Sex Aher 05 : The words, in scrambled Hebrew and English, mean “other sex.” The event is the Fifth Gay and Lesbian Studies and Queer Theory Conference in Israel May 8-10. Look for programs on intersections of sexuality and gender, and ethnicity, class, and nationality. Since it’s the 100th anniversary of Sigmund Freud’s “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality,” there’ll be a special session dedicated to queer readings of Freud.
Shirley Kahanovich, Tel Aviv University Women Studies Forum coordinator; wsf@post. tau.ac.il
The Jewish Contribution to 20th-Century American Art is celebrated in an exhibit that includes many works by women: Diane Arbus, Judith Brodsky, Helen Frankenthaler, Helen Levitt, Lisette Model, Louise Nevelson, Nancy Spero and Florine Stettheimer. Through April 17, at the Rliode Island School of Design Museum, 224 Benefit Street, Providence, RI.
The photos of Diane Arbus (1923-1971) are on view in the exhibit “Revelations,” originated by the San Francisco Museum of Art, on view at the Metropoltan Museum of Art in New York through May 30. metmuseum.org
“The F-WORD” is the working title of an incipient magazine for high school and college aged readers “where feminists will be depicted as fiercely smart and sassy ladies,” Melody Allegra Berger tells us. She’s a Temple University senior and women’s studies major and is looking for writers, web designers, artists, and cartoonists who’d like to work on this project with her. HowlingHarpies@gmail.com
The film And the Gates Opened: Women in the Rabbinate documents the history of women entering the rabbinate and the impact they’ve had on contemporary Jewish life. Created by the Jewish Theological Seminary and produced by Marianna Mott Newirth, the 60-minute film is $35 from (212) 678-8902; or viewable at the JTS library. It will be screened as part of an evening celebrating the 20th anniversary of women’s ordination as Conservative rabbis, followed by a discussion, moderated by Abby Joseph Cohen, featuring rabbis Nina Beth Cardin, Amy Eilberg, Susan Grossman, Joel Roth and Gordon Tucker. March 29 at 6:30 at JTS. Admission free, reservations required. (212) 280-6093: email@example.com
My Rabbi an indie video by Leslie Krongold, tracks the struggles and triumphs of six women who became rabbis against great odds. Laura Geller in Los Angeles, one of the first Reform women rabbis, narrates. Margaret Holub works with a rural Jewish community in Mendocino, California; Shoni Labowitz, raised in an Orthodox family, came back to Judaism after exploring Eastern practices; after working with .Jewish communities in Russia, Einat Ramon returned to Jerusalem to promote liberal Judaism; Linda Holtzman left her more conservative congregation to work with the gay and lesbian community in Philadelphia; and Sue Elwell teaches and studies Talmud. MyRabbi.info
Settlement Houses to Olympic Stadiums: Jewish Women in American Sport. Who Imew? Historian Linda J. Borish and filmmaker Shuli Eshel have teamed up to trace the early years of prominent American Jewish female athletes and sports administrators, up until the induction of the first class of women into the 2003 Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Featured in their film will be Charlotte Epstein, the mother of women’s competitive swimming, and Senda Berenson, who in the 1890s developed the first rules for women’s basketball. Current athletes include LPGA professional Amy Alcott, Olympic gold medal skating champion Sarah Hughes, and ESPN sportscaster Linda Cohen. You can support completion of the film via Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel, writing JWAS Documentary in the check memo. linda.borish@M’miclt.edu
Lev Eisha (The Heart of a Woman) is L.A.’s mostly monthly Shabbat morning service led by Rabbi Toba August and Cantor Cindy Paley. Tailored specifically to women, their service is attended by about 120 women who sing, dance, share, shake their tambourines, learn Torah, and eat together The several hundred members on their e-mail list come from all branches of Judaism, and include a few men, and even a couple of non-Jews. On April 3 this year they will hold their first women’s seder, together with the synagogue’s Women’s League.
Congregation Adat Shalom, 3030 Westwood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90034; leveisha.org
Midreshet Yom Rishon for women is an opportunity for New York women of all ages, Jewish backgrounds, and educational levels to participate in Torah learning on Sunday mornings with Yeshiva University’smale and female faculty. The program parallels a series for men and accommodates working people who want to learn during the weekend. There is no fee for participating. To download learning materials, to view the weekly schedule of speakers or access audio recordings of each shiur (lesson), visit midreshetyomrishon. org. firstname.lastname@example.org (212) 960-5266
You Are Not Alone: Solace and Inspiration for Domestic Violence Survivors Based on Jewish Wisdom, by Toby Landesman, is small book that’s a large resource for survivors, for those still trapped in abusive relationships and for the Jewish community as a whole. This pioneering collection is for those who want to heal themselves or help heal others in a Jewish spiritual context. $ 18 plus shipping from the publisher, Faith Trust Institute. (206) 634-1903 faithtrustinstitute.org
Safe streets initiative.
Responding to a spike in rapes in her own Brooklyn neighborhood, activist Nancy Schwartzbauni has launched a website where women can exchange information on the safety of their streets, in the spirit of the Safe Haven project for schoolchildren in the 80’s. From the information submitted, the site is constructing an online map detailing safer routes for women to walk. Local businesses have joined in the effort, which plans future expansion to all the boroughs of New York City. nyc-rapemap.org
Mirror Covering (for Dobsche.)
An installation created by Helene Avion for the first International Lodz Biennale in Poland consists of 81 mirrors, covered with gauzy fabric blowing in a breeze, and recalls the ritual of covering mirrors in a house of mourning. “Dobsche” notes Aylon, “was my great aunt who in 1942, in Schvenzany, Poland, stood in front of my cousin Manya, her 16 year old daughter, as Nazi soldiers were advancing to rape the girl. Aunt Dobsche got shot dead and Manya fled into the forest.” Manya was found by a gentile neighbor who hid her until the end of the war The installation is available to travel. Helene Aylon: (212) 924 4133: email@example.com
Poumy is a lyrical documentary in which 92-year-old Alsatian-born Andree “Poumy” Moreuil, recounts how as a young mother she escaped the Nazis and joined the French Resistance in WWII. The 30-minute video, in French with English subtitles, directed by Sam Ball and produced by Marian Scheuer Sofaer is available from Citizen Film, 415-260-1880; citizenfilm.org
A Guide to Conducting Life History Interviews with American Jewish Women, In Our Voices is edited by Jaync K. Gubernian. In addition to technical guidance on recording and obtaining permission, scholars have provided thought- provoking essays, among them: Paula Hyman on family, Pamela Nadell on education, Hasia Diner on work, Dianne Ashton on community serice, Karla Goldman on Jewish identities, Jenna Weissman Joselit on home and place, Riv-Ellen Prell on leisure and culture. Photos by Joan Roth. Available from the Jewish Women’s Archive, jwa.org
Listen to Her Voice: The Ma’yan Report shows that the American Jewish community and its organizations remain far from a level playing field for women. Led by Tamara Cohen, this study found that Jewish organizations continue to limit women’s access to power and leadership; the Jewish community has failed to adequately respond to the diversity of Jewish women and their families; and feminism has had a highly positive impact on Jewish women’s religious lives. Available from Ma ‘yan: The Jewish Women’s Project, mayan.org
Charlotte Salomon, Life or Theater? While living in exile in Nice during the war, the talented young painter from Berlin, who died at 26 in Auschwitz, created an epic series of autobiographical paintings that she titled “Life or Theater?” In recent years an exhibition of her work was on view in Western Europe, Israel, Japan and the U.S., her story inspired a biography and a play, and now filmmakers Esther Hoffenberg and Richard Dindo have released their film “Charlotte: Life or Theater?” which uses hundreds of her luminous gouaches, with excerpts from her autobiographical writing read by French actress Ann Gisel Glass. First Run/Icarus, frif.com/new2004/clot.html