Women's Rights

Content type
Collection
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.

Noa Karidi at her bat mitzvah collaged on a blue watercolor background

Honoring the Women of the Wall With My Tallit

Noa Karidi

By choosing this tallit, I am honoring the hard work of other women that allowed me to go through this process.

Episode 83: Fighting for Israel's "Chained Women"

In Israel, marriage and divorce are governed by Jewish law and controlled by the ultra-Orthodox rabbinical courts. If a Jewish woman wants a divorce, she has to get permission from her husband—and he can refuse. That's exactly what happens to about 1 in 5 Jewish women in Israel who want a divorce, according to a recent survey. In this episode of 'Can We Talk?,' we speak with Kylie Eisman-Lifschitz, board chair of Mavoi Satum, about how rabbinical control over the divorce process in Israel harms Jewish women, and about how organizations like Mavoi Satum are taking on the problem, by working with women one-on-one, but also by fighting for systemic change. 

Collage of candlesticks on a stack of books with a light purple background

Setting My Feminist Intentions with Shabbat

Olivia Gnad

When I unfold my little silver candle holder and light the flames, I bring in the light of a commitment to practicing my Judaism alongside my feminism.

Fania Mindell

Fania Mindell was a feminist activist and co-founder of a birth control clinic. She was arrested and fined for her work, which helped bring America’s attention to women’s health. She also worked on Broadway as a translator and costume and set designer.

Carly Manes and the cover of her book What's An Abortion, Anyway?

Interview with Carly Manes, author of "What’s An Abortion, Anyway?"

Chanel Dubofsky

We spoke with Carly Manes about Jewish faith and abortion, the obstacles in getting the book into the world, and how Jewish communities can support the fight for reproductive justice.

Episode 72: Ezrat Nashim Confronts the Rabbis

Fifty years ago, a group of young Jewish women piled into two cars and drove to upstate New York to crash the annual meeting of the all-male Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative movement. They called themselves Ezrat Nashim and they had a set of demands that included the right to be counted in a minyan, lead religious services, and attend rabbinical school. Their brief but brave action had ripple effects across American Jewish communities.

Miriam Anzovin posing with ring light.

Interview With Talmudic TikToker Miriam Anzovin

Dina Adelsky

JWA talks to Miriam Anzovin about leaving behind Orthodox practice, misogyny on social media and IRL, and of course, her viral Daf Reactions TikTok videos.

Ronit Elkabetz

Ronit Elkabetz (1963-2016) was one of Israeli cinema's leading actors. Coming from the northern periphery, she played in some of the major Israeli films of the last decades. She is particularly remembered for the trilogy she directed with her brother Shlomi Elkabetz: To Take a Wife (2004), The Seven Days (2009), and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (2013), all addressing the issue of the oppression of Mizrahi women in the name of the Jewish religion.

Helène Aylon

Helene Aylon was an American, New York-based, multimedia visual artist who began by creating process art in the 1970s, focused on anti-nuclear and eco-activist art by the 1980s, and subsequently devoted more than 35 years to the multi-partite installation The G-d Project. This last body of work’s often direct or indirect textuality resonates from and responds to Judaism’s traditionally male-dominated textuality as part of a larger commentary on women in Judaism.

Collage with Image of Georgia Fried and Her Siblings Holding Volunteer Certificates for 2020 Polls in Columbus, OH

I Worked the Polls During the 2021 "Off-Year" Election: Here's Why It Matters

Georgia Fried

As last year's election came and went and my disillusionment peaked, I recalled all of the Jewish women who fought to get the right to vote.

Collage of Illustrated Women Facing the Western Wall

"We Hear Us": Finding My Voice in Response to Sexism at the Western Wall

Mallie Lifsitz

The woman who helped me onto the benches that day at the Western Wall helped me to begin to find my voice.

Episode 70: Jane: Abortion Before Roe

"Pregnant? Don't want to be? Call Jane." That was the catchphrase of the Chicago-based Abortion Counseling Service of Women's Liberation, better known as Jane. Before Roe v. Wade made abortion legal, the women of Jane provided safe, illegal, and affordable abortions to nearly 12,000 women in the Chicago area until seven "Janes" were arrested in 1972. In this episode of Can We Talk?, we hear from Jeanne Galatzer-Levy and Judith Arcana, two of the "Abortion Seven," as well as Jane founder Heather Booth.

Abortion rights activists protest outside Supreme Court

The Supreme Court and the Future of Abortion

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

Now more than ever, Jews who are concerned about threats to reproductive justice must stand firm in their support for abortion rights.

Women with arms around each other, backs turned

Jewish Feminists, History, and the HUC Report

JWA Staff

JWA responds to the recent report on the investigation into sexual misconduct at HUC. 

Photo Collage of Amelia Posner-Hess reading Torah at her Bat Mitzvah

Wrapped in the Tallit of Jewish Matriarchs

Amelia Posner-Hess

My prayer shawl, which is titled “The Garden of Eden,” was designed specifically for Women of the Wall.

Girl Holding #MeToo sign

It’s Time Schools Took Sexual Assault Seriously

Rena Kosowsky

By failing to educate students about sexual boundaries, my high school perpetuated a culture of assault.

Rita Arditti

Rita Arditti was an Argentinian Sephardic scientist, feminist, educator, and activist who spent most of her adult life working for social justice and human rights while living in the United States. She co-founded Science for the People, New Words Bookstore, and the Women’s Community Cancer Project. She co-edited anthologies on science and politics and reproductive technologies and wrote a book about the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo in Argentina.

Abby Joseph Cohen

A leading voice in the United States investment banking and finance industry, Abby Joseph Cohen worked in the Goldman Sachs investment research division for over three decades. She rose to prominence in the 1990s with her accurate predictions of a prolonged economic expanding and durable bull market and has remained one of the top names in the investment industry.

Susan Brownmiller

Susan Brownmiller is a radical feminist writer and journalist. She was a leader in the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s to 1980s (second-wave feminism). Brownmiller is bes-known for Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape (1975), the first comprehensive study of sexual violence.

Alix Kates Shulman

Alix Kates Shulman is a radical feminist writer and activist and a leader in the second-wave feminist movement of the 1960s through 1980s.  She is best known as the author of “The Marriage Agreement” (1970) and the best-selling Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen (1972), which was heralded as the “first important novel of the Women’s Liberation movement.” She was honored with a Clara Lemlich Award for a lifetime of social activism in 2018.

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