Kohenet is the Hebrew word for priestess. Want to reclaim this ancient title? Try an intensive training, first of its kind in the United States, in spiritual leadership, creativity, and community from what its organizers call “an earth-honoring, feminist perspective,” drawing on midrashic and mystical .Jewish teachings and Jewish feminist writings. Directed by Rabbi Jill Hammer and Holly Taya Share, August 14-20, at Elat Chayyim Retreat Center in Accord, NY, The program will culminate in an initiation ceremony. In case you’re left wanting more, an in-depth two-year advanced study will follow.
Sisters of the Red Tent. Marcia Falk, Melissa Weintraub, Latifa Berry kropf Rabbi Lynne Gotlieb, and the Kohenet training (above) are teaching at the Elat Chayyim women’s summer retreat, same dates, August 14-20 during it’s last summer in Accord, NY, before the center relocates. Lilith magazine is co-sponsoring this terrific retreat jewishretreatcenter.org
Women of the Storm. National Council of Jewish Women joins a group of New Orleans advocates calling themselves Women of the Storm to urge representatives and senators to see for themselves the devastation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. If you live in the U.S., urge your members of Congress to visit New Orleans to learn about the complexities of recovery efforts.
Surrounded by Family and Friends, about ending life in a hospice, is a series of flat-quilted fabric artworks by Deirdre Seherer appearing in a one-hour film-in-progress by Camilla Rockwell. The film also features the music of Hallowell, a group of hospice singers. The film can help initiates a discussion about dying and death.
For Bereaved Mothers and Widows. Suddenly losing a beloved child or husband is overwhelming, and dealing with the grief and the changed family is traumatic. The parents of Koby Mandell, a 13-year-old American-Israeli who was killed by terrorists in 2001, have transformed their pain into a source of healing for others. Their Mothers’ Healing Retreats bring together women whose husbands or children have been killed in terrorist attacks, to nurture them physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
White Ink. Some section headings for an upcoming anthology of poetry on motherhood; When Water Breaks, The Birth of the Mother, Apron Strings: Motherhood as Institution, Cutting the Cord: Mothers in Violent Times. Want to be included? Send your poem by September I, 2006, to: Association for Research on Mothering (ARM), 726 Atkinson, York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada; (416) 736-2100 x 60366; firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting Even: Women’s Tales of Revenge, an anthology being edited by Mitzi Szereto, asks “what if for once the ‘unfair sex’ (and even some of our own) actually got what’s coming to them? Lover, husband, husband’s bit-on-the- side, boss, child minder, neighbor, loan officer, auto mechanic, milkman, whomever. Ladies, it’s time to settle the score! Who says revenge ain’t sweet?” Send your unpublished story, no more than 9,000 words, by postal mail no later than August 1, 2006. Inquire at: email@example.com
How did Pharoah’s daughter and the Jewish girl Miriam collude to rescue baby Moses? Pharoah’s Daughter and Miriam Save Moses: The Value of Life, is a comic book teaching tool based on the Biblical book of Exodus, a “Manga” midrash created by Gila Gevirtz, in the style of these popular Japanese graphic novels.
The National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence will be held in San Francisco on March 22-24, 2007. You may submit ideas for workshops until July 28, 2006.
Words of comfort you need if I you’re a caregiver—”a time often filled with upheaval and isolation, financial challenge and frustration, stressful decisions and sadness”—are offered in an inspiring spiritual companion for caregivers by Rabbi Stephanie Dickstein, With Sweetness from the Rock is a 50-page booklet from the National and New York Center for Jewish Healing, the Rita J. Kaplan Jewish Connections Program, and the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services.
Take back the news. Since sexual assault is too often misrepresented—and sometimes even ignored—in the media, here’s a chance for rape survivors to publish their stories in their own words. You can learn how to organize a Take Back the News Community Print Project at takebackthenews.org.
Sacred Aging. To Honor and Respect, a. Program and Resource Guide for Congregations on Sacred Aging by Richard F. Address with Andrew L. Rosenkranz, takes a sympathetic and frank look at the evolving revolution in longevity and how it affects our Jewish communal lives. It considers issues such as co-habitation, spiritual legacies, and autobiographical programs. urj.org
An unusual tool to combat sex abuse. The Jewish Self Sexual Education for Life, is a remarkable manual to help prevent of sexual abuse—in keeping with a traditional haskhafa or Torah perspective—to a vulnerable population of children and young adults who lack language skills, social awareness and the general knowledge necessary to protect themselves. Created by Rabbi Gil Elmaleh with a foreword by Laurette Rothwachs, both of the Sinai Special Needs Institute in Teaneck NJ.
Can You Hear Me? Israeli and Palestinian Women Fight for Peace. A film produced, written and directed by Lilly Rivlin, narrated by Debra Winger, will premier at the Jerusalem International Film Festival in July. Though the prospects for peace have ebbed and flowed over the years, these women activists, have persisted as has this fimmaker, whose orignal title for this film project was Sarah and Hagar.
Encounter Point a 90-minute documentary film, follows a former Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex-prisoner, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian bereaved brother who risk their lives and public standing to promote a nonviolent end to the conflict. Encounter Point’s Israeli/Palestinian/ North American/Brazilian production team of young women includes: director Ronit Avni, co-director Julia Bacha, producers Nahanni Rous and Joline Makhlouf, the first Palestinian female pilot.
Eva Hesse took the art world by storm and died at age 33 in 1970. Her minimalist and post minimalist sculptpures are featured in an exhibit at the Jewish Museum in New York, through September 17. jewishmuseum.org
Feminine Principals: Works In Iron, Fiber and Glass features three Jewish feminist sculptors each in a powerful solo show, side by side in one gallery. Tel Aviv-based Orna Ben-Ami works in iron, transforming this tough material into objects of grace and softness—a baby’s dress (above), a ballet toe shoe that indents a steel beam, a suitcase with roots growing out of it. Boston- based Georgette Benisty, born in Casablanca, works in exotic fabric, with touches of paint and collage to create figures that reflect her Morrocan past, and French culture. Westchester-based Saara Gallin, a glass sculptor, creates abstract reliefs incorporating ceremonial motifs. At Yeshiva University Museum through January 2007.