Women's Rights

Content type
Collage of the Kotel and people part of the organization, Women of the Wall

Anat Hoffman and Jewish Women’s Access to the Kotel

Talia Waxman

Hearing about Hoffman's work had a significant impact on my confidence and ability to forge my own religious path.  

"What We Bring" by Andi Arnovitz

Q & A with Artist Andi Arnovitz about her new piece, "What We Bring"

Jen Richler

JWA talks to Israeli artist Andi Arnovitz about her new (JWA-inspired!) piece, What We Bring, currently on display at the Jerusalem Biennale. 



Episode 106: A Pocket of Hope: Israeli Women Building a Shared Future

“From the deepest crises come the clearest visions…We're fighting for our lives. We're fighting for our future,” says Sally Abed from Standing Together, a grassroots political movement in Israel. In this episode of Can We Talk?, we hear from Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel who are working on shared society initiatives, even in the midst of the war. Sally, as well as Hanan Alsanah, Ayesha Ziadna, Khitam Abu Bader, and Racheli Geffen, talk about how the war has affected their lives, work, and identity; the unique qualities women bring to social justice work; and their vision for a shared future. Jen Richler recorded their remarks during a women’s mission to Israel in January 2024 co-organized by the Jewish Women’s Archive.

Collage of pro-choice poster on green background

Diana Mara Henry's Photography and Progressive Activism

Sasha Kranson-Forrest

Through the pictures I took of the protest, I used photography as a way to exhibit women’s rights issues, just like Diana Mara Henry and many other activists did.

Collage of Ora Namir on grey blue background

Learning from Ora Namir and Advocating for a Better Israel

Lily Katz

The actions taken by so many progressive Israelis against their far-right government have inspired me to consider the history of activism and fights for equality within the state of Israel. I am particularly inspired by the legacy Ora Namir left for Israeli women.

Collage of Jewish Women Who Died in 2023

Jewish Women Whose Memories I’m Carrying into 2024

Judith Rosenbaum

The year 2023 brought the deaths of several powerful and influential Jewish women, whose insights and voices changed the world and are all the more painful to lose in this difficult time. 

Episode 105: Hear Their Voices: Sexual Violence on October 7

When Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on October 7, they raped, tortured, and mutilated women’s bodies in unimaginable ways. News about the sexual violence emerged within days, but few women’s organizations spoke up to condemn it. Some even questioned whether the claims were true. In this episode of Can We Talk?, we discuss the sexual violence of October 7, the effort to collect evidence, and the international response—or lack thereof.  We speak with Hadas Ziv, who co-authored a Physicians for Human Rights Israel paper on the crimes, and Sheila Katz, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, one of the sponsors of a recent event at the United Nations aimed at calling attention to the sexual assaults. We’ll also hear excerpts of testimonies given at the UN by people who saw evidence of sexual violence on the bodies of women killed by Hamas. 

Please note, this episode contains graphic descriptions of sexual violence.

Marcy Syms


Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Judge Marcy Syms on October 3, 2023, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Judge Abrams explores her family, education, career path, focus on gender issues, and notable legal cases in an interview. The interview with Marcy Syms covers her diverse life, exploring her immigrant and Jewish roots, early encounters with feminism, experiences with discrimination, leadership in her family's company, activism for the Equal Rights Amendment, and insights into gender equality and workplace reforms.

Rabbi Minna Bromberg leading a workshop

Why We Need Fat Torah

Ariadne Wolf

Until fatphobia is erased from our Jewish lives, people with bodies like mine will never be able to truly come home.

Rebecca Chernin

Women Who Dared

Elise Brenner interviewed Rebecca Chernin on December 19, 2004, in Sharon, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Project. Rebecca discusses her family, childhood, and Jewish identity, highlighting her advocacy efforts to combat teen violence and support domestic violence victims within the Jewish community; she also shares her personal experience as an Orthodox teen survivor of an abusive relationship, her work with REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, and her outreach efforts to address domestic violence within the Jewish community, guided by the Jewish value of shalom bayit, and reflects on her ongoing advocacy goals.

Diane Balser

Women Who Dared

Julie Johnson interviewed Diane Balser on March 8, 2005, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Balser discusses her journey into activism, including her early involvement in peace activism and the women’s movement, and her efforts to raise awareness on global gender inequality issues and facilitating discussions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Nairobi.

Episode 96: Can We Talk? 2022-23 Season Wrap

That's a wrap! In this episode of Can We Talk?, Nahanni Rous, Jen Richler, and Judith Rosenbaum recap the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 seasons—from a celebration at a queer Jewish chicken farm to the fight for Israel's "chained women" to reproductive rights after Roe, and much more. 

Arms holding up a protest sign with 3 power fists on it on yellow background

Toward A Besere Velt (A Better World)

Ava Weinstein

The more I learn about the world and the society we live in, the more dissatisfied I feel and the more eager I am to change it.

Episode 94: Rebbetzins in America

What did talented, dedicated Jewish women do before they could become rabbis? Some became rebbetzins. In this episode of Can We Talk?, we’re looking at the changing role of the rebbetzin—the rabbi’s wife. Women have been rabbis in America for just over half a century, but for as long as there have been rabbis, there have been rabbi’s wives—and they've often served as leaders, too. We'll hear from Shuly Rubin Schwartz, author of The Rabbi’s Wife: The Rebbetzin in American Jewish Life, and from three spouses of rabbis.

Renee Brant

Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Renee Brant on July 18, 2001, in Newtown Highlands, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project. Brant discusses her upbringing, activism, and career in addressing sexual abuse, emphasizing personal growth, and promoting mental health services in medicine.

Judith Wright

Women Who Dared

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Judith Wright on July 25, 2000, in Gloucester, Massachusetts, as part of the Women Who Dared Oral History Project, Wright discusses her family, Jewish identity, political activism, involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, incarceration during the Freedom Rides, and her continued engagement in various causes, including women's rights and antiwar activities.

Episode 92: Beyond the Binary: Making Hebrew More Gender-Inclusive

Hebrew is a very gendered language; every noun in Hebrew is either feminine or masculine. So are pronouns, including “I” and “you.” This makes it nearly impossible to utter a sentence in Hebrew without using gender. So as a Hebrew speaker, how do you refer to a mixed-gender group? What about nonbinary people? In this episode of Can We Talk?, we speak with Michal Shomer, Dafna Eisenreich, and Tal Jenner-Klausner, three activists who are taking Hebrew beyond the gender binary and promoting a Hebrew language that includes people of all genders.

Episode 91: Israel at 75: Voices of Protest

Israel turns 75 this week. This milestone comes at a moment of unprecedented upheaval in Israeli society and escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Over the past few months, around 1.5 million Israelis have poured into the streets to protest the judicial reforms proposed by Netanyahu’s far-right coalition government, which would weaken the power of the Supreme Court.

In this episode of Can We Talk?, we'll hear four Jewish Israeli women from diverse backgrounds reflect on how the country arrived at this tumultuous moment. They'll talk about their hopes and fears for the country, and what the protests have meant to them.

Bernice Stern

Weaving Women's Words

Pamela Brown Lavitt interviewed Bernice Stern on June 22 and July 31, 2001, in Seattle, Washington as part of the Weaving Women's Words Oral History Project. Stern discusses her Seattle upbringing, involvement in the Jewish community, activism in social justice causes, political engagement, and her roles as a councilwoman and grandmother.

Dina Rosenfeld

Meet Me at Sinai

Jayne Guberman interviewed Dina Rosenfeld on February 8th, 2015, in New York, New York, as part of the Meet Me at Sinai Oral History Project. Rosenfeld talks about immigrating to Boro Park, becoming involved in Jewish feminism through Ezrat Nashim, confronting the Jewish Theological Seminary, and discussing the impact of the movement on women's religious participation.

Barbara Seaman

Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America

Judith Rosenbaum interviewed Barbara Seaman on October 30, 2005, in New York, New York, as part of the Barnard: Jewish Women Changing America Oral History Project. Seaman discusses her research on preventative hysterectomies, the influence of Rose Kushner, her family history, activism in the women's movement, and challenges as an activist journalist confronting the pharmaceutical industry.

Collage of Bertha Pappenheim on orange and white background

Bertha Pappenheim and My Great Great Grandmother

Aviva Schilowitz

Bertha Pappenheim and Oma Irene’s work still feels essential today. We still are working to help people in the Jewish community who many would prefer to pretend don’t exist.

Collage of Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Rebecca Gratz, and Emma Goldman on patterned purple background

Fighting for Abortion Rights with My Jewish Feminist Heroes

Leila Nuri

Following in the footsteps of Jewish feminists before us, I think educating others to stop the spread of misinformation, accentuating voices that need to be heard, and acknowledging your own privilege is deeply necessary in this fight.

Florence Schornstein

Katrina's Jewish Voices

Rosalind Hinton interviewed Florence Schornstein on July 31, 2006, in New Orleans, Louisiana, for the Katrina’s Jewish Voices Oral History Project. Schornstein, a longtime political and Jewish community activist in New Orleans, discusses her involvement in politics, her experiences during Hurricane Katrina, her role in rebuilding the city, and her frustration with national services for their lack of support post-Katrina.


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