Judaism-Orthodox

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"The Feminine Mystique," by Betty Friedan

Planting the seed: Memories of "The Feminine Mystique"

by  Susan Reimer-Torn

There’s a lot of buzz these days about Stephanie Coontz’s new book A Strong Stirring, an assessment of Betty Friedans’s 1963 manifesto The Feminine Mystique. It’s stirring up some personal memories of my own.

Project Frumway, 2011

Frum, fashion, and feminism

by  Kate Bigam

Jewish designers are a staple on the fashion scene – famous names like Zac Posen, Isaac Mizrahi, Max Azria, Kenneth Cole, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren are all members of the tribe. A few years ago, Slate even published a story called “The Rise of Schmatte Chic”, which chronicled the fleeting trend of Orthodox Jewish influence in runway fashion.

Eating disorders and Orthodoxy

by  Kate Bigam

I’ve never been particularly offended by the various cultural stereotypes of Jewish women that portray us being zaftig, food-loving mamalehs-in-the-making; as someone who falls perfectly within the parameters of this description, I tend to favor anything that lends legitimacy to my, uh, lovely lady lumps. But when it comes to Jewish women’s body image, there may be a darker reality lurking out of the sight of stereotypes.

Who is Yalta?

by From the Rib

This weekend has been very exciting for me–the synagogue that my family belongs to is hosting Sara Hurwitz as a guest speaker. For those of you haven’t heard of her: after studying for seven years at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, she was given the title of “maharat” by Rabbi Avi Weiss (an Orthodox rabbi) in March 2009, and deemed a Jewish spiritual and halachic leader.

The scary subtext of "rethinking egalitarianism"

by  Leora Jackson

Last week in the Forward, Jay Michaelson writes about the need to rethink egalitarianism.  Egalitarian synagogues, he says, tend to be egalitarian in only one way: everyone is equally bored.  (“Egalitarian” in American Jewish life has historically referred to prayer services where men and women can both participate fully and take on leadership roles.)  He talks about friends who attend Orthodox prayer services because they find more meaning in the service, and about how attempts at inclusiveness and egalitarianism often translate into long responsive readings in English where nobody really believes a word.

Will America's Next Top Model Be Modern Orthodox?

by  Elizabeth Imber

There has been a lot of talk lately in the Jewish community about a particular contestant on the CW’s reality hit America’s Next Top Model (ANTM). Esther Petrack, an 18-year-old, self-identified Modern Orthodox Jew, is an aspiring model on the show. When asked by Tyra Banks, the show’s host, whether or not she observed Shabbat, Esther said yes and proceeded to explain all that that entailed. But Tyra fired back that contestants on ANTM work on every day of the week. Would Esther be prepared to break the Sabbath in pursuit of her modeling dreams? “Yes, I would do it,” Esther replied.

New Torah scroll presented to the Beth Israel Synagogue in New Orleans

August 27, 2006

The first female President of this 104-year-old Orthodox congregation, Jackie Gothard had presided over the burial of seven Torah scrolls damaged beyond repair when the synagogue was flooded.

Q&A With Miryam Kabakov: Editor of Anthology on Orthodox Lesbians

by  Debra Nussbaum Cohen

A new anthology, titled “Keep Your Wives Away from Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires,” includes essays by 14 women who identify themselves as part of the GLBQT community. Some remain part of the frumcommunity, and write anonymously. One is from a prominent politicallyconservative family and talks about her family’s gradual acceptanceprocess of her and her non-Jewish partner.

Behind "Chagaga" by the Tichel Cuties

by  Shira Engel

My friend Becca, along with some of her Orthodox Jewish Day School friends/co-tichel cuties created a pretty intense fusion of Lady Gaga and traditional Orthodox concepts (the wearing of the tichel – garb for married women, preparing for Shabbat, and the waiting for the Messiah). This is not a likely combination so that’s probably why it has been getting so much attention in the blogosphere, both positive and negative.

Taking the "Rihanna" approach to Jewish Orthodox sexuality

by From the Rib

I was a little surprised to see how much frank talk about sex was featured in The Sisterhood this week. As a teenager, I am used to people around me talking about sex a lot--in real life, in movies, in songs, in basically every medium except in Jewish blogs. But that is no longer!

JOFA tackles "tznius"

by  Elana Sztokman

The current issue of the JOFA Journal offers a smorgasbord of thoughtful articles about clothing in Orthodoxy, aka “tznius“.

President Carol Kaufman Newman writes about how different today’s Orthodoxy is compared to when she was growing up and freely wore cheerleader outfits. “I would be less than honest if I did not confess that all this covering up gives me pause.”

Newly dedicated Newport Synagogue introduces an open-view women's gallery

December 2, 1763

A new synagogue, dedicated in Newport, Rhode Island on December 2, 1763, introduced an important innovation in synagogue design.

Hadassah honors Orthodox feminist Blu Greenberg

July 25, 2006

Blu Greenberg, best known for her work on behalf of feminism within Orthodox Judaism, was honored with Hadassah's highest honor, the Henrietta Szol

"Life on the Fringes" explores Orthodox feminism

July 1, 2000

Haviva Ner-David's book, Life on the Fringes: A Feminist Journey Toward Traditional Rabbinic Ordination, was published on July 1, 2000.

First Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy is held

February 16, 1997

The first Conference on Feminism and Orthodoxy took place in New York City on February 16-17, 1997, with the theme "Exploring the Impact of Feminist Values on Traditional Jewish Women's Lives." A s

Torah Study

The commandment of Torah study is a positive Biblical precept.

Teaching Profession in the United States

Through Jewish educational organizations, Jewish schools, and public schools, female Jewish teachers have played an important role in shaping the North American teaching profession. Over the last 150 years, American Jewish women have been drawn to teaching in both public and Jewish schools by a multitude of factors.

Stern College for Women

In September 1954, an inaugural class of thirty-two students enrolled at Stern College for Women, as Yeshiva University opened the first liberal arts college in America for women under Jewish auspices.

South Africa

The South African Jewish community is a highly organized, relatively affluent community, estimated at between eighty thousand and ninety thousand Jews in 2001—less than two percent of the total white population and 0.5 percent of the total population. Despite these small numbers and continuing emigration, the South African community remains one of the twelve largest Jewish communities in the world.

Sarah Schenirer

As the founder of the Bais Ya’akov educational movement, Sarah Schenirer brought about a revolution in the status of women in Orthodox Judaism.

Nacha Rivkin

Orthodox Jewish education for women in America began with the work of Nacha Rivkin, a founder of Shulamith School for Girls, the first girls’ yeshiva in the United States.

Orthodox Judaism in the United States

Orthodox views on the role women may play in their community’s religious, educational, and social life have reflected the range of attitudes that religious group has harbored toward American society and culture.

Lily Montagu

Lilian Helen Montagu was a British social worker, a magistrate in the London juvenile courts, suffragist, writer, religious organizer, and spiritual leader who founded and long remained the driving force behind the Liberal Jewish movement in England.

Faige Teitelbaum

Faige Teitelbaum was the wife of the late Satmar rebbe, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum (died 1979). She was a leader of the Satmar Hasidic community and often performed the role of a Hasidic rebbe. In this powerful role, she was undoubtedly the best-known woman in the Hasidic world.

Suffrage in Palestine

The building of an egalitarian Jewish society in pre-state Israel was a keystone of the Zionist plan in general and of its socialist component in particular. The question of women’s suffrage arose locally, in every community, and in some communities women even succeeded in being elected.

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