Ritual

Content type
Collection
Rose Clubok cropped

Where Are They Now? RVF Alum Rose Clubok

Sarah Biskowitz

JWA talks to Rising Voices Fellowship alum Rose Clubok for our series marking the 10th anniversary of the fellowship.

Collage of nature landscapes, sheet music, and a star of David

Expanding Spirituality through Inclusivity

Frieda Belasco

Nothing is lost by encouraging and enabling different ways of accessing spirituality. If anything, people will learn a new tradition along the way.

Collage of hebre letters with an ear and a hand in a piece sign

Deaf Activism Is a Jewish Feminist Issue

Lucy Targum

As Jewish feminists, we should  fight alongside deaf people for inclusion within the feminist movement, which has often forgotten and misrepresented disabled individuals.

Headshot of woman with long dark blonde hair and book cover reading "Death Valley by Melissa Broder" in pink with image of eye on top of cactus

Grief is a Desert in 'Death Valley'

Abby Richmond

The poignant and often hilarious novel made me consider my own experiences with grief and (metaphorical) lostness.

Topics: Fiction, Theology, Ritual
Collage of pink and purple flowers over Torah scroll

Singing Eshet Chayil to My Four Matriarchs

Shiraz Rothschild

Instead of using the poem the way a husband would honor his wife for taking care of the entire family, I chose to use Eshet Chayil as my way of thanking and expressing the awe that I have for these female role models in my family.

Topics: Ritual, Prayer
Collage of Sasha Kranson-Forrest reading from the Torah at her Bat Mitzvah

The Family Yad

Sasha Kranson-Forrest

When my bubbe gave me this yad, I felt like I finally didn’t have to hide some parts about my Jewish identity.

Topics: Family, Ritual
Drawing of male and female holding basket and looking at each other

Maraviglia's Fifteenth-Century Prayer Book

Evelyn Cohen

The British Library shares a fifteenth-century prayer book commissioned by a father to his daughter, Maraviglia, a testament to women’s participation in fifteenth-century Italian Jewish ritual life.

Collage of black and white butterflies and snapshot of prayer shawl

Praying for Permanence: Finding My Connection to Faith

Halleli Abrams Gerber

Slowly, I have come to understand that my connection to Judaism doesn’t need to be a linear path. I experience days of doubt, times of radiant joy, and moments of deep guilt.

Collage of arms holding up a Jewish star on background of pages of Jewish text

Being Female and Orthodox Caused My Identity Crisis

Elah Tuchshnieder

When the topic of my bat mitzvah surfaced in my two households, it became evident that my bat mitzvah was not going to be like the ones my friends were having.

Installation of crocheted white bra and underwear with a prayer book, on a dark background

7 Questions For Artist Gavi Weitzman

Sarah Biskowitz

JWA talks to Gavi Weitzman, a multimedia artist based in Philadelphia whose work explores Judaism, the body, and identity.

Jenni Rudolph and Maryam Chishti - cropped

7 Questions For Jenni Rudolph and Maryam Chishti

Sarah Groustra

JWA talks to Jenni Rudolph and Maryam Chishti, Co-Executive Directors of the LUNAR Collective, the only organization by and for Asian American Jews.

Collage of waves, hamsa, and woman's face on pink orange background

Dancing Into a Feminist Future

Adina Gerwin

The idea that Miriam will dance with us to repair the broken world paints an image of a world in which change is actually achievable. How beautiful is the thought that we can advocate for a world that swirls with gender equality?

Topics: Prayer, Ritual, Dance

Barbara Penzner

Project
Boston Women Rabbis

Ronda Spinak interviewed Rabbi Barbara Penzner on February 25, 2014, in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, as part of the Boston Women Rabbis Oral History Project. Rabbi Penzner reflects on her Jewish upbringing, calling to become a rabbi, studies at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, exploration of the mikvah ritual, working with interfaith couples, and balancing motherhood and her career.

Red and orange Hebrew letters on yellow background

The Future of Gendered Hebrew

Sam Mezrich

Grammatical gender in Hebrew fosters a culture of exclusion and denies people safety and belonging in our religious spaces. It's time for that to change. 

Elaine Zecher

Project
Boston Women Rabbis

Ronda Spinak interviewed Rabbi Elaine Zecher in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 20, 2024, for the Boston Women Rabbis Oral History Project. Zecher, senior rabbi of Temple Israel of Boston, shares her journey as a female rabbi, her experiences as the first woman rabbi at Temple Israel, her love for liturgy and involvement in prayer book projects, her spiritual practices, Temple Israel's work with AIDS victims, and her deep connection to the universal values of Judaism.

Photograph of Hanukkah candles outdoors collaged on a dark pink background

Celebrating My Patrilineal Jewish Identity with Hanukkah

Ava Weinstein

I wondered, and still do, why it is that I can’t be accepted as a “real Jew” everywhere I go.

Topics: Hanukkah, Ritual, Schools

Episode 84: Modern Loss with Rebecca Soffer

For a long time, Rebecca Soffer, co-founder of the website Modern Loss, had been planning to write a guide to coping with grief. Then the pandemic hit, and the need felt especially urgent. So she wrote The Modern Loss Handbook: An Interactive Guide to Moving Through Grief and Building Resilience. The book came out earlier this year. In this episode of Can We Talk?, we speak with Rebecca about all things grief-related: trigger days, bespoke holidays, Jewish grief rituals, and what to say—and not to say—to someone in mourning. 

Noa Karidi at her bat mitzvah collaged on a blue watercolor background

Honoring the Women of the Wall With My Tallit

Noa Karidi

By choosing this tallit, I am honoring the hard work of other women that allowed me to go through this process.

Collage of torah scroll, tallit fringes, and raised fists on a pink background

With My Tallit, Becoming a Jewish Woman

Tessa Cooperstein

There is a point of tension for me in both being valued in the Jewish community and being devalued by the Torah’s discussion and treatment of women. Owning my own tallit reminded me that I am valued twice.

Collage of candlesticks on a stack of books with a light purple background

Setting My Feminist Intentions with Shabbat

Olivia Gnad

When I unfold my little silver candle holder and light the flames, I bring in the light of a commitment to practicing my Judaism alongside my feminism.

Blue kiddush cup on dark blue patterned background

How My Kiddush Cup Inspired Me to Celebrate

Maya Viswanathan

Even though Kiddush has traditionally been done by men and I was just a girl, I took it upon myself to make Kiddush each week. 

Episode 82: When Jewish Women Talked to the Dead

In this season of ghosts and haunted houses, we’re taking you back to a time when communicating with the dead was a popular way to spend an evening. Séances were the main practice of the spiritualist movement, which is based on the belief that when people die, they survive as spirits, and that we can talk to these spirits with the help of a medium. The movement had its heyday in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and Jews all over the world, from London to Brooklyn to Cairo, were at the forefront. Scholar Sam Glauber-Zimra explains why spiritualism had such appeal among Jews, what rabbis had to say about it, and why Jewish women were prominent as mediums. 

Collage of shelf and candles on blue background

L’dor V’dor: How Ritual Plays into Grief

Judy Ruden

This is how we grieve: crying, laughing, brisket and Yahrzeit candles. Again and again and again.

Photographs of Miriam Niestat, her family, and a loom collaged on woven green background

Weaving My Asymmetrical Jewish Identity

Miriam Niestat

My uncle had the idea that maybe I could weave a tallis of my own. But I didn’t want it to somehow invalidate my bat mitzvah.

Topics: Crafts, Family, Ritual

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