Spirituality and Religious Life

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Lynn Gottlieb publishes "She Who Dwells Within"

March 3, 1995

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb's She Who Dwells Within, which she describes as "a practical guide to nonsexist Judaism," was published on March 3, 1995.

Women of Faith conference convened

January 11, 1984

Religious women of many backgrounds gathered on January 11, 1984 for a Women of Faith conference at Marymount College (now Marymount University) in Virginia.

Ze'enah U-Re'enah

Ze’enah u-Re’enah, Yiddish pronunciation: tsenerene. A rendering in Yiddish of the Pentateuch, the Megillot (Five Scrolls of the Bible) and the Haftarot(portions from Prophets read in synagogue after the Sabbath reading from the Torah).

Yemen and the Yishuv

Yemenite women proved to be most stable and resourceful, both in Yemen where tradition reigned, and also after immigration to The Land of IsraelErez Israel and New York, facing changes and challenges in turbulent times. They adapted to changing economic, social and communal conditions, acculturated in language skills and organizational life, and were instrumental in bringing up their daughters and sons to successfully integrate into the new worlds.

Union of Jewish Women

The Union of Jewish Women (UJW) was the first national umbrella organization for Jewish women’s social service groups.

Torah Study

The commandment of Torah study is a positive Biblical precept.

Tkhines

Because most Jewish texts of the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries, as throughout most of Jewish history, were written in Hebrew by men for other men, we have very little direct evidence of women’s religious lives. Tkhines (Yiddish, from Hebrew tehinnot, “supplications”), private devotions and paraliturgical prayers in Yiddish, primarily for women, were published beginning in the early modern period, especially in Central and Eastern Europe and among Yiddish-speaking populations elsewhere.

Summer Camping in the United States

Summer camping became an American institution in the aftermath of World War I, evolving within a society that was concerned with children and wished to raise the next generation as "able bodied" and "morally upright" American citizens.

Spain

Written histories of the Jews in Spain have rarely included women. When dealing with Jewish women in Spain, the available sources range from poems, letters, and rabbinic literature to Latinate wills, court records and Inquisition documents.

Spirituality in the United States

Spirituality can be defined as life lived in the presence of God. It embraces not only traditional and formal modes of religious expression, but also more informal individual and communal efforts to remain mindful of the sacred in all aspects of experience.

South Africa

The South African Jewish community is a highly organized, relatively affluent community, estimated at between eighty thousand and ninety thousand Jews in 2001—less than two percent of the total white population and 0.5 percent of the total population. Despite these small numbers and continuing emigration, the South African community remains one of the twelve largest Jewish communities in the world.

Sex

The rabbinic discourse of sex has been at one and the same time both empowering and sharply disabling for women. In constraining all women to be wives and mothers, the possibilities for women’s lives have been severely constrained and to a great extent women’s roles have been denigrated as well.

Sephardi Women in the United States

Sephardic Jews constitute only a small proportion of American Jewry. Although they comprised the majority of American Jewry during the colonial period, that majority never exceeded twenty-five hundred prior to the American Revolution. By the nineteenth century, the Sephardi community was vastly outnumbered by Ashkenazim. Nevertheless, a few outstanding Sephardi personalities captured public notice.

Sabbateanism

Uniquely in the history of rabbinic Judaism, which exempted women from much of its formal cult, and which generally barred them from all positions of public office and authority, Sabbateanism displayed a particular interest in women and was especially attractive to them from the outset.

Tamar De Sola Pool

Tamar de Sola Pool dreamt of a socially and economically just world where people consistently acted toward one another with good will, fairness, and faith.

Orthodox Judaism in the United States

Orthodox views on the role women may play in their community’s religious, educational, and social life have reflected the range of attitudes that religious group has harbored toward American society and culture.

Observance of Mitzvot: Custom and Halakhah

Numerous accounts scattered throughout early halakhic literature indicate that women had many traditions and customs of their own. Their religious life was characterized by a degree of independence and was not exclusively dependent on external halakhic norms. The manner in which women observed mitzvot was extremely influential in the formative stage of halakhah, before it was crystallized, recorded and sealed in the Shulhan Arukh.

National Council of Jewish Women

When the National Council of Jewish Women was founded in 1893, it was the first national organization in history to unite Jewish women to promote the Jewish religion. That its commitment to preserve Jewish heritage in a quickly modernizing America would be fraught with contradictions was not readily apparent in the optimistic surroundings of the World Parliament of Religions, convened as part of the Chicago World Exposition.

National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods

In 1913, the women of Reform Judaism, who were organized in independent, local synagogue sisterhoods founded in the 1890s and 1900s, united to create a national organization of women dedicated to religion. Reform Jewish women joined the American women of the era who established a host of voluntary associations to further various social and communal agendas.

Morocco: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

The female gender roles and status of Moroccan Jewish women during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were influenced by a patriarchal order, by Jewish religious writings and their interpretations by local rabbis, and by the surrounding Muslim society, which was often hostile to the Jewish communities.

Lily Montagu

Lilian Helen Montagu was a British social worker, a magistrate in the London juvenile courts, suffragist, writer, religious organizer, and spiritual leader who founded and long remained the driving force behind the Liberal Jewish movement in England.

Mikveh

The mikveh is a ritual bath designed for the Jewish rite of purification. The mikveh is not merely a pool of water; it must be composed of stationary, not flowing, waters and must contain a certain percentage of water derived from a natural source, such as a lake, an ocean, or rain.

Marriage

The concepts explicated in this entry constitute the various stages in the Jewish marriage process. These stages have various The legal corpus of Jewish laws and observances as prescribed in the Torah and interpreted by rabbinic authorities, beginning with those of the Mishnah and Talmud.halakhic and legal implications. The beginning of the marriage process is the stage of The first stage in the marriage process, in which the man and woman commit to marry each other in the future.shiddukhin, in which the man and woman promise to marry each other in the future. Kiddushin and nissu’in create the legal bond of marriage between husband and wife, the beginning of the bond being established by kiddushin and its completion being accomplished through nissu’in.

Lilith

Until the late twentieth century the demon Lilith, Adam’s first wife, had a fearsome reputation as a kidnapper and murderer of children and seducer of men. Only with the advent of the feminist movement in the 1960s did she acquire her present high status as the model for independent women. The feminist theologian judith plaskow’s A type of non-halakhic literary activitiy of the Rabbis for interpreting non-legal material according to special principles of interpretation (hermeneutical rules).midrash on the story of Lilith played a key role in transforming Lilith from a demon to a role model. As an individual Lilith is first known from the Alphabet of Ben Sira, a provocative and often misogynist satirical Hebrew work of the eighth century c.e., but the liliths as a category of demons, along with the male lilis, have existed for several thousand years.

Women's History Month Podcast Feature #2

by  Jordan Namerow

Out from the balcony and onto the bimah! Introducing JWA's second Women's History Month podcast feature, Jewish Women and Religious Innovation. Learn how Hadassah Blocker, Sally Priesand, and Marcia Falk created religious experience on their own terms, expanding opportunities for women's religious participation in their own communities and for American Jews at large.

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