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Ritual

Content type
Collection
Phonetic Spelling of Privilege

Privilege and the Chosen People

by Ava Berkwits

I feel as if I won the lottery by being born Jewish, as so many of my most cherished memories and values are inherently tied to this part of my identity. As proud as I am of my Jewish identity, I’ve always been troubled by one of the fundamental ideas in Judaism: that Jews are “the chosen people.”

Episode 26: A Thanksgiving Seder

The Lauter and Rosenblit families have been celebrating Thanksgiving together for decades. This year will be no different. Together, they will eat turkey, discuss what it means to be a Jewish American, and have a Thanksgiving... seder.

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler's Family Menorah

Building a Home

by Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

As a former Gender Studies major, I have a lot of hang-ups about the concept of building a home. ... I don’t know what kind of Jewish household I’m going to run yet—but I do know the joys of tradition, both old and new, are hardwired in me.

"TALIT"

A Fringe of Her Own: An Interview with Tamar Paley

by  Judith Rosenbaum

If women had a say in the creation of these ritual objects, how would they look and feel? I began by trying to figure out how women around me today are experiencing their spirituality. And as a jewelry designer, I was also thinking about how this material feels on the body, where it is worn ...

Elaine Zecher

Rabbi Elaine Zecher’s own experiences as a breast cancer survivor have shaped both her career as a congregational rabbi and her work in helping create new rituals to honor both illness and healing.

Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah

As both one of the first women and one of the first openly gay rabbis to be ordained in Britain, Elli Tikvah Sarah has shattered assumptions about what it means to be part of—and to lead—the Jewish community.

Barbara Penzner

Rabbi Barbara Penzner has been a moral force for her congregation, leading it in multiple actions to uphold human rights around the world and in the local community.

Haviva Ner-David

Rabbi Haviva Ner-David chronicled her struggles to become an Orthodox woman rabbi in her celebrated book Life on the Fringes: A Feminist Journey Toward Traditional Rabbinic Ordination before finally achieving her dream in 2006.
Anita Diamant With the Jewish Wedding Now

An Interview with Anita Diamant

by Leah Berkowitz

The latest edition, The Jewish Wedding Now, came out this month, and I was delighted to interview Diamant after hearing her speak to the Women’s Rabbinic Network at our biennial convention.

Rochel Berman

Resisting taboos around discussing death, Rochel Udovich Berman has worked to educate people on Jewish funerary practices and encourage them to participate in the mitzvah of caring for the dead.

Mary Gendler

Mary Loeb Gendler has helped shape social justice movements in indirect but effective ways, from crafting new rituals for Jewish feminists to helping Tibetan exiles leverage the tools of nonviolent protest.

Henrietta Szold on Saying Kaddish

In a 1916 letter, Henrietta Szold (the founder of Hadassah) defied Jewish tradition and challenged rituals that exclude women by asserting her right to say Kaddish (the Jewish prayer for mourners).

Taking Risks, Making Change: Bat Mitzvah and Other Evolving Traditions

The letters from one girl's campaign to have the first Saturday morning Bat Mitzvah in her congregation in 1974 serve as a case study for exploring how we confront controversial issues and make change in our communities.

Tefillin Barbie: Considering Gender and Ritual Garb

Using the provocative image of "Tefillin Barbie"—created in 2006 by soferet (ritual scribe) Jen Taylor Friedman—examine the relationship between gender, body image, and ritual garb.

Jill Hammer

As co-founder of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, Jill Hammer blends ancient and modern spiritual practices to offer women alternative ways of connecting with Jewish tradition.

Sue Levi Elwell

A pioneer of inclusive Judaism as one of the first openly gay women rabbis, Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell helped empower countless Jewish women to take ownership of Jewish tradition.

Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

Sharon Cohen Anisfeld has brought her passion for activism into her role as dean of the rabbinical school at Hebrew College, inspiring her students to blend both engagement with tradition and engagement with social justice.

Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

As dean of Hebrew College, Sharon Cohen Anisfeld has struck a rare balance between overseeing the seminary as a whole and connecting with each of her students on a personal level.

Jill Hammer

Jill Hammer co-founded the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute to offer women alternative ways of connecting with Jewish tradition by focusing on the sacredness of the body and the earth.

Ruth Fredman Cernea

While she spent her career studying Jewish communities from Washington, DC to Myanmar, Ruth Fredman Cernea may be best known for her part in creating the annual Latke Hamantash Debate at the University of Chicago.
Girl with Tefillin at Kotel

I Don’t Wrap Tefillin But I Like That I Could

by Elisabeth Eigerman

I don’t like praying on the women’s side of the divider. I’ve only done so once but once was enough. 

Topics: Feminism, Ritual
Tallit, Advah Designs

My Grandmother, My Mother and I: Finding Our First Tallitot

by  Hannah Elbaum

My grandmother, my mother, and I walked into a store. Sounds like the beginning of a joke, right? Actually, the three of us were on a mission to find a tallit for me. My bat mitzvah was approaching, and, since neither my mom nor my grandmother had a tallit of her own, they both wanted to accompany me.

Topics: Ritual

Anita Diamant

Both through her writing and through her work as founding president of Mayyim Hayyim, Anita Diamant has breathed new life into Jewish midrash and rituals.
"Being, Doing" Shabbat Graphic by Marco Acevedo

Why This Mompreneur Is Grateful for Shabbat

by  Deborah Siegel

If you’re a driven, self-employed working parent like I am, there’s no internal control mechanism that says it’s time to shut down. I’m nurturing preschool-aged twins, an expanding business, and my next book—entities that call on my resources with infinite demands. Left to my own devices, I would probably crash and burn. In the past, I have.

Topics: Ritual

Rose Goldstein

Rose Goldstein worked to support women’s greater involvement in Jewish ritual life through her education work with United Synagogue and her essential guide to Jewish prayer, A Time to Pray: A Personal Approach to the Jewish Prayer Book.
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