Spring 2007

A philanthropist gives feminist art what it deserves. Jewish mother jokes. Lesbian rabbis, Jewish law, and blessings for changing your gender. Being childless in Israel.

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In This Issue

Lilith Feature

A Philanthropist Gives Feminist Art What It Deserves

Lilith Feature

Navigating Sexuality

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Exit Wounds


In this simultaneously spare and rich novel, award-winning Israeli cartoonist Rutu Modan manages to explore social issues, love (and sex) old and new, and the complexities of extended family relationships. A Tel Aviv taxi driver gets a mysterious message from a woman soldier. While he and she try to figure out the identity of a... Read more »

Blessings for Gender Transitions


“Ha’Ma’avir” — sharing the root of the word Ivrim (Hebrews). Jews are Ivrim — the “crossing over” people — because we “crossed over” the Jordan River into Canaan to escape our oppression in Egypt, and we spiritually “transformed” ourselves. (In Modern Hebrew, this verb root is used to form the word “ma’avar,” which means among... Read more »

Forbidden and Permitted Relations


When I first heard the news that the lawmaking body of the Conservative movement rejected two proposals for full acceptance of gay and lesbian Jews and accepted the responsum, or teshuvah, of Rabbis Dorff, Nevins and Reisner, advocating partial acceptance, I almost cried with frustration. I am a newcomer to the Conservative movement, having identified... Read more »

What’s Next, After Gay Rabbis?


Time to think about sex and sexual identity along a spectrum the seminaries haven’t even considered yet.

The Rehearsal Man


How does she turn gay women straight?

The REAL History of the Jewish Mother


Two seriously funny Jewish mothers go behind the jokes that have reined us in to reveal the secret messages of power beamed at us from stage, screen and stand-up mic. Susan Schnur interviews historian Joyce Antler about her new book, You Never Call! You Never Write!

Each Other’s


1. Pretend these words are from the BiblePretend these words are from the BibleShekinah ShekinahPretend these words are from the BibleThey sat in the gardenunder the willowswith their notebooks and penson their tanned crossed legsLet’s write songsto each other’s loverspretending to be each otherpretending to love each other’s loverlet’s write songs to each other’s lover.So... Read more »

Judy Chicago’s Jewish Identity


Her petalled flowers and vulva-like forms, her swirls and gradations of color are signatures of Judy Chicago’s work. We also recognize Judy Chicago today as a significant fulcrum for twentieth-century art. Her explicitly female imagery and equally explicit feminist themes of women’s accomplishments, women’s suffering, birth and female erotic desire, mark a turning point, where... Read more »

Sound Effects


Despite her best effort to open them soundlessly, the carved wooden doors to the sanctuary announced Lila’s late arrival with a squeal that would have done the ram’s horn proud. Rosh Hashanah services were well under way. People looked up, glad for the distraction or annoyed by it. Lila made her way between the crowded... Read more »

Childless In Israel


Up close and personal in the Promised Land: women without children in this intensely pro-natalist society.

Sybil’s Last Tape


Aunt Sybil spills the beans about life for a Jewish girl in the Twenties, and how she toughened up her immigrant mother to improve her parents’ marriage.

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