Your resource guide, compiled by

your resource guide, compiled by Naomi Danis

Jewish Genetic Lessons
The basics of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease are some of the topics of a series of web lessons that address the question, what do these conditions and technologies mean for me because I am Jewish? Many of the lessons have an associated short public service announcement as well as a longer webinar presentation, supplemental reading materials and links to resources and support organizations. This site is an initiative of the Program for Jewish Genetic Health of Yeshiva University and the Einstein College of Medicine.

Find Out if You’re a Carrier
Screening for genetic diseases commonly found among Ashkenazi Jews has now become more accessible and more affordable. A nonprofit public health initiative at Atlanta’s Emory University School of Medicine developed an at-home saliva-based test so you can screen yourself for Cystic Fibrosis, Tay-Sachs, Gaucher and 16 other diseases. JScreen also provides genetic counseling. The test is intended for everyone planning to have children —people with Jewish ancestry as well as interfaith couples.

Vibrant Jewish Life in Poland
Before the Holocaust, Poland was home to the largest Jewish community in the world, and was one of the great centers of Jewish political, cultural, and religious life. Glimpse the rich and complex portrait of that vibrant Jewish community through thousands of digitized documents, manuscripts, photographs, artworks, films, and audio recordings online at the YIVO Digital Archive on Jewish Life in Poland.

Would Your Family Have Made It?
Under today’s strict immigration rules perhaps many of your ancestors would not have been permitted to enter and settle in the United States. Advocating on behalf of fair and just immigration reform, the Jewish social-justice organization Bend the Arc has created a website where you can enter your own family history to see how likely it is that your forebears would be admitted today. 

Debbie Friedman Complete
Debbie Friedman (1951–2011) wrote and sang Jewish folk music that has been adopted by congregations, youth groups and summer camps of all denominations. “Debbie’s unique contribution was the courage to blend Hebrew and Englishin the same song, using spiritually clear and poetic English to bring meaning to a Hebrew text or concept,” says Rabbi Daniel Freelander of the Reform movement. Now her music is available in book form. Sing Unto God: The Debbie Friedman Anthology features the more than 200 songs she wrote and recorded, some previously unavailable, with lyrics, melody line and guitar chords, plus photographs, biographical information, and tributes. urjbooksand- cat=0&page=1&featured

A Land Twice Promised
“Jumana looked at me across the picnic table and asked, how was it for you growing up in Jerusalem? I didn’t know what to say. Those soldiers, so terrifying for her, were our boys, our symbol of security… Would it be all right to tell her?” A Palestinian living under Israeli occupation as a child and as a student, an Israeli child’s experience of the 1967 war, a young Palestinian mother’s memory of the same war, and an Israeli woman’s experience of the 1948 war are performed by U.S.-based Israeli storyteller Noa Baumin, in English, in an attempt to help audiences realize that the most necessary ingredient for the resolution of a major conflict is mutual compassion. 

Artists’ Yenta
Ever thought you wanted someone to set your poetry to music? Have a performer enact the ideas in an essay? Choreographer, special events performance artist and collaborator Shandoah Godman has set up a weekly email matchmaking service“facilitating the love affair between disciplines.” Here you can describe your own gifts or what kind of artists you’re seeking to work with.

Unchained at Last
Dedicated to providing free legal and other support to help women leave arranged/ forced marriages, Fraidy Reiss founded Unchained at Last. This nonprofit also works to prevent women from becoming trapped in arranged marriages in the first place by advocating for changes to laws regarding minimum marriage age and religious arbitration panels that oversee marriages and divorces. The work is directed at women of all ethnic and faith groups in the U.S.

Honor Diaries
Spurred by the Arab Spring, women who were once silent are starting to speak out about gender inequality and a long history of oppression. A new film profiles nine courageous women’s rights advocates with connections to Muslim-majority societies. Told exclusively in female voices, the film seeks to expose what prevents many feminists from addressing this international human rights disaster. Restriction of movement and education, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation are among the abuses explored.

Judy Chicago 
Long gone is the era when women wouldn’t reveal their ages. Now it is a mark of honor. Now we can celebrate the 75th birthday of the artist most famous for her iconic installation “The Dinner Party,” on permanent display at Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. That’s also where a new exhibit, “Chicago in LA: Judy Chicago’s Early Works 1963–1974,” will be on display until September 28. Speaking at a lecture at New York City’s Jewish Museum in May, delivered in honor of Mildred Weissman, Judy Chicago announced that because there is still no museum willing to devote adequate space for a retrospective on a female artist, her own work is on view now, in honor of her birthday, in multiple venues: “The Very Best of Judy Chicago,” through August 1, at the MANA Contemporary Museum in Jersey City, NJ; “Re: Collection,” through September 7, at Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; “Judy Chicago: Through the Archives,” though September 30, at The Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Cambridge, MA;“Judy Chicago: A Butterfly for Oak- land,” through November 30, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA; “Local Color: Judy Chicago in New Mexico 1984–2014,” through October 12, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM; and “A Survey: Judy Chicago,” October 17–December 28, RedLine, Denver, CO. More at 

3000 Years of Poetic Subversion 
At the annual KlezKanada Festival in Toronto this summer, the theme will be the “YeneVelt”—the dark side of the Ashkenazi mythic lore, including dybbuks, ghosts, hallucinations, various spirits and “undead elements.” Adeena Karasick and Jake Marmer will host a poetry retreat, with four days of lectures, discussions, master classes on writing and performance, Aug 18–24, 2014.

Tzitzit Designed for Women 
Described in the Bible, Numbers 15:37-41, tzizit refers to a ritual fringed garment worn under the clothing and associated in rabbinic texts with performance of commandments and awareness of God and Torah. You can read about the experiences of women wearing tzizit, find textual sources and even a partner to study with, as well as order tzizit garments designed for women in a project created by Maya Rosen, Alexandra Polsky, Nahanni Rous and Avital Morris, who share the belief that mitzvot should be accessible to the entire Jewish people.

And We Were Commanded
“When I wrapped my tefillin, I felt bold,” wrote Judith Rosenbaum, incoming executive director of the Jewish Women’s Archive reflecting on her first feminist decision as a bat mitzvah girl more than 25 years ago. Her blog post is one of several on a site exploring the idea of “commandedness” and obligation as it pertains to women wearing ritual garments. 

Torah Texts That Rock
Here I Am is a rock oratorio from composer/ performer Lainie Fefferman in which she takes a personal look at Torah excerpts she finds puzzling. The passages she chose include: the laws in Leviticus where insulting your parents, being homosexual, and seeing ghosts are all equally punished by death; the story in which Lot offers his virgin daughters to the people of Sodom in exchange for the safety of his guests; and Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his own son to show his devotion. Each of nine movements for three singers, clarinet, violin, cello, electric guitar, piano, percussion, and drum set uses disparate genres and styles.; 

“Her Voice” in Jerusalem
Friday afternoon September 12, 2014 hundreds of women from dozens of choirs from Israel and around the world will walk together for the closing performance of the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival in the Tower of David to the courtyard in front of the Jaffa Gate. In that public space the women will sing, a brand new musical-vocal work composed and conducted by Maya Dunietz with lyrics by Dorit Weisman and texts by female poets from Israel and abroad. This is one of several events of the Jerusalem Season of Culture. The public is invited to join in singing the final part, which you can learn, on video, at