Link Roundup: An Early Summer Reading Digest

Welcome to the latest installment of Lilith’s Link Roundup. You’ll find that this post is longer and more Israel-centric than usual. I just returned from a two-week long trip to Israel, where I learned a great deal about feminist issues facing Israel and I am excited to share them with you, our loyal readers. Each week we post Jewish and feminist highlights from around the web. If there’s anything you want to be sure we know about, email us or leave a message in the comments section below.

Last Thursday, the New York Times announced that Jill Abramson would succeed Bill Keller as its Executive Editor. She will be the first woman to ever hold the position in the newspaper’s 160-year history. [Jewish Journal]

In honor of Shavuot, Tablet Magazine profiled Manhattan florist Bella Meyer, who attributes her love of flowers to her famous grandfather, Marc Chagall. On Shavuot, it is customary for synagogues to “adorn their halls with green branches, plants, and blossoms” to commemorate when the Israelites received the Torah. [Tablet Magazine]

History was made in Israel when Brigadier-General Orna Barbivai was named as the IDF’s first female major officer. Following her appointment, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) made headlines by naming Brigadier Ofra Klinger the first female warden. [Ynet] & [Ynet]

For the first time, women have begun to break the silence on rape and sexual assault that occurred during the Holocaust. [Jewish Journal]

Following New York Congressman Anthony Weiner’s admission to partaking in lewd behavior, Radar Online revealed that Weiner referenced a derogatory stereotype about Jewish women’s aversion to sex. During one of his “sexting sessions” with a middle-aged Jewish woman, he expressed shock when she offered to perform oral sex, replying, “wow a jewish girl who sucks (bleep)! this thing is ready to do damage.” [The Sisterhood]

Not all hold the same belief as Weiner… In recent years, the stereotype of Jewish women has changed from asexual to promiscuous. Now, with the rise of slut walks, many Jewish women are beginning to embrace their sexual identity and reclaim the negative stereotype. [The Sisterhood]

Journalist Avirama Golan revealed that while Israel’s economy has fared much better than Europe’s economy, gender inequality still persists in the workforce. Currently, there is a large wage gap between men and women (men earn a monthly average of NIS 10,106 while women only earn NIS 6,869). In addition, the government is in talks to delay women’s retirement age to 64, despite the fact that many women are fired at the age of 50. [Ha’aretz]

Reporter Aviva Lori shared her thoughts on renowned psychologist and feminist Professor Carol Gilligan’s recent visit to Israel. [Ha’aretz] Watch Gilligan’s interview with the Jerusalem Post on whether or not Jews are “gendered feminine.” [JPost]

This week, Ha’aretz revealed that two of Israel’s largest public hospitals are “illegally forcing breast cancer patients undergoing mastectomies and breast reconstruction to buy $2,800 worth of medical supplies with their own money before the operation.” [The Marker]

On Monday, flyers were posted around Old City Jerusalem insisting women either stay home or take an alternate, longer, route to the Kotel on the morning of Shavuot, because of concerns that the narrow streets would cause mixing of men and women. [Truth, Praise, and Help]

The Brooklyn Paper

Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem aren’t the only ones with modesty concerns. The Central Rabbinical Congress (CRC) have posted signs all around Williamsburg, Brooklyn banning tank tops from being worn in the Hasidic neighborhood, despite the current heat wave. [Daily Mail]

A hearing, held by Israel’s Sub-Committee on Trafficking in Women, took place on Monday to discuss Israeli Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino’s recent decision to close the SAAR unit, the special police unit “dedicated to combat the crime of human trafficking.” [JPost] & [Ynet]

Saudi woman Manal al-Sharif was arrested after she began a campaign encouraging other Saudi Arabian women to drive. Inspired by her story, women’s rights activists are now calling on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to publicly support Saudi Arabian women’s right to drive. [Mother Jones]

A couple in Canada announced their decision to raise their child genderless in order to give the child freedom to decide on his or her own identity. Writer Victoria Pynchon shared her thoughts on the couple in contrast to ultra-religious groups that raise their children with a strictly defined identity. [Forbes]

4 comments on “Link Roundup: An Early Summer Reading Digest

  1. CLR on

    The story about the clothing restrictions on Jewish women in New York is an important one, and obviously deserves a place in Lilith’s Link Roundup; however, it is a shame that a more respectable source than Britain’s Daily Mail could not have been used. On reading the article, I noted a distinct tone – unfortunately one which runs through many of their articles – which is less than generous towards those outside the patriarchal mainstream. In this particular case, it is Jews; in other cases, it may be anyone from Muslims to lesbians and gays, including women of all groups. Is this story being run anywhere else?

  2. Jill Finkelstein on

    Thanks for the feedback, CRL. The story was also posted on The Brooklyn Paper at the time I posted the article, however I felt that the quotes in the article were more offensive. It was later posted in the Village Voice and various other sources. I appreciate your feedback and will be more aware of the undertones of the sources I cite.

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