Spirituality and Religious Life

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Collection

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

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

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

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"

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

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

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

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

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

The Hanukkah bush: Raising Jewish kids in downtown NYC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Interfaith leaders rally to raise awareness of homelessness among LGBTQ youth

Chanel Dubofsky

When I moved to New York City, I was told that there are a set of rules one should follow in order to ride the subway safely.

JWA's vision for the Jewish future

Leah Berkenwald

Earlier this year, JWA's Etta King, Judith Rosenbaum and I produced a video entry for the Jewish Futures Competition responding to the question: "How will Jewish life, living and learning change as we move to a society in which individuals are not only consumers of information and culture, but also producers of their own and others' experiences?"

Idit Klein, 2005

Nine more women for the Forward 50

Kate Bigam

As it does every year, the Forward recently published its “Forward 50” – and just like every year, the list is short on women.

It Gets Better: Where are the Jews?

Kate Bigam

By now, the It Gets Better Project has made headlines around the world, with everyone from Lady Gaga to president Obama posting a video to support and encourage LGBT youth. A number of Jewish leaders have joined the conversation by making videos of their own. Here are a few of my favorites. Let me know if I’ve missed any good ones!

Mazel tov to the women of the Forward 50

Leah Berkenwald

Another year, another Forward 50 list of Jewish leaders who have made the biggest impact (good or bad) in American Jewish life.

Roller Skates

My super-uncool, roller-skating bat mitzvah

Jessica Leader

I remember the crackling sound of late nineties alt-rock and the stench of roller-rink pizza like it was just yesterday.

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