Michelle is sixth-grade Humanities Teacher and Middle School Advisor & Community Engagement Coordinator at the Jewish Community Day School in Watertown, MA. Her lesson plan, “What Does It Mean To Be A Jewish Feminist?,” is an elective for students in grades 5–8, who learn how women and men might define themselves as feminists, then conduct independent research and present their findings to the class.
What Does It Mean To Be A Jewish Feminist?
Students explore the definition of feminism using a pluralistic lens, and consider the intersections between Judaism and feminism in their own lives, and in the lives of those with whom they engage on a daily basis.
- Feminism and Judaism are not mutually exclusive, and in fact, they coexist and interact with one another in interesting and dynamic ways.
- Jewish people of all genders can define feminism through their own religious identity and practice.
- Educating ourselves about social issues can help us develop informed opinions, which can help us effect positive social change.
- What are the constraints that feminism has in Jewish spaces? Alternately, what are the possibilities for feminism to exist within a Jewish space?
- How can we expand our own views on social issues and disadvantaged groups?
- How can understanding social issues help us to take action and make a difference?
- Computers, internet access, PowerPoint or Google presentation
- Legal size paper/chart paper (depending on number of students in your class)
- Writing utensils
Notes to Teacher
- The full unit consists of four lessons (correlating to parts 1-4 in the lesson plan below), which can be taught over the course of 4-5 classes.
- Part 1 (a) can be followed by a class discussion, or students may write their own responses and then exchange them with one another to engage in written dialogue
- The course is designed for Jewish students in grades 5-8.
The “Teacher Resources” section contains examples of other articles students can use as part of their topic research
Jewish Women’s Archive—Women of Valor
National Public Radio
JTA: The Global Jewish News Source:
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Michelle Boyle." (Viewed on August 23, 2019) <https://jwa.org/twersky/michelle-boyle>.