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In this issue: Why won’t the Jewish Theological Seminary let women be Conservative rabbis? And who are the women who want in? Truths—and some good guesses—behind the nasty sex jokes about Jewish women. Our foremother Beruriah was a woman whose word became law—literally! Divorce Jewish style: a guide for the oppressed.

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“In a coma! I thought she was Jewish!”

by Susan Weidman Schneider

There are countless jokes about how sexually "unresponsive" Jewish women supposedly are. Who’s laughing—and why?

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Beruriah: Her Word Became Law

by Leonard Swidler

In the second century, when women were secluded, subordinated and subservient, one woman—-Beruriah—-gained a towering reputation as a scholar, teacher and arbiter of Jewish law. Read how she argued with wit and conviction against the prevailing attitudes towards her sex.

Gentlemen’s Agreement at the Seminary

by Amy Stone

The men who make the decisions at the Jewish Theological Seminary keep turning away women who want to become Conservative rabbis. They say Conservative Judaism isn't ready for women in the pulpit, but women aspirants are determined to take the male mystique out of the Conservative rabbinate.

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Circumcision Is No Insurance

by Sharon Lieberman

Jewish women have had lower rates of cervical cancer than women in other ethnic groups. Myth has it that the reason is their circumcised partners. But research on cervical cancer shows that a woman’s sexual behavior is a far more important factor than her partner’s circumcision—and Jewish women’s sexual behavior is changing.

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Jewish Divorce Law

by Blu Greenberg

Divorce Jewish style is strictly the man’s right—-by law, a woman cannot divorce her husband. And that’s the problem. Now it’s time for interpreters of halakhah (Jewish law) to insure equality in divorce for women; and it is possible.

Crimes Against Woman in Israel

by Joanne Yaron

The Israeli rabbinate has control over divorce-—and thus over the country’s women. Extortion by vindictive husbands whose wives want a divorce is but one of the abuses under this system.

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The Crippler

poetry by Diane Levenberg

How was this Passover Different from All Other Passovers

by Reena Sigman Friedman

Looking back on the Seders, most women remember cooking and serving. ("For this we came out of Egypt?") But a growing number of women have gone beyond merely enabling their men to conduct the Seder.

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