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Link Roundup: Summer Reading Digest, Part II

Welcome to this week’s installment of Lilith’s Link Roundup. 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.

Following the New York Time’s recent article on Israel’s free in vitro fertilization services, journalist KJ Dell Antonia questions the true motives behind the “family-friendly” policy. Dell Antonia writes that because women in Israel are expected to have children, the policy appears to be “an advanced, government-subsidized form of peer pressure.” [XX Factor]

Journalist Simone Gorrindo writes about Israel’s unique abortion policies and the rising tensions between secular groups and religious groups, who want to increase the birthrate among Jews. [Tablet Magazine]

Despite the growing popularity of SlutWalks, author Rebecca Traister shared her conflicted feelings about the “viral protest movement,” which combats the notion that women who dress like “sluts” are asking to be raped. Traister argued that while the mission of SlutWalks is important, “to do so while dressed in what look like sexy stewardess Halloween costumes seems less like victory than capitulation (linguistic and sartorial) to what society already expects of its young women.” [NY Times Magazine]

Florida Rep. Allen West faced a backlash after sending fellow Florida Representative and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz an email calling her “vile,” “unprofessional” and “not a lady.” West’s attack came after Wasserman Schultz publicly criticized his opposition to raising the debt ceiling. [Feministing]

In an effort to combat violence against women, the Office of the Vice President, along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, launched the “Apps Against Abuse” technology challenge. The competition challenges developers to create a smartphone application “that provides young adults with tools to help prevent sexual assault and dating violence.” [White House Blog]

On July 19th, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its recommendations, regarding preventative services for women, to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In honor of the announcement, Planned Parenthood and the National Women’s Law Center teamed up to host a Birth Control Blog Carnival to discuss the importance of the IOM’s suggestions. [NWLC]

On August 1st, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced its decision to adopt the recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Prior to the announcement, GOOD mapped out how much an average woman spends on basic healthcare over her lifetime. [GOOD]

Despite its popularity among the Israeli public, the Knesset rejected a bill that would have allowed civil marriage in Israel. [Ynet]

As the fight in Israel continues against attempts to raise women’s retirement age, journalists point out how equating women’s retirement age to that of men is actually a form of inequality. [Jerusalem Post] & [Haaretz]

Journalist Michelle Goldberg revealed that pathology of the man alleged to be behind the Norwegian massacre, Anders Breivik, came from a deep hatred of women and his belief that feminism would destroy European society. [The Daily Beast]

MK Gila Gamliel has called for the creation of a Women’s Affairs Ministry in Israel that would be “dedicated entirely to improving the situation of the country’s women and promoting their equality in all spheres of society.” [Jerusalem Post]

The U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of reinstating the Global Gag Rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy, which would cut foreign aid to organizations that “perform or provide information about or referrals to legal abortion services.” [Huffington Post]

The Jerusalem Post featured a profile on Ayallah Greenberg, the founder of Healing Empowerment Resources and Support for Jewish Women (HERS). Last fall, Greenberg, a social worker and psychotherapist, created the agency as a means to “spread awareness about domestic abuse among Safed’s English-speaking female population.” [Jerusalem Post]

A security guard for the Contemporary Jewish Museum came under fire after reprimanding a lesbian couple for holding hands during their visit to the museum’s Gertrude Stein exhibit. The museum, which doesn’t hire its own guards, later released a statement about the incident and hosted a “Hand Holding Day” on July 24th. [The Bay Citizen]

TJ Sengel

On Sunday, July 24th, Jewish couple Phyllis Siegel, 77, and Connie Kopelov, 85, became the first same-sex couple to legally tie the knot in New York City. [JTA] The documentary film about the couple has been featured in Lilith.

The ACLU recently filed a lawsuit against Wildflower Inn after the Vermont locale refused to host a wedding reception for a local lesbian couple. [Blog of Rights]

Actress Helen Beverley died at the age of 94 on July 15th. Beverly starred in several classic Yiddish films, including Green FieldsThe Light Ahead and Overture to Glory. [Playbill]

Blogger Rainbow Tallit Baby opined on what it really means to be egalitarian in regard to Judaism. [Jewschool]

In an attempt to attract more female combat soldiers, the IDF introduced new vests, made specifically for women. [Ynet]