Two Jewish women-both in their twenties--look back.
Where the whole family gathers to mark a 35th wedding anniversary.
Pick Up The Phone Telephone visiting. It’s an easy act of kindness. Make a telephone call to reassure, check in, chat for a few minutes with an elderly relative, a neighbor who’s sick, a disabled family member, colleague—or even a stranger. A recent training session for volunteers sponsored by the Rabbi Isaac N. Trainin Bikur... Read more »
In Joining the Sisterhood: Young Jewish Women Write Their Lives (State University of New York Press, $18.95), editors Tobin Belzer and Julie Pelc open the floor to young Jewish women, ranging from their late teens to early thirties, ranging from secular to Orthodox; lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual; women of color, poets, students, novelists, educators and professors. This is the generation... Read more »
In January 2001, Gloria Becker Marchick returned from a Fulbright Lectureship in Morocco. She had unwillingly gone underground as a Jew during her several months there, intimidated by the tensions the most recent Intifada had stirred up. The events of 9/11, however, changed all that. September 13, 2001 Dear Mrs. Gloria: I don’t know what... Read more »
There was a time when decent women would never willingly appear in public without their heads covered. Until recently, it was a sign of a woman’s standing. Even late into the 20th century, some private girls’ schools mandated that students in uniform wear hats outside campus. The Torah tells of the woman caught in adultery... Read more »
Edgy, dark, morbid, scathing and, at moments, surreal. These are all apt descriptions of Alix Straus’s new collection The Joy of Funerals: A Novel in Stories (St. Martin’s Press, $12.95). Each story, as the title suggests, deals with death: In one, a young widow who lusts after the men she meets in the cemetery (there is one whose yarmulke... Read more »
The bond between mothers and daughters forms the dark and pulsating heart of Dani Shapiro’s gripping new novel, Family History (Alfred A. Knopf, $23). Rachel Jensen seems to have it all: wonderful, sexy husband, lovely and accomplished teen-aged daughter, fulfilling work as an art restorer, beautiful old house in a charming New England town. But when Rachel becomes pregnant with... Read more »
In Loosen the Fetters of Thy Tongue, Woman: The Poetry and Poetics of Yona Wallach (Hebrew Union College Press, $39.95), Zafrira Lidovsky Cohen wrestles with some of the most intricate and provocative poetry crafted in modern Hebrew. Yona Wallach (1944-1985) came of age as poetic revolutionaries of the 1950s and 1960s sought to create a more personal, informal... Read more »
It has been said that psychology is the study of the obvious, and sociology the study of the painfully obvious. How Goodly Are Thy Tents: Summer Camps as Jewish Socializing Experiences, by Amy L. Sales and Leonard Saxe (Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture and Life, Brandeis University Press/University Press of New England, $22), an ethnography of Jewish residential summer... Read more »
My husband had a teacher in his later years, a rabbi who was much too Orthodox for most of us, but so sweet and sympathetic, so learned and easy to learn from, such a light to us Jewish goyim, that we followed him and loved him, especially my husband. This rabbi—his name was Geduldig. Solomon Geduldig... Read more »
Yes of course Betty Boop is Jewish. What made her a star, however, was not Jewishness, but overt sexiness. When Betty Boop was introduced in 1930 by her creators. Max and Dave Fleischer, animation was for adults; she frequently loses her top and trades on sexuality. In one cartoon, “Betty Boop’s Ker-choo” (1933), Betty actually... Read more »
Richman wants all her friends to be comfortable. But should feminists sanction prayer services that exclude one sex or another in the name of pluralism?
A gifted poet and liturgist in her own right, Falk turns her high beam on Zelda’s sensual Hebrew verses.
Recalling strife-free “family” vacations with both her (not-yet-remarried) parents, Kramer may be the embodiment of the kid who is blissfully blind to the conflicts that fractured the family in the first place. Then her mom weighs in.
Erlich struggles with her own elaborate rules, like separating milk and meat in a kosher kitchen, for how to make sure there’s minimal mingling. Her own wedding is the litmus test for how well she’s doing.
I say no to soup and you frown: “But it’s perfect,” you say, “the matzo balls float up like clouds.” Instead, we bundle up, go out and dig bouquets of daffodils from under spring snow. Yellow heads nod up, surprised to be discovered. We walk beneath pines weeping low under white drifts. You reach up,... Read more »
Her posthumous autobiography reveals why a woman’s suffering and vision changed the way the U.S. Holocaust Museum teaches about the Shoah.
You have a lot to say about teen girls and oral sex.
Georgette Klinger, nee Eckstein, died on January 9, 2004 at the age of 88. The porcelain-skinned former beauty contest winner and Czech emigre opened her own beauty salon in 1941 on Madison Avenue, which she later turned into a mini empire, with salons in nine American cities. My own connection with Ms. Klinger (I always think... Read more »
Miklat, the only battered women’s shelter in Israel specifically for Orthodox and Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish women and children, has announced plans to open a second shelter, somewhere in the center of the country. Experts say that the country’s current crisis mode has increased violence against women. Miklat founder and president Estanne Fawer told LILITH that... Read more »
Two years ago, Neta Stahl and Yitzhak Melamed, Ph.D. candidates in Jewish Studies and the parents of Yonathan and Alma, then four years and six months respectively, spent the annual meeting of the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) conference “going up and down the escalator, staring at the closed doors of the auditoriums.” Last year, they didn’t even bother to attend. But,... Read more »
Remember how Hillary Rodham Clinton infuriated absolutely everybody when her husband was running for President? The reason why people hated her, pundits said, was her assertion that In a Clinton presidency the American people would get “two for the price of one.” But during the short-lived but intense Dean candidacy, we had the spectacle of... Read more »
The controversy in France over the Muslim headscarf has not gone away with the passing of the new law barring the wearing of religious symbols in educational institutions…. Among the most vocal opponents of the headscarf are staunch leftists and enlightened liberals, who view it as an alien imposition on European France’s social and cultural... Read more »
Nancy Meyers and Ilene Chaiken, nearly unknown outside Hollywood circles until a few months ago, have each mounted a challenge to the entertainment industry’s assumption about what sells on screen. Turns out that television viewers and moviegoers want more than young women with flawless skin and hips to play female leads. In her film Somethings Gotta Give, screenwriter Nancy Meyers,... Read more »
The Conservative movement has for the first time issued guidelines for dealing with sexual abuse and harassment in synagogues. Conservative leaders were following on the heels of the more liberal Reform and Reconstructionist movements. The Conservative guidelines include admonitions to rabbis and cantors to maintain appropriate boundaries in their relationships with the people they serve,... Read more »
Since January, the Bush Administration has twice bypassed the Senate to install anti-choice Federal judges whose appointments have been opposed by reproductive rights advocates. On January 16, while Congress was in recess. President Bush appointed conservative Judge Charles W. Pickering, of Mississippi to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The Constitution gives the President the power to make certain... Read more »
Enid Dame, 60, of cancer. In her seven books of poetry, she deftly mixed images from Brooklyn with Midrash. Sometimes Biblical matriarchs appear in her poems, but reimagined in modern guise, as in this excerpt from her poem entitled Lilith, one of Dame’s favorite characters; Two against one/It isn’t fair! I cried/And stormed out of Eden/Into history... Read more »
The two-year-old magazine Zeek (www.zeek.net) declares that its mission is “to present alternative Jewish voices of criticism, literature, and religious thought, in an intelligent, but non-academic, context.” Indeed. In his recent “I Hear America Bling-Blinging,” Jay Michaelson writes about all of the overweight Americans he sees while visiting his mother in Florida. “In Tampa at... Read more »
Mazal tov to… Blu Greenberg, author, teacher, and founder/president of Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, named in Women’s Enews’ 2003 list of 21 “Leaders of the 21st Century.” Greenberg, a tireless activist whose causes include the plight of agunoth, told Womens Enews that she looks forward to the advent of Orthodox female rabbis. …Dr. Bernice Graftstein,... Read more »
My God, she built the institution. I just don’t know what happened.” This is how a top Jewish organizational professional described the departure of Debby Hirshman the executive director who brought the widely praised Jewish Community Center in Manhattan from dream to $85-million reality. Two years ago, Hirshman was profiled in LILITH as one of the highest-ranking and... Read more »
Next time something at home breaks, don’t ask a man to fix it. This is not just to avoid perpetuating tiresome stereotypes of helpless women, but because using tools is fun Julie Sussman and Stephanie Glakas-Tener, co-authors of the book Dare to Repair (HarperCollins, $14.95) agree. So does Barbara Kavovit, who designs and markets a... Read more »
Did you ever see the movie “‘The Group,” made from Mary McCarthy’s novel? It draws the curtain back to reveal sexuality and the sexual double standard in the lives of smart, savvy women who were students at an elite women’s college in the 1930s. A few weeks ago I went to a screening of “The Wild... Read more »