Let’s do a bit of math: What do you get when you add together three Jewish girls and an array of opinions on Princess Leia, Stranger Things, and sci-fi? One revolutionary podcast that documents the intersection between Jewishness and fandom.
Nice Jewish Fangirls is a collaboration among Michal Schick, 30, Tamar Herman, 26, and Sarah Meira (SM) Rosenberg, 28, Modern Orthodox millennials who are as passionate about the feminism of Hermione Granger as they are inquisitive about how Judaism plays a part in the Harry Potter franchise. (If only J.K. Rowling would write a spin-off called Anthony Goldstein and the Magical Menorah.)
“There’s not many public forums for women in fandom, especially for Orthodox women,” Michal informed Lilith during a meeting. Before the podcast, Michal began the Facebook group Orthodox Ladies United by Fandom (OLUF). Michal’s group now has close to 2,000 women (of various Jewish affiliations) who eagerly test each other’s knowledge of Doctor Who and discuss why they’ll be watching Star Wars and Captain America over Chanukah.
Through OLUF, Michal formed a bond with Tamar and SM, two other self-professed geeks. Together, they partnered with Jewish Coffee House and created their podcast. “People don’t identify their Jewish identity or female identity with fandom, but we wanted to encourage people to do that,” said Michal.” Their platform validates Jewish fangirls’ obsessions and also works to address two levels of disenfranchisement.