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Religious Movements

Deborah Marcus Melamed

Deborah Marcus Melamed encouraged Jewish women to form their own relationship with Jewish practice through her 1927 book The Three Pillars, an interpretive guide to rituals and customs.

Fashion: A Double-Edged Sword

When I shop for clothes, I try to purchase tops that are not exceedingly cropped, low-cut, or sheer. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been excited about a cute dress or shirt, only to flip it over and find that the back is completely cut out. This is disappointing, but it also makes me question my own tendency to judge the Girl with the Crop Top. If the majority of clothes at the mall are cut out, cut-up pieces of fabric, it might not be fair to judge consumers for buying what is being sold.

Looking Over the Mechitza

Although I wish they were, feminism and Judaism are not congruous in my life. I am a feminist. I am a Jew. But when I put them together, they clash. In my life, being Jewish means that I am a part of my Modern Orthodox community, it means that I go to shul every week and sit in my designated place on the left side of the mechitza, the low wall that separates men and women during prayer.

Leandra Medine

Through her fashion blog, Man Repeller, Leandra Medine argues that fashion should be about what women find interesting and exciting to wear, not just attracting a man.

Ruth Kisch-Arendt

Ruth Kisch-Arendt became one of Germany’s foremost performers of lieder—nineteenth–century allegorical poems set to music—through the intense period of anti-Semitism leading up to the Holocaust, then used her talents to highlight great Jewish composers after WWII.

Mordecai Kaplan

The founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, Mordecai Kaplan struck a fundamental blow for women’s participation in Jewish ritual with the bat mitzvah of his eldest daughter, Judith.

Fanny Binswanger Hoffman

As the chosen successor of Mathilde Schechter, Fanny Binswanger Hoffman focused the National Women’s League’s efforts on Jewish education for children and greatly expanded the organization’s membership and reach.

Adele Bluthenthal Heiman

Adele Blumenthal Heiman spent her life in Arkansas, helping create and lead the state’s close-knit Jewish community.

Reina Hartmann

Reina Goldstein Hartmann focused her career on improving the lives of Jewish women in her native Chicago.

Esther Jungreis

Esther Jungreis played a significant role in drawing nonobservant young Jews to Orthodox Judaism through her dynamic public speaking and her organization, Hineni.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Religious Movements." (Viewed on December 13, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/religious-movements>.

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