From the Editor
by Susan Weidman Schneider
This issue is about journeys—physical and metaphorical. Sociologists and social workers have begun to explore the stresses that Ethiopian Jewish women endure in adjusting to late-twentieth-century life, as well as the gender conflicts they experience when traditional patriarchy confronts a more egalitarian Israeli lifestyle. But the path these refugees take in escaping from Ethiopia—where, says our author, “Jews are witches”—has been somewhat shrouded in mystery, in part because of the secrecy surrounding the airlifts Israel organized to rescue the thousands of Ethiopian Jews who came out of Africa in the mid-1980’s.
In this issue of LILITH, Kessaye Tevajieh, a high school graduate who had wanted to become a chemistry teacher, tells of her escape on foot, pregnant, through the deserts of the Sudan, then to Germany, and finally to Eretz Yisrael—”a modern-day exodus,” she calls it.
Other journeys in this issue are more familiar. The trek to camp (as camper, staffer or visiting parent) is a familiar rite of passage. Ever thought about the gender messages that the camp experience transmits? In some Jewish camps—at least in the past—the guys played basketball as the girls sat in the bleachers crocheting kippot for them. Read here about how an infusion of feminist programming can expand the consciousness of college-age counselors and their campers—both male and female.
Also in this issue is a moving exploration of the path taken by a woman separating from her husband of nineteen years, Her journey is eased by her peers—the women of her Rosh Hodesh group, who support her in a very concrete way by creating a Jewish ritual to ease her passage through that liminal state between being married and having a “new” life.
And now, dear readers, a note about another kind of journey—the walk to your photocopying machines that so many of you have taken in the past few weeks. At the same time that the article on Jewish women’s philanthropy from LILITH’s previous issue [Winter 1993] was receiving wide coverage in the press, it came to our attention that LILITH’s loyal readers. excited by the article’s fresh look at how Jewish women give away their money, were making numerous copies of the piece and circulating it among friends, professional colleagues, leaders of Jewish organizations, board members and fundraisers.
I’m very excited about the impact the article is already having, with calls coming in to the LILITH office asking our advice about conferences and consultations on Jewish women’s philanthropy. But we would prefer that LILITH’s admirers please—puhleeeeeze—first ask our office for permission to reprint before dashing over to the photocopier. You benefit the magazine in several ways when you inform the office of your interest.
First, of course, you respect Lilith’s copyrighted material.
Then, and no small second; we are able to report back to our donors and foundation supporters, whose financial contributions make the magazine’s publication possible, that LILITH articles reach out to readers even beyond our subscription list.
Third: we, LILITH’s small but devoted editorial staff, want your feedback so that we can determine which articles in an issue elicit the most interest from our readers.
Fourth, and very important: when we give permission to reprint an article, we also ask you to attach a great-looking, informative new LILITH subscription brochure (which we’ll rush out to you) to each copy of the article you duplicate. This helps LILITH reach out to new subscribers with the very best selling tool we have— an article from the magazine itself, recommended by someone who already reads LILITH: you. If you don’t contact us before reprinting an article, LILITH loses the chance to have its work adequately credited, and your friends and colleagues miss the chance to subscribe for themselves— and get other unusual, upcoming cuticles, including the second installment of the philanthropy series, due out in August.
So please help—Call the LILITH office (212) 757-0818 or fax us at (212) 757-5705 to ask for permission reprint this or any of our articles! I look forward to hearing from you.