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Politics and Government

Parshat Emor: What it means to leave a legacy

In our lives:
This past week we have seen a “modern” example of sacrifice upon hearing the news of American troops killing Osama Bin Laden. All week I reflected on what Osama’s life meant and the legacy he would be remembered by. Reading countless news articles caused me to question, was Osama happy? And, although the US spent a decade hunting him, did our country do the right thing by killing him? These are not easy questions, and there may not be easy answers.

Why do we act? Lessons from the Freedom Rides

Fifty years ago, in May 1961, a small group of civil rights activists embarked on a journey that would change them and change America. Boarding buses headed south for what they termed a "Freedom Ride," these young black and white activists challenged segregation by sitting together on the bus and in the waiting rooms of bus stations.  Though the Supreme Court had already declared segregation in interstate travel illegal, the Federal Government was not enforcing the law, so the Freedom Riders engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience to call attention to this injustice.

Hillary Clinton "too sexy" for Hasidic newspaper

Brooklyn-based, ultra-Orthodox, Hasidic Jewish newspaper, Der Tzitung, has decided to rewrite history by photoshopping Hillary Clinton out of the photo of U.S. leaders receiving an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden (right). Why? Because the idea of a woman in the Situation Room was "too scandalous."

A Fifth Question for Passover

The Passover Seder offers an opportunity to remember more than just the exodus from Egypt and our desert wanderings.

Jewish Feminism and Feminist Jews: More Questions than Answers

By now it's both a truth and a truism that the personal is political.

Is the shul a place for political activism?

I spent last Friday night celebrating Shabbat at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Mass., a Reform synagogue I’d never before visited. I was in awe of the chapel’s breathtaking, brightly colored stained glass windows, and I was fascinated by Rabbi John Franken’s take on Parshat M’tzora, which drew unexpected parallels between, of all things, skin diseases and marketing (all with a Jewish bent, of course). But it was a bright green insert in the Friday night program that struck me most.

Jewish women and the Democratic National Committee

Yesterday, President Obama chose Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the new chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), making her the second Jewish woman to hold this position after Debra DeLee in 1994. After doing a little research at jwa.org, however, I realized that even though Wasserman Schultz may be the only the second Jewish woman to chair the DNC, she is actually joining a long tradition of Jewish women who have been active in the organization.

Mazel Tov Debbie Wasserman Schultz, new chair of the DNC!

Yesterday the Democratic party announced that President Obama chose Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the incoming chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, making her the first woman DNC chief in 15 years and the third in history. Considering that the first two women to lead the DNC only served temporary stints, Wasserman Schultz’s appointment is extremely significant.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: The Manual and The Mystery

The subject of a woman’s body, even in its most intimate functions, was not taboo in the orthodox Jewish world of my upbringing.

The personal is political: Rep. Jackie Speier tells her abortion story

Being pro-choice means a lot of things: Above all else, it means supporting a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body during pregnancy, abortion included. But because the stigma surrounding abortion is still so, well, stigmatized, “being pro-choice” is often just an amorphous concept (albeit a powerful one) without real faces or stories behind the crusade to ensure women’s rights.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Politics and Government." (Viewed on January 21, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/politics-and-government>.

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