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Lilith Feature

Celebrating Lilith Magazine

The award-winning, independent Jewish women’s magazine you’re now reading has been the voice of feminism for Jews since 1976, helping change the ways Jewish women see themselves and their roles in the Jewish community.

When LILITH debuted, four women rabbis had been ordained, die shelf you needed for a collection of books about Jewish women was only one cubit long, and women’s seders were virtually unheard of.  In 27 years, LILITH has reported on and often triggered an explosion of Jewish women’s scholarship, the flourishing of Jewish women’s creative work in all the arts, and die passionate engagement of women in every aspect of Jewish thought and action. All this has helped to ensure women’s stake in Judaism. This means not just female participation in Jewish life, but women’s investment in the very processes by which Jewish life is defined, from Orthodox women scholars preparing to make decisions in Jewish religious law to women philanthropists spurring a more equitable division of power in the Jewish polity.

Through investigative reports, memoirs, news, fiction and poetry, reviews, resource listings, and fresh feminist scholarship, LILITH challenges Jewish women and girls to reclaim traditions, create new rituals and celebrations, find exemplary role models, and work toward a just and egalitarian Judaism.

A historic exhibition, which opened at Hebrew Union College in New York this February, and runs until June 27, scans the subjects LILITLI has made its own. It documents the impact of feminist Jewish journalism during the pivotal years 1976-2001, and includes, along with wonderful wall panels, fine art illustrations for the magazine, original manuscripts, iconic photographs, and memorabilia supporting Jewish women’s roles in the world.

“LILITH Magazine is the activist public voice for a changing community of Jewish women,” says Laura Kruger, curator of the exhibition. “With compassion and forthright reporting, LILITH tackles controversial issues that are frequently ignored or discredited. LILITH has created a forum in which divergent opinions can be heard without censure, in which women, often isolated within their own communities, are reassured and directed to the resolution of their situations. LILITH is not the traditional ‘self-help’ magazine. Through thought-provoking articles, first-hand memories, and feisty letters, LILITH has created a roadmap of opportunities for contemporary women.”

Here, we bring you selections from the wall panels from the show. The exhibition will be ready to travel outside New York in summer 2003, and for many seasons thereafter. To find out how to bring this exhibition to a campus or community near you, please call (212) 757-0818.

Accompanying the exhibition, Lilith has put together an extraordinary program: a retrospective history of Jewish women’s impact on Judaism, 1976-2002, as charted through 76 issues of the magazine. Visit wvirw.Lilith.org to learn about events happening now and as the show goes on the road.

 

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