by Barbara Gingold

What Worries Israeli Women Now?

“Three for the price of two?” In Shuk Ramla — the bargain- basement outdoor market that comes to Jerusalem once a week — women in drab winter jackets haggle with burly vendors over kids’ sweatshirts, already marked down to 12 shekels ($3) apiece. A couple of miles away in Malcha Mall, “the biggest shopping center in the Middle East,” other women, coiffed and clothed à la mode, put down their branded shopping bags and shmooze at noodle bars and pastry shops. On busy Ibn Gvirol Street in Tel Aviv, an energetic young Histadrut (Workers’ Union) employee named Dafni hands out flyers and urges passersby to sign a petition demanding better working conditions for waitresses and waiters. On the eve of Israel’s 60th anniversary, with social gaps in the population growing by quantum leaps, Qassam rockets falling daily on towns in the Negev, and faith in government sunk to an all-time low, what are the concerns that unite these women? Or, as Lilith’s editors asked: What do Israeli women worry about?

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Israel at 60

The articles in this special section:

Young Israelis Make Waves In NYC

Four artists and a jazz singer come to lunch and dish about politics, gender, and where cultures clash. Then they reveal how Israel grew them into artists. You eavesdrop, via Naomi Danis’s translation of their Hebrew conversation.

Seven-Day Spa

by Sarah Greenberg, photos by Joan Roth

Spending one week a month in isolation with other women in a menstrual hut isn’t easily done in modernday Israel, so Ethiopian immigrants — and their university-educated daughters — are figuring out how to transpose these women’s rituals into the 21st century.

What Worries Israeli Women Now?

by Barbara Gingold

They speak frankly about making ends meet, keeping peace at home (in every sense of those words), and the powerful pull of their closest relationships. What keeps these women sane?