Spirituality and Religious Life

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Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez Hugs her Mother

My two moms: Jewesses with a different kind of attitude

by  Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez

I am a lucky girl. I have two women who I call mom. Well, one I call mommie and the other emma (Hebrew for mother), but that’s just semantics.

Passover recipe roundup

by  Kate Bigam

Tonight marks the fourth night of Passover, and you’re probably running low on leftovers from the first two nights’ seders (if you had any to begin with). Fear not!

Voices of Jewish Poets Logo

Passover poetry: Re-telling the story of our own lives

by  Gail Reimer

National Poetry Month officially began yesterday. It is not altogether clear why the Academy of American Poets chose April as the month to celebrate poets and poetry.

Ketubah

Reclaiming the Ketubah as a symbol of equality and women's independence

by  Allyson Block

The evolution of the Ketubah in the Jewish tradition has taken an interesting turn in recent times.

Beatrice L. Garber, 1912 - 1999

While she wasn’t your typical 'Bubbe,' cooking brisket or baking kugel, she was a gifted public speaker and totally dedicated to Hadassah, her synagogue, the Land of Israel, the Jewish people, and her family.

"The Wandering is Over Haggadah, Including Women's Stories" Logo

Include women's voices with JWA's Passover Haggadah

by  Leah Berkenwald

Last week Kathleen Peratis shared her disappointment with the widely acclaimed The New American Haggadah by Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander:

Misogyny, the "festering impulse," should come as no surprise

by  Susan Reimer-Torn

In her bold article in the Jewish Week (Jan 3) Dr. Gail Bendheim decries the recent events in Beit Shemesh and calls for “examining carefully and courageously what it is about our religious life that has led to such a deeply festering misogynistic impulse.” The answer seems obvious to me as I imagine it must to any woman raised in an Orthodox Jewish family.

"I am Jewish" spoken word speaks volumes

by  Kate Bigam

Andrew Lustig is not a Jewess – but his words are applicable to all of us, male and female, young and old, who identify as Jewish.

Miriam and Aaron Complain Against Moses

They will spit: In the tradition of Miriam, Jewish women will continue to challenge the establishment

by  Susan Reimer-Torn

The ultra-orthodox establishment in Israel is reportedly losing sleep over women’s demands for equality.

"Thank G-D for creating me according to your will"

by  Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez

Three years ago I had the opportunity to visit the rare books room at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) library. I saw many interesting things, but one that would change my life forever.

Tila Tequila

The Superficial's moronically hateful coverage of Tila Tequila's conversion to Judaism

by  Kate Bigam

Let’s get the meat of the gossip out of the way: Reality show star Tila Tequila (real name: Tila Nguyen) is converting to Judaism.

MTV After Hours: Putting Scarlett Johansson and Matt Damon to the test

by  Kate Bigam

Hanukkah may be over until next year, but that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy some of the best Hanukkah video goodies the Internet has to offer.

Rosh Hodesh Hanukkah

JWA inspires Rosh Hodesh Hanukkah

by  Leah Berkenwald

This week we were excited to receive news that our Hanukkah video, Women Who Light Up Our Lives, inspired Rabbi Janie Grackin to create a special project for "Rosh Hodesh Hanukkah." A Florida-based Jewish community educator and participant in JWA's summer Institute for Educators, Janie writes:

Debbie Friedman

The Lives They Lived: Jewish women to remember in 2011

by  Leah Berkenwald

“[Debbie Friedman] emphasized the value of every voice and the power of song to help us express ourselves and become our best selves. As she wrote for JWA's online exhibit Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution: 'The more our voices are heard in song, the more we become our lyrics, our prayers, and our convictions.' The woman who wrote the song that asks God to 'help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing' herself modeled for us what that looks like.”—Judith Rosenbaum.
Learn more >>

Roslyn Bernstein's Daughter Julia at the Educational Alliance Coop Nursery School

The Hanukkah bush: Raising Jewish kids in downtown NYC

by  Roslyn Bernstein

For those of you not around New York City in the 1970s, raising children was a challenge. City parks were infested with drug dealers and street crime was high.

Isabella Karp in a Tallit by Miriam Karp

The story of creation: Artist Miriam Karp on making her daughter's bat mitzvah tallit

by  Leah Berkenwald

Miriam Karp is an artist who has been creating hundreds of one-of-a-kind ketubot since 1976.

Gail Reimer

Together, we are making change

by  Gail Reimer

Change is definitely in the air, and it is filling me with hope.

Gail Reimer

Hot Buttons: Conversations Without Women are Not Cool

by  Gail Reimer

A little over 15 years ago, I found my calling. While attending a Jewish Funder’s Network conference, I received a monograph on Jewish social justice circulated to all conference participants.

Outer Space

My "out of this world" bat mitzvah

by  Gaby Dunn

My bat mitzvah party theme was outer space. Each of the tables were named after the nine planets in the solar system at the time: Mercury, Venus, Mars.

Susan Landau

Learning and teaching bat mitzvah: It goes both ways

by  Susan Landau

“But there’s so much to learn!” This is the traditional lament of every bat mitzvah girl I have tutored, and I’m sure it escaped my lips a few times when I was preparing for my own bat mitzvah as well. Between the prayers, the Torah portion, the Haftarah, the d’var Torah, and everything else a bat mitzvah entails, there is no doubt that in becoming a bat mitzvah there is quite a lot to learn. But I would like to offer an alternative framework: the bat mitzvah girl not as a learner, but as a teacher.

"Today I am a Woman," Eds Barbara Vinick and Shulamit Reinharz, 2011

Book Review: Today I Am a Woman

by Etta King Heisler

Today I Am a Woman: Stories of Bat Mitzvah Around the World, (Eds Barbara Vinick and Shulamit Reinharz, Indiana University Press, 2011) is at once intellectual and imaginative.

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