentioned Birthright, my sister seemed to know exactly where our conversation was headed. “I’ve been meaning to ask you about that, too,” she said, reminding me that despite being my younger sister she always seems to be one step ahead of me.

Emma Mair in Jerusalem

Debbie Coltin: Now on Your Radar

by Emma Mair

When you google Debbie Coltin, not much comes up. If you ask her why, she’ll say it’s because she’s a private person; she’d much rather fly under the radar. But as a writer, a Jew, and a young woman, I feel that Debbie’s contributions to Massachusetts’s North Shore Jewish community are too valuable to simply “fly under the radar.” Luckily, since Debbie has given me permission to share her story, they no longer have to!

Natalie Harder in Israel

Adonai, Open Up My Ears

by Natalie Harder

During the summer of 2016, I went to Israel with my summer camp and met a man named Yehoshua, who, being male, middle-aged, Israeli, ultra-Orthodox, and a Yankees fan, was everything I wasn’t.

Golda Meir, March 1, 1973

Badass Bubbee

by 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.

Episode 17: Four Mothers: Orna’s Story

She was protesting a war she thought was futile—and then her son was killed in it. Hear the poignant story of Orna Shimoni, an Israeli woman who 20 years ago turned her pain into action—and today is inspiring a new generation of activists. A matriarch of Women Wage Peace, Shimoni was an early member of the Four Mothers movement in the late 1990s, who channeled her private grief over her son’s death into a wider movement for peace. She is now a model for women who are newer to peace activism—and a determined voice for political change.

Episode 16: Women Wage Peace

Are women the key to peace in the Middle East? In this episode, we hear voices from Women Wage Peace, a powerful new movement in Israel demanding peace with the Palestinians—and insisting on women's place at the negotiating table. Uniting women from across the country and across the political spectrum, the movement hopes that it can solve the country’s most intractable issues. As one member says: "There are a lot of problems that only women can solve."

Dalia Itzik

During her term as the first female Speaker of the Knesset, Dalia Itzik was called upon to take on another first when she became the first female Interim President of Israel in 2007.

Rama Burshtein

As an Ultra-Orthodox filmmaker working within her own community, Rama Burshtein offers a view of Haredi life rarely depicted onscreen.

Ruth Calderon

As a Talmud scholar and a member of the progressive Israeli political party Yesh Atid, Ruth Calderon has sought to break down the traditional divide in Israeli society between right-wing Orthodoxy and secular liberalism.

Veronika Cohen

Veronika Wolf Cohen has shaped Israeli minds in two very different ways, by developing national music curricula and by leading innovative Israeli-Palestinian dialogue groups.

Dimona Twist Movie Poster

A Review of Dimona Twist

by Mitali Desai

Upon arriving at the theater, I realize quickly that I am the youngest person in attendance by decades.This night of the film festival is titled “An Evening of Empowering Sephardi Women,” and I’m here to see Dimona Twist, an Israeli film created by documentarian Michal Aviad. Dimona Twist recounts the history of North African and Eastern European immigrants to Dimona, a development town in Southern Israel, told through individual stories of seven women.

Topics: Israel, Film

Malka Kolodny

Malka Fisz Kolodny served as one of the first teachers in pre-State Palestine, at a time when teaching often involved counseling traumatized war orphans.
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