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Midwifery as Activism

Fleeing the Janjawid isn’t the only way that Darfurian women are fighting for their lives—they are also struggling to prevent maternal mortality by becoming midwives. Sudan has the fifth-highest maternal mortality rate in the world, with 17 out of every 1,000 women dying while giving birth. This startling figure is partially caused by a lack… Read more »

On Religion, Politics and Middle Eastern Outsiders

One big story in the international department this week is sure to be Turkey’s recent election. I’ll own up to a minor obsession with Turkey’s history and politics, but I do think this election has, in its own peculiar way, implications for Israel. (For a great wealth of information on the Turkish election, check out… Read more »

What I Learned at the Hadassah Convention

This week I had the privilege of attending the closing brunch and plenary session of the 93rd Annual Hadassah National Convention, in which newly elected president Nancy Falchuk was officially installed. I went as a reporter rather than as a member of Hadassah, as I am not one, nor did I grow up in what… Read more »

Not on Our Credit Cards

These days it seems to me like I could end the genocide in Darfur with a little Internet shopping. For example, I could start by purchasing a Green Day T-shirt that promises to end the violence in Darfur; or I could buy “colonial style leatherware” designed by George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Don Cheadle under… Read more »

Dangerous Bedfellows

I opened an innocuous-looking email here at the Lilith office last week and found we had been cordially invited to the 2nd Annual Israel/Washington DC Summit sponsored by Christians United for Israel (CUFI). It’s a sweet thought, but I personally intend to pass. In fact, the whole thing creeps me out like you can’t believe.… Read more »

The Silver Lining in the Katsav Cloud

So the verdict, er, that is, the plea bargain, is in. Israel’s now-former president Moshe Katsav, who faced rape charges that could have put him in prison for up to 20 years, has struck a deal, pleading guilty to lesser sexual harassment offenses in exchange for a suspended sentence and having to pay fees to… Read more »

Women and Dough

“For three transgressions women die in childbirth: for being careless regarding [the laws of] menstruation, the tithe from dough, and kindling the [Sabbath and festival] light.”– Bameh Madlikin / Mishnah Six I do not personally feel bound to the traditional understanding of challah as a woman’s commandment. It bucks against my general inclination towards egalitarianism,… Read more »

The Four Questions About Genocide in Darfur

Asking questions is a core tenet of Judaism. “The Four Questions” during Passover is just one example of how Jews question and analyze our traditions and the world. The genocide in Darfur is not a straightforward situation and the news often glosses over explanatory details, leaving concerned individuals confused and overwhelmed. Let’s try to clarify… Read more »

Legislating Fairness

I’d like to take a moment to talk about American law, and race, and we the (Jewish) people. It came up when the Supreme Court decided that Brown v. The Board of Education never happened, and it comes up all the time when I want to talk about affirmative action. I find many Jews—at least… Read more »

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