Susan Schnur interviews Barbara Aiello
Susan Schnur interviews Barbara Aiello
Jews on Vinyl Once-loved and sometimes-forgotten audio gems tell a vibrant tale of how Jewish culture became mainstream American culture. In an experiential exhibition visitors are transported to the days of turntables in recreated mid-20th century living rooms while listening to the sounds of an earlier era — (Barbara) “Streisand Superman,” comedian Patsy Abbott’s “Yiddish... Read more »
Every woman confronts the idea of age in her own way, by counting the years that breed wisdom, or acknowledging the history passed down from her foremothers. Linda Pastan’s new collection, Traveling Light (W.W. Norton, $24.95), seeks to examine the lightness of aging and the weight of the experiences we keep with us. Many of... Read more »
“Letters mingle souls,” wrote the poet John Donne. In the novels Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay (Harper Collins, $25.99) and Far to Go by Alison Pick (Harper Perennial, $14.99), letters play a pivotal role. The letters in Russian Winter are written by murdered Soviet poet Viktor Elsin. Or at least that’s the contention of Grigori... Read more »
In 1946, when iconic Israeli poet Lea Goldberg published her only novel, And This Is the Light [Vehu ha’or] (Toby Press, $24.95), the literary critics were far from impressed. Their main criticism was that the novel represented a private, very European coming-of-age story in a time of national turmoil. One of the critics even claimed... Read more »
“The first time I saw Dad after he was born again was in Jerusalem, where Susan and I went to bring him home.” So begins Risa Miller’s light and fast-paced second novel, My Before and After Life (St. Martin’s, $24.99), where issues of family ties and fervent religiousness come together in the streets of Jerusalem... Read more »
In Home/Birth: A Poemic (1913 Press, $11), Arielle Greenberg and Rachel Zucker offer a candid, thought-provoking discussion of women giving birth at home. The book is innovative in form: a conversation between the two authors in which they discuss their own birthing experiences, interwoven with homebirth safety statistics, the history of the medicalization of birth,... Read more »
The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic (CCAR Press, $19.95), an anthology edited by Rabbi Mary L. Zamore, undertakes a bold challenge: defining a new food paradigm for Reform Jews. For over a century, the outside perception of the Reform movement’s dietary philosophy has been largely defined by the infamous “Trefa Banquet,” held in... Read more »
The contributors to the anthology Keep Your Wives Away from Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires struggle to find a livable compromise between traditional Judaism and an openly lesbian life. Edited by Miryam Kabakov (North Atlantic Books, $16.95), the book’s primary draw comes from the dozen personal essays that make up its bulk. Some are joyful:... Read more »
Marrying the skills of the sociologist and the historian, Stephanie Coontz gives us a “biography of a book” in A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s (Basic Books, $25.95). Enriched by her own data and interviews, Coontz cuts through the fog that has surrounded The Feminine Mystique... Read more »
This traditional Jewish rite of passage is how we welcome newborn boys. Now, it’s also inciting both anti-Semitism and a big dose of feminist ambivalence.
The physical inspection was first. Eyes. Nose. On her chin, a thumb opened her jaw. The woman’s hands weren’t soft but they were dry, at least, like salted fish. Minna closed her eyes, then worried she looked afraid and opened them. The fingers tugged at her earlobes. They prowled at her nape. But now the... Read more »
A rabbi/mom morphed five Jewish principles into rituals for pulling herself and her daughter through a hellish year.
Flying in the face of the stereotypes, Kohn claims they could be precursors for social justice work.
Why do Jewish women write memoir? A guided tour through the life stories revealed in Lilith’s pages — by women like, and very unlike, yourself.
He cheats. She mourns. The unexpected solace from a Jewish way of handling loss.
The Rebbetzin says angels follow you and defend you when you die — unless you speak ill,in which case the angels are injured. They bruise blue and their mouths melt shutlike some crooked river which craves to save you. Life doesn’t go quite right.I don’t leap from this... Read more »
In a world where one in five teens has reported abusing prescription medications, where physical aggression occurs in one third of teen dating relationships, and 81% of 10 year old girls are afraid of being fat, it’s clear that teen girls are dealing with a ton of challenges every day. Jewish girls now have some... Read more »
When a magazine is written for young girls, by young girls, with the intention of “empowering girls,” is it a feminist magazine? That question was at the heart of a debate earlier this summer between Leah Caras, founder of Yaldah magazine (“Girl,” in Hebrew), and readers of Tablet, an “online magazine of Jewish news, ideas... Read more »
The artist, U.K.-based Jacqueline Nicholls, says, “The Ladies Guild Collection is a series of paper-cuts that combine rabbinic misogyny with sexualized images of women, all on a nice paper doily. The texts in this series are selected specifically because they voice the misogynist attitudes that influence how women were, and continue to be, seen and... Read more »
“I think I didn’t know how weird it was when I was 19. When it’s your first real internship, you don’t know anything, so I had no idea that being treated with dignity and respect was so rare and wonderful.” Susannah Goldstein, Lilith intern in 1999, paused to chuckle, and I joined in. She is... Read more »
For 35 years, Lilith magazine has witnessed change, reported on change, and spurred the change itself. The subjects range from the ordination of the first women rabbis to the challenges faced by transgender Jews, from Jewish women’s organizations initial refusal to stand up for abortion rights to watching those organizations a decade or two later... Read more »