Live from the Lilith Blog

Live from the Lilith Blog

February 23, 2017 by

How Repealing the ACA Could Specifically Impact Jewish Women

medical-563427_1280Since the beginning of the Trump administration, we’ve seen the destruction of social safety nets that benefit the most vulnerable Americans, particularly women and folks of color. This destruction isn’t even limited to the U.S.—as one of his first executive actions, Trump reinstated the Global Gag Rule, a policy dictating that no federal funding will be given to non-governmental organizations around the world providing abortion counseling or support for abortion in any way, without including the usual exemptions that even anti-choice administrations typically make available. 

In the U.S., the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare has allowed 20 million Americans who previously did not have health insurance to access it. The A.C.A. has always been under attack, but Trump has vowed to take it apart completely, and the process to repeal and replace has already begun. The language around health care policy isn’t necessarily accessible to the average person, but one thing is clear about what the dismantling of the A.C.A. and the defunding of Planned Parenthood means: people who need preventative care the most, including Jewish women, won’t be able to afford it, and the results of that fact will be devastating.

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Live from the Lilith Blog

February 22, 2017 by

Gentrifying Home

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Rebecca Katz is your average white, Jewish, twenty-something who likes to talk and draw about food, privilege, television, and her period. After six years away, Rebecca has returned home to Brooklyn and lives just three blocks away from where she grew up. Take a look at more of her comics at katzcomics.tumblr.com.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Lilith Magazine.

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February 21, 2017 by

Artistic Uprising Against the Exploitation of Women

nobannowallActivists including Eve Ensler, Rosario Dawson, Dr. Debbie Almontaser, and others gathered last Tuesday as part of 1 Billion Rising Revolution against the exploitation of women.

The organization’s website provided the following information: “Tuesday, February 14, women and men throughout the US and in 200 countries worldwide [came] together [to] RISE to end violence against all women and girls (cis, transgender and gender non-conforming) as part of V-Day’s massive annual One Billion Rising campaign, including this just-announced rally – ‘Artistic Uprising – A Call for Revolutionary Love’ – [and took] place in Washington Square Park. The rally [featured] performances and speeches by artists and activists.”

Lilith photographer Joan Roth was there to document the event. See her photos below.

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February 20, 2017 by

A Jewish Therapist’s Tips for Surviving in the Trump Era

sleeping woman“The air I’m breathing feels different,” a friend said after the inauguration. Clients report waking from dreams screaming at Trump and his supporters. I, myself, wake through the night, agitated. 

The confirmation of Jeff Sessions as attorney general, arrests of immigrants who have lived productively here for decades, Mitch McConnell silencing Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor—these are troubling times. I sign petitions daily, call my state and federal Congress people weekly. When I couldn’t get through to his Washington office, I even mailed a handwritten full-page letter to my Congressman detailing my concerns. Anxiety makes for activism. How do we sustain our commitment, hold steady in the midst of chaos? 

Deep breaths, sleep, healthy food, exercise—these are necessities. Mani-pedis, bubble baths, hot showers, massages and vacations are wonderful but not sufficient. I need more. How do all of us nurture our souls knowing we’ve signed not for a sprint but for a triathlon? 

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February 17, 2017 by

Let’s Stop Romancing the Jewish Womb

Photo Credit: David Lisbona

Photo Credit: David Lisbona

Born to two Jewish parents, I have enjoyed the privilege of engaging with Judaism in whatever way I see fit. It wasn’t until I took a non-Jewish surname that my Jewish identity was ever truly questioned. Upon learning that I’d married the name McGinity (and kept it after I divorced), people usually shrugged their shoulders as if to say: “Well, you’re still Jewish and your children will be, too.” Wow. If coming out of a Jewish womb is all it takes to be Jewish then perhaps I should identify as a Jew-by-chance. Just as I explain that I was born in Madrid because my parents happened to be living in Spain at the time, my being Jewish and my daughter’s being Jewish seem likewise unintentional. This inadvertent byproduct is the legacy called matrilineal descent.

Jewish women have the advantage, provided they are biologically endowed, with having the right womb. If they intermarry, as many non-Orthodox Jews do today, they can join synagogues where their children will be deemed sufficiently Jewish to become bar or bat mitzvah without any additional measures necessary. Not so for intermarried Jewish men whose wives lack the Jewish womb. Is it any wonder, then, that intermarried Jewish men are currently less likely to raise children to identify as Jewish than are intermarried Jewish women? (It is also worth noting that this fixation around wombs is both cisnormative and heteronormative.)

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February 16, 2017 by

Ivanka Trump Is No Woman of Valor

Photo Credit: Michael Vadon

Photo Credit: Michael Vadon

Ivanka Trump knows what her father is. How could she not? When she was nine, he jubilantly dumped her mother, Ivana, in front of all the tabloids for another, younger blonde, Marla Maples. He discarded Maples five years later (and perhaps discarded their daughter, Tiffany, as well), six years after that married Melania, and all along the way grabbed pussies, insulted women because of their looks, called a breastfeeding mother “disgusting,” and so forth. The man’s boorishness knew no bounds. So how can Ivanka, the self-proclaimed feminist daughter, not have contempt for him?

On the contrary: she craves his approval. She co-hosted “The Apprentice” with him. At the Republican convention last summer, she told the whole world that Trump is “a man I have loved and respected my entire life.” 

So what is the real story here? Is she afraid of him? He’s a nasty guy: look at all those Republican men who hate him but don’t have the guts to stand up to him. Or is she afraid that if she doesn’t act the obedient daughter he’ll take away all those perks that go along with being Donald Trump’s daughter? But Ivanka has her own business—her clothing line doubles as vehicle to promote herself as the voice of working mothers everywhere—and her own income. Plus, she married into the wealthy Kushner family. So she doesn’t need her father any more to keep living her glamorous life. 

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February 15, 2017 by

“Fat Talk”: Then and Now

I had always believed that my numerical weight was also a measure of my professional dignity, my diligence and my self-control. I’d struggled with my weight since early childhood and had landed my first senior cantorial position immediately after having lost 40 pounds. That was back in 1976.  

I assumed that losing weight and gaining a pulpit were connected. 

Since I thought about my weight constantly, I figured that, despite my best intentions, my young daughters did, too.

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February 14, 2017 by

Upstanders

"We Stand for Refugees," photo by Amy Stone

“We Stand for Refugees,” photo by Amy Stone

Rain, sleet, slush under foot, lower Manhattan’s tall buildings cloaked in fog.

Undeterred, hundreds of men, women and children turned out for the Day of Jewish Action for Refugees called by HIAS this past Sunday (Feb. 12).  The rally was one of some dozen across the country.

I was unprepared for my emotional response – unlike anything I felt at the Women’s March in Washington. Tears triggered by the middle-aged woman silently holding a sign with the childhood passport picture of her mother – it could have been Anne Frank. And the message: Donald Trump, This is my mom, with her swastika covered passport. Germany 1937. Would you let her in? Jewish Values. American Values. We stand up for refugees.

The rally in Battery Park was just across the harbor from the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. But the anchoring landmark was Castle Clinton, where HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) welcomed Jews to America in 1881. HIAS has gone on to help settle newcomers to America regardless of where they come from or what they believe.  

In the words of HIAS VP Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, “For the first time in history, the Jewish people are not refugees. We are a free and empowered people in America and around the world. And we have a role to play – a responsibility we must live up to. We are called by our mandate to welcome the stranger and to love the stranger. In cities across the country today, Jews are holding rallies, vigils and actions. Together, we are raising our voices up to say that we must keep our doors open to people who are fleeing for their lives.” 

For more information: http://www.hias.org/day-of-action. 

Check out these powerful images. 

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February 13, 2017 by

My IUD: A Story of Revolution

Prologue

Birth control and I have a sticky history.

The first (read: only) time I brought up birth control pills with my dad—in high school, years before I’d actually have sex with a male-bodied person—he responds,

“Well, you know the side effects, don’t you?”

I listed the typical suspects: weight gain, hormonal fluctuations… He cut me off.

“No. You can’t get pregnant.”

To use one of my people’s favorite expressions, Oy.

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February 10, 2017 by

Recipes for Solace

cooking

There are many ways to respond to our current political moment—phoning your representatives, protesting at airports, screaming into a pillow. But sometimes, we just need to decompress and eat comfort food. Here, four Lilith contributors share what they cook up when in need of emotional sustenance. Have your own recipe for solace? Tell us about it at info@lilith.org.


When I had my first inklings on election night of what the outcome was going to be, I abandoned the TV in my living room for my kitchen and made myself pancakes to sustain me to watch through to the bitter end.

Here’s the current iteration of my Whole Grain Pancakes. (more…)

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