LGBTQIA Rights

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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.

Jewish women and GLBT Pride: Who will you add?

by  Leah Berkenwald

Former president Bill Clinton designated the month of June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month in 2000. Last year President Obama expanded the month to celebrate the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) community. From the beginnings of the Gay Rights movement in at Stonewall, Jewish women have played an important part in the fight for equality.

Topics: LGBTQIA Rights

If Elena Kagan were a man, would we be questioning her sexuality?

by  Leah Berkenwald

It’s common knowledge that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is Jewish, and except for some handwringing over the fact that her appointment would mean the Court would be made up entirely of Jews and Catholics, her Jewish identity is a non-issue. Unlike the debates over Justice Sotomayor’s ethnicity, no one is worried that Kagan’s status as a “wise Jewess” will color her judgment. Her sexual orientation, however, is another story.

International Transgender Day of Remembrance

by  Leah Berkenwald

Today is the 11th annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to mourn those who were killed by hatred, bigotry, and ignorance.  Many of these deaths went unreported in the media, or if they were covered, the victims were reduced to attention-grabbing headlines and dehumanizing terms. You can read the names of the 162 trans people murdered between November 20, 2008 and November 12, 2009 here, and these are only the people we know about.

Topics: LGBTQIA Rights

Mazel Tov Joan Nestle, Suze Orman, and Hilary Rosen!

by  Leah Berkenwald

Okay, so October is host to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Love Your Body Day, Fat Talk Free Week, AND GLBT History Month?  This is a seriously busy month!

GLBT History Month chooses 31 GLBT icons to highlight, one for each day of the month.  This year, three Jewesses are included in the list! 

Topics: LGBTQIA Rights

Reflections on Stonewall

by  Judith Rosenbaum

The wee hours of June 28, 1969, began with a routine enough event: a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village gay bar owned by the mafia (as nearly all gay bars were at the time, since bars that catered to homosexuals were usually denied a liquor license, and only mob-owned bars could afford to pay off the police so that they could operate without a license). The cops entered with their usual intentions: to check id cards and arrest those found to be cross-dressing. 

Topics: LGBTQIA Rights

Pride podcast

by  Judith Rosenbaum

In honor of Pride month (and a relatively calm and safe Pride Parade in Jerusalem today - yay!), I'm posting our latest podcast: LGBT activist Shulamit Izen describing her experience coming out at a Jewish high school and creating the first ever Gay-Straight Alliance at a Jewish School. I had the privilege of being Shula's teacher at the New Jewish High School during the events she describes, and I learned a lot from her about pride and integrity.

Topics: LGBTQIA Rights

Bella Abzug convenes National Women's Conference in Houston

November 18, 1977

On November 18, 1977, 20,000 women, men and children gathered in Houston to participate in an unprecedented event, the first federally funded National Women’s Conference.

Bella Abzug elected to Congress

November 3, 1970

On November 3, 1970, Bella Abzug was elected to the United States House of Representatives on a proudly feminist, anti-war, environmentalist platform, becoming th

Jewish Women Watching declare "Sexism is a sin"

September 21, 2001

"Jewish women/girls hold your community accountable. Sexism is a sin.

Susan Sontag publishes last essay

May 23, 2004

Public intellectual and controversial essayist Susan Sontag published her last essay, "Regarding the Torture of Others," in the May 23, 2004, editio

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, z"l

by  Judith Rosenbaum

Writing a blog post about a feminist theorist as sharp and influential as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick is an intimidating prospect, which is why it's taken me more than a week to get to this post in memory of Sedgwick, who died on April 12.

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand is more than another consumer-culture icon. She is a diva, a superstar, a sensation. Since the 1960s, she has won more varied awards (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, special Tony, Golden Globe, CableACE, Peabody) than anyone else in show business, and has sold over sixty-eight million records, more records than any other female singer.

Spirituality in the United States

Spirituality can be defined as life lived in the presence of God. It embraces not only traditional and formal modes of religious expression, but also more informal individual and communal efforts to remain mindful of the sacred in all aspects of experience.

Jane Harman

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Smith College in 1966, Jane Harman graduated from Harvard Law School in 1969 and became a member of the bar in the District of Columbia. She has two children, Brian Frank and Hilary Frank, from her nine-year first marriage to Richard Frank. She also has two younger children, Daniel Geier Harman and Justine Leigh Harman, with her husband Sidney Harman, an audio equipment manufacturer, whom she married in 1980.

Don’t call her Anna-Lou, or a lesbian

by  Judith Rosenbaum

In week three of my Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia self-education program, I've been thinking about Annie Leibovitz.

Topics: LGBTQIA Rights

Reconstructionist Judaism in the United States

The term “Reconstructionism” comes from his notion that Judaism should neither be reformed nor conserved, but reconstructed.

Bette Midler

Humor is an extremely effective tool with which to observe human behavior. When the comic laughs at herself as well as at the foibles of her audience, she creates a connection between people and an opportunity to examine serious subjects in a funny manner. Important and forbidden topics receive airings. Bette Midler’s knowing smile, which rarely leaves her face, reminds her audience that a humorous perspective, on any and all subjects, offers catharsis alongside illumination.

Lesbianism

For most of its three-thousand-year history, lesbianism has been a subject of little interest in Jewish texts and societies. Only in the late twentieth century have Jewish scholars and communities faced the issue of erotic love between women.

Henriette Fürth

Henriette Fürth succeeded in earning a much-needed income as a highly-regarded lecturer and journalist. In addition to publishing, Fürst found time to be involved in organizational life.

Käte Frankenthal

With these words, Käte Frankenthal, physician and former Berlin Social Democratic municipal councillor, began her prize-winning memoir, written in New York in 1940.

Dalia Dorner

An avowed feminist and ardent defender of civil and human rights, Dalia Dorner (née Dolly Greenberg) was born in Turkey on March 3, 1934, and brought to Palestine in 1944. Her father, Levy Greenberg (1900–1944), a merchant who was born in Odessa, left Russia and at some time after the 1917 revolution immigrated to Istanbul. In 1928 he married Mina Markus (b. 1908), who was born in Turkey. A son, Edy, was born in 1937. When Levy Greenberg developed cancer, he hastened to bring the entire family to Palestine, where he died shortly afterwards.

Barbara Dobkin

Barbara Berman Dobkin is the pre-eminent Jewish feminist philanthropist of the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century. Her vision, dedication, generosity and financial commitment have contributed significantly to changing the landscape of Jewish women’s organizations and funding in both North America and Israel. In her central pursuit of the full equality and integration of women and women’s issues into every aspect of Jewish life, Dobkin co-founded Ma’yan: The Jewish Women’s Project and has served as the chair of The Jewish Women’s Archive and the ten million dollar Hadassah Foundation. She has also been a pioneering donor-activist on Jewish gay and lesbian issues, in progressive Israeli organizations, and in the U.S. women’s funding movement, and has garnered a national reputation as a speaker on issues of women’s philanthropy and leadership.

Bridges: A Journal for Jewish Feminists and Our Friends

Drawing on the traditional Jewish values of justice and repair of the world and insights honed by the feminist, lesbian and gay movements, seven Jewish women began to publish Bridges: A Journal for Jewish Feminists and Our Friends in 1990.

Evelyn Torton Beck

Evelyn Torton Beck is Professor Emerita of women’s studies as well as an affiliate faculty member in the Jewish studies and comparative literature programs at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). She is a scholar, a teacher, a feminist, and an outspoken Jew and lesbian on campus. With her energy and drive, the state flagship campus has become a more welcome place for Jewish, female, and homosexual students, faculty, and staff.

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