Gift of Literacy

Orthodox women in the pulpit! On May 1,1999, in Orthodox shuls around the world a woman will speak on shabbat morning, give a shiur (lesson) between minha and ma’ariv or—in a shul uncomfortable with women in these roles—a woman will give a shiur for women only, or the rabbi will address the entire congregation on a “women’s topic.” “Shabbat T’lamdeini (Teach Me): Women, Learning, Leadership & Community” is a program sponsored by the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. Speak to your rabbi and contact JOFA, 459 Columbus Ave., New York, NY 10024; (888)550-5632.

Rosh Chodesh Guide by Rabbi Lenore Boehm tells how to organize a group and gives program ideas for each of the Jewish lunar months. $18.75 from Women of Reform Judaism, 633 Third Ave.. New York, NY 10017; (212)650-4060; fax (212)650-4059; eroshevs@uahc.org

Hold a poetry slam to mark the 150th birthday of poet Emma Lazarus. Discover activists like Hannah Greenebaum Solomon, founder of National Council of Jewish Women. Organize a “mock court” in the spirit of reformer Judge Justine Wise Polier. These three are the “women of valor” in this year’s posters for women’s history month, with resource guide. Free to schools. Jewish Women’s Archive, 68 Harvard St., Brookine, MA 02445; (617)232-2258; fax (617)975- 0109; lmirchin@aol.com; www.jwa.org

Now that we have witnessed and learned from our parents and history, what do we do? The 2G-Legacy is an online discussion group for children and grandchildren of Jewish Holocaust survivors. Moderator Reyzl Kalifowicz-Waletzky notes that this is not an online therapy group. Applications available from web page at www.flash.net/~reyzl/2g-application.html or send the message: “subscribe 2G-legacy your-first-name-your-last-name” to listproc@shamash.org

One third of all women in the world cannot read or write, a disability which translates into high poverty rates. Empower women to make dramatic changes in their lives and the lives of those around them with a contribution to the Women in Literacy Program of Laubach Literacy; P.O. Box 131, Syracuse, NY 13210; (315)422-9121; fax (315)422-6369.

Helping the Stranger in Our Midst: a Shavuot study guide by Rabbi Ellen Flax highlights the biblical Ruth as Jewish immigrant and the Jewish tradition of helping the poor and the stranger. Free from The Jewish Fund for Justice, 260 5th Ave., #701, New York, NY 10001; (212)213-2113; fax (212)213- 2233; JusticeUSA@aol.com.

Retelling the Exodus Story

A Ma’yan Guide to Planning Communal Women’s Seders was created in response to many requests from the thousands of women who have attended this most popular program of the catalyst organization since their first feminist seder held in 1994. A growing bibliography is included. Free from Ma’yan, the Jewish Women’s Project of the JCC on the Upper West Side, 15 W. 65th St., New York, NY 10023; (212) 580-0099; fax (212)580-9498; mayanjcc@aol.com; http://mayan.org.

The Story of Moses/Adoption Haggadah, written by Michele Kriegman for a group of adoptive parents, birth parents and adult and child adoptees, draws on the relationship of Moses and his adoptive Egyptian mother who chose to join his Hebrew birth family when the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea. It uses the afikomen ritual as a metaphor for a hidden gift each individual is seeking. [See Lilith Summer 1998]. $12 from Michele Kriegman, 30 Crestwood Rd., Morristown, NJ 07960

The New American Haggadah includes Jewish women and girls in ritual and leadership roles as well as texts focused on the accomplishments of women such as Yocheved and Miriam. Miriam’s Cup appears in the Dayenu section. This retelling by Mordecai M. Kaplan, Eugene Kohn and Ira Eisenstein is newly edited by Gila Gevirtz. $9.95 from Behrman House, 235 Watchung Ave., West Orange, NJ 07052: (973)669-0447.

Hagadah: A Celebration of Freedom for all women by poet Martha Shelley with Hebrew translations by Ilana Brody was originally created for the Feminist Eclectic Martial Arts School in Minneapolis. $9.95 from Aunt Lute Books, P.O. Box 410687 San Francisco, CA 94141; www.auntlute.com


Lullabies from Jerusalem, a CD, offers 26 songs mothers and fathers sing to get their children to sleep in Hebrew, Arabic, English, Yiddish, Ladino, Russian, Armenian and Amharic. Compiled by Ghana Yaffe with lyrics translated into English in accompanying booklet. $15.98 plus shipping. Tara Publications, 8 Music Fair Rd. #1, Owings Mills, MD 21117; (800)827- 2400; www.jewishmusic.com

Afikomen and Easter Eggs: Spring in the Interfaith Family highlights the commonality of two different religious celebrations. It includes craft ideas for kids. Free. Dovetail Institute for Interfaith Family Resources, P.O. Box 1110, Carlisle, PA 17013-6110; (800)530-1596; fax (717)243-9123; IFaithR@aol.com.

Pregnancy and Parental Leave: An Employment Guide is a legal resource kit giving an overview of how the law affects workers so they can make informed decisions to guard against discrimination. (Another resource, Domestic Violence and Child Custody, is accessible through their website.) $5.00 from NOW-LDEF 99 Hudson St., New York. NY 10013-2871; www.nowldef.org/htmUpubArkhome.htm


Speedy mammography and biopsy results in Israel. Both can be completed in one day at the new comprehensive Hala Clinic (hala, also an acronym, means “forward” in Hebrew). The Rachel Nash Jerusalem Comprehensive Breast Clinic, Beit Ofer, 5 Nachum Heftzadi St., 95484 Jerusalem, Israel; (972)659- 5533.

The Shira Ruskay Jewish Hospice Information Services is named in memory of the inspiring lawyer and director of social work for the hospice of NY’s Visiting Nurses Services. It offers free confidential information, consultation and referral for Jewish families with a terminally ill member. Harriet Feiner, Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, (212)664-1632.


Jewish Women’s Tours of Berlin organized by Iris Weiss include biographical stories and sites of: Recha Freier, founder of the Youth Aliyah Movement; Regina Jonas, the first woman rabbi; writers Gertmd Kolmar, Else Ury. Contact Iris Weiss, Somoastr. 7, 13353 Berlin; (49)30-453-5304; iris, weiss@berlin.snafu.de; http://www.hagalil.com/brd/berlin/tourism.htm

A new Jewish museum recently opened in the Marais district in Paris, with an installation by Sophie Calle, “The Eruv of Jerasalem.” Funded by the municipality and the Ministry of Culture. Musee d’art et d’histoire du Judaisme, Hotel de Saint- Aignan, 71 rue du Temple, 75003 Paris, France ; (33)1- 53-01-86-53; fax (33)1-42- 72-97-47; info@mahj.org

To find an egalitarian minyan or a rosh hodesh group in Berlin contact: Rivka Jaussi, Obentrautstrasse 46, D-10963 Berlin, Germany; (49)30-216 8956

Take a week of joyful Jewish learning, prayer and community living with 200-300 Jews of all backgrounds from across the USA. The annual National Havurah Conference meets August 2-8 at Hofstra University on Long Island. NHC, 7135 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19119; (215)248-1335; 73073.601@CompuServe.com

Lishma, an Egalitarian Summer Yeshiva Program for Jewish men and women ages 18-25, takes its name from the Hebrew for Torah studied for its own sake. June 30-Aug. 10. Daniel Greyhen Lishma, Camp Ramah in California, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air, CA 90077- 1599; (888)-CAMP RAMAH; fax (310)472-3810; lishma@ramah.org; www.lishma.org

Strong Women

Help Israeli women candidates be elected to the Knesset this May. A coalition of women’s organizations has established a fund that encourages Israeli voters across the political spectrum to vote for women to have a more representative Knesset. Committee for the Advancement of Women in Politics in Israel, c/o WIZO, P.O.B.33159., 61331 Tel Aviv, Israel; (972)3-682- 3898; fax (972)3-692-3796

Letty Cottin Pogrebin and Hannah Safran are the guests of honor at the annual luncheon on May 11, in New York, of an organization that supports feminist causes in Israel: US/Israel Women to Women, 275 Seventh Ave., 8th fl., New York, NY 10001; (212)206-8057; u.sisrw2w@aol.com

The Annotated Alice is a documentary portrait of the founding chairwoman of the Israel Women’s Network, now rector of the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem. Produced and directed by Paula Weiman-Kelman, the 51-minute video weaves together home movies, archival footage and Alice Shalvi telling her own story. National Center for Jewish Film, Brandeis University, Lown 102, MS 053. Waltham MA 02454; (781)899-7044; fax (781)736-2070; www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm./index.html


“Home” and “enforced psychic tourism” in the lives or texts of Jewish/American women writers is the subject of a forthcoming book. Want to be part of it? Send up to 20 pages exploring the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual “homes” Jewish women writers have sought or created, in the realization of their marginalized position within Judaism by April 15 to Dr. Phillipa Kafka, 422 Meeker St., South Orange, NJ 07079; (973)761-7349; fax (973)761-7374.

Sitting Shiva with the Rogarshevskys—a new permanent exhibit—recreates a week in 1918 when an Orthodox family of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania is mourning a death from tuberculosis. Learn about the traditional mourning meal of eggs, lentils, rolls and other round foods representing the circle of life, and the significance of the landsmanshaftn—associations of immigrants from the same hometown. The exhibit touches on the practices of Orthodox Jews, the history of American medicine and funerary practices, women in the workforce, labor history, and intergroup relations. Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 90 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002; (212)431-0233; fax (212)431-0402.