Politics and Government

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Gabrielle Giffords

Jewish Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot, may pull through

Leah Berkenwald

Via Tablet:

Though we don’t know for sure, it looks like Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 40, the third-term congresswoman from Arizona who was shot point-blank in the head during a “Congress on Your Corner” event in Tucson this morning, is going to survive. Several of the other victims of the gunman’s subsequent bullet-spraying will not be so lucky. Giffords is Jewish—the first Jewish woman to be elected from Arizona—and is a moderate Democratic representing a conservative district along the Mexico border.  

Reality check: Wage gap for Jewish professionals worse than national average

Kate Bigam

Much to the dismay of a number of Jewish organizations, the Senate neglected to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act last month, effectively shelving it for the foreseeable future. The bill, which would have augmented current civil rights law to protect against sex-based pay discrimination, had received broad support from civil rights and women’s rights groups but faced opposition from business organizations, whose members said it would be both difficult and expensive to enforce.

Racial Oppression Meme

Owning Our Jewish Privilege

Leah Berkenwald

A new meme blog is taking off.  "Privilege Denying Dude" represents the type of person who denies that they have privilege, usually the privilege that comes with being white, male, heterosexual, cisgendered (not transgendered), and American. It identifies the sorts of phrases and ideas that are used to deny this kind of privilege, like the idea that homeless people are lazy.

Lenore Pancoe Meyerhoff, 1927 - 1988

Alternately reckless, mischievous or courageous, Mom's defiance had a triple edge. At 10, she secretly smoked a corncob pipe stuffed with stolen tobacco. She was arrested at age 14 for driving her Aunt Minnie's car at 90 miles an hour without a license. (Her adored maternal aunt, something of a bon vivant herself, was in the car at the time.) She challenged a revered male leader at a federation board meeting for using green Israel bonds to pay his campaign pledge – a practice that no one else had the guts to expose.

Tomorrow: Jewesses for the win?

Elizabeth Imber

The country is abuzz with anticipation. Tomorrow, on November 2, 2010, citizens will head to the polls and cast their ballots in the midterm elections. Will the Republicans take the House? Will the Democrats keep the Senate? Tomorrow night or in the wee hours of Wednesday, America will know the results (barring any drawn-out polling mishaps or mandated recounts).

Elizabeth Scharpf's DIY Aid project: keeping African girls in school with affordable pads

From the Rib

There was a really interesting article in The New York Times last week by Nicholas D. Kristof about individuals who are, in effect, creating foreign aid on their own. He writes about various people who, feeling passionately about helping the world, got up, changed their lives, and simply, did it. He tells a few stories, highlighting the fact that many of the members of the “Do-It-Yourself Foreign Aid Revolution” are women.

Why I Believe Anita Hill — Now More Than Ever

Sarah Seltzer

Like Hinda Mandell, I experienced the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings at a formative moment of my childhood.

Remembering Carla Cohen

Emily Kadar

This week, Washington, DC is mourning the loss of a towering figure in the literary and political community. Carla Cohen, the co-owner of the legendary Politics and Prose bookstore in Northwest DC, died October 11 at the age of 74 . Cohen was a model of socially conscious entrepreneurship.

Comparative Religion Isn't Just for Academics

From the Rib

An interesting article popped up on the side of The New York Times recently--an article about the lack of knowledge among Americans about religion, including about their own. The article discussed the fact that on average, Americans were only able to correctly answer 50% of the questions on a recent survey by the Pew Research Center on the teachings and history of major world religions.

Why I plan to be a "Student for Choice"

From the Rib

The end of summer marks the beginning of a relatively short but tumultuous season for the high school student: the college application process. The Common Application went up August 1, and with it came a slew of essays that students across the country must finish by January. Topics range from choice of major to hobbies to why you want to go to a particular school. I've been slowly working my way through them, and I found myself trying to answer the question of what activities I plan to pursue at college.

The Dark Side of Jewish Pluralism

Leora Jackson

One of the benefits of being in my parents’ home is access to a whole range of print media to which I would otherwise never subscribe. On the flip side, it also means I encounter a whole range of political opinions that I would otherwise avoid like the plague.

Gertrude Himmelfarb and the Politics of Morality

Alma Heckman

Historian Gertrude Himmelfarb celebrated her 88th birthday yesterday, August 8, while Congress took its first week of summer recess. In the months between now and November’s midterm elections, much will be made of liberal and conservative values, culture wars, and their derivate potential laws. We can safely anticipate advertisements of the basest ilk, making clear heroes and still clearer villains out of political adversaries.

Justice Elena Kagan Confirmed, Jewish Women Rock the Bench!

Leah Berkenwald

Mazel tov to Elena Kagan, newest Supreme Court Justice! 

Unit 3, Lesson 5 - Civil Rights and Social Justice Today

Consider what contemporary civil rights and social justice issues matter to us today, and how Jews and African Americans determine their priorities and responsibilities to effect social change.

Mazel Tov, Heather Booth!

Leah Berkenwald

Yesterday Heather Booth, Director of Americans for Financial Reform, wrote a piece in the Huffington Post called V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!!! lauding Congress for passing the most significant financial reform legislation since the Great Depression.

Outraged: Linda Lingle vetoes Civil Unions bill and compares gay marriage to incest

Leah Berkenwald

Earlier this week, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle vetoed the state's Civil Union bill designed to give all couples access to the economic and legal benefits of marriage. I suppose this is not too surprising, considering the fact that she is a Republican. Still, her explanation as to why she vetoed the bill makes me pretty upset.

Elena Kagan's chutzpah (and Jewishness) on display

Emily Kadar

Yesterday marked the final day of Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearings are regarded by some as a useful tool for gauging a nominee’s judicial philosophy and by others as a farcical display of senatorial bluster and skilled evasiveness.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz tells it like it is

Leah Berkenwald

Last week, victories by several women in primaries led the media machine to suggest that 2010 is the "Year of the Women." NPR's Ken Rudin describes the phrase as "a hackneyed phrase that gets regurgitated at convenient times, and by now it often results in a rolling of the eyes" and reminds us that 1984 and 1992 were also dubbed "Year of the Women." In 1984, all 9 of the women candidates lost to male candidates.

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

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.

The Supreme Court and the Single Gal

Deborah Kolben

This was originally posted at The Sisterhood

It’s hard not to get excited about the nomination of Elena Kagan to replace Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. If seated, she would bring the number of women on the Supreme Court to three, the number of Jewish women to two, and the total number of Jews on the bench to three. On paper, Kagan’s a great choice. An Upper West Side girl who went to public school and then off to Princeton and Harvard Law School, where she became the first woman to be named the Dean of the Law School. And then she became the first woman to serve as Solicitor General of the United States.

Our first Jewish Congresswoman

Emily Kadar

Eighty-five years ago today, Florence Prag Kahn became the first Jewish woman elected to the United States Congress, and only the fifth woman to ever serve in that body.

Where was gender in the Brown/Coakley race?

Leah Berkenwald

The Jewish Women's Archive offices are located in Masachusetts, and as you might imagine, morale was pretty low in the office yesterday.  On Tuesday, we witnessed one of the greatest defeats for the Democratic party as Republican Scott Brown was elected to represent our traditionally "blue" state.  Gender was never really a part of Martha Coakley's campaign, nor the rhetoric surrounding the race in the weeks and months leading up to the election.

The Belle of the (political) party

Judith Rosenbaum
By Elisabeth Israels Perry

On June 16, 2009, the National Jewish Democratic Council, a political advocacy group based in Washington, DC, is awarding its first "Belle Moskowitz" award to Ann F. Lewis, Hillary Clinton's Communications Director during her recent presidential campaign. As one of Moskowitz's seven grandchildren, but more particularly as a historian who wrote her biography, I was thrilled to find this out.

Emma Goldman released from jail and then reimprisoned

September 27, 1919

Emma Goldman was released from a two-year prison term, on September 27, 1919, only to be immediately reimprisoned.

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