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Fall 1999

Lilith examines programs for Jewish teenage girls, a new take on challenges to girls’ bodies and powerful kids books. Unsung heroines: Jewish women who fought for civil rights in 1960’s south.

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In This Issue

Lilith Feature

Noga

Selections from Israel's Feminist Magazine

Lilith Feature

Unsung Heroines of the ’60s

Jewish women who went south

Lilith Feature

A Whole New World for Girls

Lilith Feature

Unexpected Feminist Poems, from the Hebrew

More Articles

Sort by: Features | From the Editor | Voices | Reviews | Happening | All

Molly’s Christmas Dilemma

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It took almost ten years, a lot of begging, even more rationalizing, and finally an internship, but I got Molly. As I sit here, writing, I smooth her reddish-brown braids, fix her wire-rimmed glasses, look into her blue eyes, and try to remember how such a harmless little doll (or lack thereof) could make me so... Read more »

Embroidery As Prayer

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It was a surprise—my adventure in crewel embroidery. It started as a gesture to heal the loss of our pet hamster, Henry. My daughter had trained him to rub noses and shake hands. As she did her homework, he often fell asleep on her lap with all four pink paws straight up in the air.... Read more »

To My Country

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I have not sung you, my country,not brought glory to your namewith the great deeds of a heroor the spoils a battle yields.But on the shores of Jordanmy hands have planted a tree,and my feet have made a pathwaythrough your fields. Modest are the gifts I bring you,I know this, mother.Modest, I know, the offeringsof... Read more »

“Unborn”

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An unborn child is shaped like a locusttwo eyes like the excrement of a flytwo ears like the excrement of a flytwo arms like two reddish threads from the madder rootmouth thin as a hair, torso a lentil.If it is female, it is split like a grain of barley How does the unborn lie in its... Read more »

My Son Was Drafted

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My son was drafted. We visited him at the army base, in the desert,the desolation that tents and their ropes and tent-pegstry to make us forget. The whitewashed stones along the pathwere so blinding white-hot that I covered my eyeslike a Jewish woman lighting the Sabbath candles,I sot down on a stone near an empty tin can, and... Read more »

My Mother Was a Prophet

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My mother was a prophet and didn’t know it, Not like Miriam the Prophetess dancing with cymbals and tambourines, not like Deborah who sat under the palm tree and judged the people, not like Hulda who foretold the future, but my own private prophet, silent and stubborn. I am obliged to fulfill everything she said and I’m... Read more »

What Madeleine Albright Couldn’t Know

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An author who only recently discovered that her own parents were Jews illuminates how terrifying it can be to expose what has been hidden, and how tempting it is to let sleeping secrets lie.

Dolls to Live By

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I am nine years old. I am visiting with my friend Becca. She wants to show me a new toy, something “very special.” I am gleeful; Becca always has the best toys—and the most of them. As it seems she almost has the best toys like those featured on toy review sites like https://www.top9rated.com. She... Read more »

Girls and Food

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The organizations of Jewish life have developed a fascination with what girls do—or do not—eat. Ever since a blockbuster Kolot conference last year in Philadelphia on “Food, Body Image and Judaism,” offshoot workshops have taken place in hopes of bringing the message home. Other projects are also in the works: The Reform movement’s Union of... Read more »

Living Full Jewish Lives in a Barbie Doll World

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A psychotherapist offers a fascinating new take on the challenges to Jewish girls' bodies.

Violence in Teen Relationships

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You’re sitting in a darkened room listening to a recording of a nine year old beg a 911 operator to send help, to make his father stop beating his mother. This scene isn’t a bad dream: It was the opening moment of the November 1998 Teens on TRAC (Teen Relationship Abuse Conference), a day-long event... Read more »

BBG! Mind! Body! Attitude!

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The girls are excited. Ever since one single member of B’nai B’rith Girls found out that LILITH was interested in their Mind, Body, Attitude program, they’ve been calling us in droves to sing its praises. Five years ago, BBG, which has over 7,000 members worldwide, formed the MBA program, and it has taken on a life... Read more »

No More GYN Dread!

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In most cities, even cities with good health clinics available to women, few facilities reach out to teen girls. For the last three decades, a small but effective program in Chicago has been helping girls obtain birth control safely and privately. In the process, the Medical Unit has offered thousands of girls a rare opportunity... Read more »

Spirituality for Girls

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Grown-up women in many communities have revitalized Rosh Hodesh (the traditional Jewish women’s half-holiday marking the new moon) as a means of exploring Jewish female identity. Soon girls may have a chance to explore this as well, a welcome antidote to the “deficit model” of programs for teen girls that focus more on what’s wrong... Read more »

Breasts – Check Them Out

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“Early detection and a healthy lifestyle are the only things that we know for sure right now” about preventing breast cancer, announced Sima Spector, chair of the Hadassah Check It Out program in Sacramento, California. Spector has an unlikely target audience: teenage girls. In a program developed by Hadassah to help teens develop a sense... Read more »

Clueless?

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What the Jewish community often is when it comes to teenage girls

Milk

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The notice had been xeroxed onto a piece of paper, cut thin like a bookmark and passed out to members of the congregation between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Someone who knew her had given it to her mother, and her mother had given it to her. A request was being made for breast milk for... Read more »

The Golden Ghetto’s Shame

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Meanwhile, a liberal New York Jewish suburb grappled with black maids and racial integration.

Our Unsung Civil Rights Movement Heroines

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Women in the civil rights movement integrated bus terminals, taught in Freedom Schools, registered black voters and served time in Southern jails. Now they talk frankly about the danger, their mothers’ reactions, and what in their Jewish consciousness propelled them.

Why I Tracked Them Down

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As a historian, I have spent the past five years looking for anti-racist Jewish women role models, hoping to place them in a radical Jewish tradition to which I could feel connected. Rather than simply writing theoretically about racism, sexism and anti-Semitism, I wanted to portray women who took action in a decisive moment in American history.... Read more »

Detective Fiction: A Suitable Job for a Woman

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Erella Daor reports on a lecture by Rivka Bar Yosef: Detective stories—a genre only about 200 years old—hinge on a murder, investigation, pursuit and the solving of the crime; on a disturbance of the social order and the desire on the part of the hero/detective, to restore order. The question of whether sleuthing is a... Read more »

Women’s Basketball? Yes

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Rachel Ostrowitz reports that overnight fame greeted Lachen Ramat Hasharan women’s basketball team with unprecedented competition to broadcast their Israel and European championship games on TV and radio. Players Aluma Goren, Mila Nikolich and Tali Noy, and trainer and founder Orna Ostfeld, have become household names. The team aroused curiosity not only because of its victories... Read more »

Money is the Name of the Game: Women in the Israeli Welfare State

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In an article by Barbara Swirsky, the author points out that the ideal welfare state guarantees all citizens basic standards of income, nutrition, health, housing and education—as a political right, not as charity. Success of the state is measured by how closely this ideal is met. In Israel, which sees itself as a welfare state, there... Read more »

Letters

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Motherless What an issue! I am taking my copy of the Summer 1999 LILITH (“Motherloss”) to Canada to my niece, who started a group of “motherless daughters.” They helped each other through first pregnancies and now through early child-raising. For some, as with my niece, it was one of the first places they could talk... Read more »

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