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Happening

Where to go for what if you're Jewish and female

Tzedaka

Kol Ha-Isha (The Women’s Voice) is a feminist center founded in Jerusalem in 1994 as a resource and referral center for women’s immediate and long-term social, legal and emotional needs. It has a special focus on meeting the self-defined needs of Mizrahi women, single mothers, Palestinian women, women considering motherhood, survivors of domestic violence, low-income women and lesbian/bisexual women. It also houses Antea A Women’s Activist Art Gallery. For a $50 contribution to Kol Ha-Isha on the Move—a campaign to raise funds to relocate to more accessible space—you will receive Jerusalem Women’s Voices, a quarterly English language update on women’s activism in Jerusalem. Kol Ha-Isha Women’s Center, 38 Ben Yehuda St., P.O. Box 37157, Jerusalem 91371 Israel; 972-2-6222591, fax 972-2- 6256187; kolisha@netmedia; tax-deductible contributions may be sent to US-Israel Women to Women, 275 Seventh Ave., 8th FL, New York, NY 10001; (212)206- 7031; USIsrW2W@aol.com

Bella Abzug, 1920-1998 “A galactic force for women, peace and justice” according to Blanche Weisen Cook, is being memorialized with contributions to the Women’s Environment and Development Organization, an international advocacy network that Abzug co-founded in 1990. Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to Bella S. Abzug Memorial Fund, WEDO, 355 Lexington Ave., 3rd floor. New York, NY 10017.

Which of us does not have a box of old buttons too nice to toss? Send buttons to be made into attractive broaches—lending dignity and financial security to women at a shelter. Send buttons and or order pins for $15-$30, or get wholesale prices for your organization to resell. Women’s Craft Cooperative at Rosie’s Place, 889 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118; (617)442-9322 x262.

Body & Soul

Becky Bell was a high school junior in 1988 when she became pregnant. She tried to get an abortion at a women’s health clinic but learned that under Indiana law, she first had to obtain the consent of one parent. Afraid to disappoint her parents, Becky had an illegal abortion and died from complications one week later. In Choices, her mother tells her story.

Choices: Women Speak Out About Abortion has been published by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Actions League Foundation in honor of the 25th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The 56-page book tells 12 women’s thoughtful and sometimes tragic stories about their abortions. $14.95 published by Seal Press and available in bookstores. More information from The NARAL Foundation, 1156 15th St., NW, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 973-3000; naral@naral.org

Older women are at greater risk for depression than men or younger women, it turns out, yet often the condition goes unnoticed or untreated. Signs of depression in older women can be masked by bereavement or chronic health problems, or may be wrongly dismissed as an inevitable part of aging. “Identifying and Coping with Depression” is the theme of the January 1998 issue of Women & Aging Letter. Subscriptions are $5 for 6 issues or $9 for 12 issues, payable to Brandeis University Women & Aging Letter, National Policy and Resource Center on Women and Aging, Heller School MS 035, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02254-9110; (800)929-1995.

Read Hebrew?

A Free Hebrew Reading Crash Course teaches Jews with little or no background in Hebrew the alphabet and reading skills in only five hour-and-a-half weekly sessions. You can request a free sample excerpt booklet from the text Reishith Binah, by Meshulam Fisch. Find a location near you for this and other programs such as in basic Judaism courses and Turn Friday Night Into Shabbat/Shabbat Across America. National Jewish Outreach Program, 485 Fifth Ave. #701, New York. NY 10017; (800)44-HEBRE(W) or (212)986-7450 or info@njop.org; www.njop.org

Noga, the Israeli independent feminist magazine, has as the theme of its newest issue (#33) the 50th anniversary of Israel from the perspective of 29 women who live in different parts of Israel, come from various backgrounds and belong to different religious and societal groups. “Lately Israel is overwhelmed with dozens of expensive albums, all of which tell one story—the white Ashkenazi male story only. This fact makes our special issue all the more important as it gives a voice to the hidden and silenced life of women in Israel,” says Rachel Ostrowitz, Noga’s editor. Subscription in Israel are 95 NIS for four issues; outside Israel $38 for airmail or $30 surface mail. Noga, P.O. Box 21376, 61213 Tel Aviv ISRAEL (972)3- 5227663: fax 972-3-5237787

It’s Academic

A European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education will take place August 30-September 1 in Helsinki. Conducted in English, this will be an opportunity for those dealing with gender equality and personnel matters in universities and educational administration to share information and create new strategies. Topics include the low proportion of women in top positions, open and hidden gender discrimination, occupational segregation according to gender and sexual harassment. A specific goal is the creation of a European network on gender equality in higher education. Contact: Teija Mankkinen, PB 33 (Yliopistonkatu 4) Fin- 00014 University of Helsinki; 358-9-191 2 2541; fax 358-9-191 2 3993; teija.mankkinen@helsinki.fi

The Association of Institutions for Feminist Education and Research in Europe has a homepage and is eager to create links with women’s studies researchers, organizations and institutions. Visit: http: wwworg.uio.no/www-other/ nikk/AOIFE/homedaa.htm or contact Diana Aaberg Anders, NIKK, Nordic Institute for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1156, Blindern, 0317 Oslo. Norway; 47 22 85 88 71; fax 47 22 85 89 50; d.a.anders® nikk.uio.no

Bible Heroes

Can the stories of Genesis and Exodus have women in the foreground? Educator Marsha Pravder Mirkin (with funding from the Shefa Fund) has created a Torah study curriculum for grades 2-4 in which women as well as men are main characters. It includes seven lesson plans with connected stories, review and homework question and recommended readings. It can be ordered for $20, plus $10 for a supplemental teacher’s guide from: Temple Beth Elohim, 10 Bethel Rd., Wellesley, MA 02181; Attn: Rabbi Jeffrey B. Lazar

Biblical Men in the Midrash will be published as a companion volume to Biblical Women in the Midrash (Jason Aronson, 1997). Here is an opportunity to take on traditional views of what it means to be a Jewish man and offer some new models. Send your contemporary midrashim to be included alongside biblical and rabbinic material in this anthology. Contributions from both women and men may be sent to the editors: Naomi Mara Hyman, 228 Queen Anne Rd., Stevensville, MD 21666; (410)643-1914; naomi@skipjack.bluecrab.org; or Larry Gerstenhaber at larrym.g@aol.com

Personalizing Our History

The Diary of Anne Frank is now playing on Broadway. Two resources can help you prepare kids before taking them to see this troubling drama. “The Reader’s Companion to the Diary of A Young Girl” is $5 from the Anne Frank Center USA, 584 Broadway, #408, New York, NY 10012; (212)431-7993; and “The Holocaust Through the Eyes of Children,” a 12-lesson curriculum for sixth and seventh graders, is $12, from the Board of Jewish Education426 W. 58th St., New York, NY 10019 (212)245-8200.

A Genealogical Poster! Now you can observe family patterns. Barbara Schwartz- Shahmoon has created a poster with blanks to fill in (and instructions) where you can insert up to four generations of names, dates, places and times of Jewish life-cycle events in your family with Torah readings for various dates included. Research your past, or start a tree for the next generation to continue. Send $15 to Sarah Blustain, 350 W. 55th St. #8G, New York, NY 10019.

Travel to Be There

Jewish Women—as preservers of tradition, as revolutionaries, as cultural mediators, as strugglers against persecution, military warriors and on the spiritual frontiers—will be the subject of presentations by scholars Hasia Diner, Marion Kaplan and others, the week of July 26-31. This institute, which will also feature the artistry of Adrienne Cooper and Joan Roth, is part of a summer-long program of cultural events at Circle Lodge in Dutchess County, New York. Contact The Workmen’s Circle, 45 E. 33rd St., New York, NY 10016; (212)889-6800 x203, outside New York call (800)922-2558.

Fifty Israeli objects of art appear in “50/50; Israeli Art from Bay Area Collections.” See paintings, photographs and a film projection installation in an exhibit that features the work of Pamela Levy, Leah Nikel, Michal Rovner and other artists. On view May 10-July 26 at the Jewish Museum—San Francisco, 121 Steuart St., San Francisco, CA 94105; (415)543-8880; fax (415)543-4180.

A Four Nation Desert Tour —18 days on jeep, camel and foot—comprises Egypt (the Sinai), Palestinian Authority (Judean), Israel (Negev and Judean), and Jordan (Edomite) deserts and is a happy instance of international cooperation. This is a pioneering first for the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, which was founded in 1953 and is the Middle East’s largest non-governmental body working for the preservation of the environment. Request their guide “Israel Nature Trails” from SPNI, 89 Fifth Ave. #800, New York, NY 10003; (800)323-0035; (212)645- 8732; fax (212)645-8749; or SPNI, 3 Hashfela St., 66183 Tel Aviv, Israel; (972)3-6388677; fax (972)3-6883940.

Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust will gather for their next annual conference October 16-19 at the Double Tree Hotel in Rockville, Maryland. Reservations should be made by September 1. You can also find out about local groups across the US and nine other countries that have joined the new Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust by contacting the Hidden Child Foundation/ADL, 823 UN Plaza. New York, NY 10017; (212)885-7900; fax (212)867-0779.

Correction: You can e-mail submissions to Living Text: The Journal of Contemporary Midrash to jihammer@jtsa.edu