Spirituality and Religious Life

Content type
Collection
Torah with nature frame

Lessons from Our Backyard Bat Mitzvah

Julie Zuckerman

For one family, a backyard bat mitzvah during the pandemic brought fruitful lessons.

Episode 55: Breathing Lesson

We kick off Can We Talk?'s spring season just in time for Passover... and about a year since we began living with the global pandemic. This time has been rough on so many people, for so many reasons—hard on working parents with kids in remote school, hard on people who have lost jobs, human contact, and loved ones. In this podcast episode, Judith Rosenbaum and Nahanni Rous—and our podcast listeners—get a breathing lesson from Janice Stieber Rous, founder of Body Dialogue (and Nahanni's aunt). They'll also talk about liberation, well-being, and how stress and exhaustion impact our ability to breathe.

Astrology Graphic

Astrology Is More Jewish Than You Think

Ilana Diamant

Judaism and astrology aren't incompatible. 

woman screaming underwater

What Does Resilience Look Like?

Emma Barthold

Resilience does not demand perfection—resilience only demands that we keep going.

Roslyn Lieberman Horwich's bat mitzvah speech, 1940–41 (page 1)

A Reform Synagogue's First Bat Mitzvah

Rabbi Daniel Kirzane

Temple B’nai Abraham Zion's Associate Rabbi discusses the congregations first bat mitzvah, Roslyn Lieberman Horwich.

Gold Star of David necklace hanging in midair, in partial focus.

"Tagen Alai": My Magen David Necklace and My Jewish Identity

Noa Gross

My Magen David necklace has transformed from a simple silver chain into an extension of my identity.

Photo of Monterey Bay

Revelations Through Music at Jewish Summer Camp

Ella Thompson

At camp, every song had a different tune, and for every prayer I knew, there were four more I didn’t.

Photo of Birkenau ash pond, a single red flower growing at its bank.

Flowers At Auschwitz: The Power of Jewish Tradition and Hope

Dahlia Plotkin-Oren

The simple image of a flower growing in Auschwitz reminded me of the strength and power that hope can carry.

Close up image of Shoshanah Curiel-Alessi's tie-dyed pink and purple tallit

How My Bat Mitzvah Tallit Helped Me Find My Voice

Shoshanah Curiel-Alessi

This prayer shawl was the antithesis of everything I’d told myself I was supposed to be; it challenged tradition, caught attention, and took up space.

Louise Glück

Louise Glück, American poet, essayist, and educator, is the recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature, as well as numerous other awards for her writing; she also served as poet laureate of the United States from 2003 to 2004. One finds the personal, the mythological, and the Biblical woven intricately throughout Glück’s oeuvre.
Illustration of Raised Hands with #MeToo Written on the Palms

Why We Still Need to Be Talking about #MeToo in the Jewish Community

Dahlia Soussan

As too many Jewish women find their allegations unheard and unaddressed, I am responsible to amplify those female voices.

Virtual High Holidays Graphic

The High Holidays Go Virtual: Three Rabbis on Jewish Ritual during a Pandemic

Elana Moscovitch

JWA talks to three rabbis about how Judaism has changed, and stayed the same, during the pandemic.

Helene Aylon's Self Portrait, 2004

Wrestling with "Ruach" (God)

Belle Gage

I tend to have more questions than answers when it comes to God.

Photo of Woman at the Beach

Spirituality, Self-Care, and the Fight for Justice

Ellanora Lerner

To see everything as holy, to be amazed by the simple, beautiful things in the world, not only brings me happiness; it also inspires me to fight for justice.

Rising Voices Fellow Lilah Peck with her sister Adina

"Lech Lecha": My Sister’s Journey from Charlotte to Jerusalem

Lilah Peck

My sister went to seminary in Jerusalem after graduating high school, both geographically and symbolically far from her Charlotte roots.

"Old Olive Tree," 1935

The Wise Child of Climate Activism

Sasha Azizi Rosenfeld

When I asked my mom how she relates to the climate crisis through Judaism, she said, “I’ve never thought about it. I guess I’m the simple child.”

Sketch of Ray Frank, 1893

"L'dor Vador": Like Ray Frank, Paving the Way for Progress

Eleanor Harris

Rabbinic ordination was not one of Ray Frank’s goals; yet, she paved the way for other women to become rabbis.

American Girl dolls

Your Best American Girl

Molly Weiner

Who among us didn't want an American Girl doll growing up?

Maddy Pollack speaking at her Bat Mitzvah party, microphone in hand. Cake on a table in front of her with text "Mazel Tov, Maddy."

The Only Jewish Kid

Maddy Pollack

When I was in third grade, my teacher asked me to tell my class about the Jewish New Year.

Gold Star of David necklace hanging in midair, in partial focus.

Jewelry and Jewish Feminism

Lila Goldstein

Like everything we wear, our jewelry displays our tastes and preferences. On a deeper level, though, it also projects our values to the world.

Stock Photo of Water

Mikveh and Water Justice

Steph Black

I am a mikveh guide. And I am an ecofeminist.

Rising Voices Fellow Emma Cohn with father

How Jewish Are You?

Emma Cohn

I have spent the last year learning that we are all at different places in our Jewish education; we have all had different sets of experiences. And they are all valid.

Woman speaking into a megaphone

Shouting Doesn’t Have to Mean a Sore Throat

Ilana Jacobs

While at the time I couldn’t admit it to myself, I felt deep down that the world wouldn’t end if I gave up this cause.

Ima Alleluia Nwachukwu

Igbo Jews: A Threatened Community

Patrick Egwu

Reporter Patrick Egwu details the persecution facing the Igbo Jewish community in Umuahia, Southern Nigeria.

Phonetic Spelling of Privilege

Privilege and the Chosen People

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.”

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox