The Unlikely Addict: A Tween Yeshiva Girl
The Unlikely Addict: A Tween Yeshiva Girl
Young, Jewish & Now This film celebrates diversity, weaving together queer culture, Jewish Arab history, secular Yiddishkeit, anti-racist analysis, and religious/spiritual traditions. Community organizers Julia Caplan and Loolwa Khazzoom, JFREJ director Dara Silverman, playwright Deb Shoval, artists Molly Hein and Emily Nippon, and others speak of building progressive organizations, new rituals, and more inclusive communities,... Read more »
Lover of Unreason (Carroll & Graf, $27.95) is a thoroughly researched and well-written biography by Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev of Assia Wevill, the rival of Sylvia Plath. Born in Berlin, she escaped from the Nazis in 1934, and inadvertently became an icon of deceit for those who grew up honoring the tale of Plath’s... Read more »
In Inventing Jewish Ritual (JPS, $25.00), anthropologist Vanessa Ochs turns her eye to contemporary Jewish communities. She brings a much-needed set of critical tools to the analysis of Jewish ritual and, in particular, to the innovative practices that have sprung up across the American Jewish landscape over the past few decades. Examining phenomena ranging from... Read more »
The mission of Lesley Hazleton, in Jezebel, the Untold Story of the Bible’s Harlot Queen (Doubleday, $24.95), is the rehabilitation of the reputation of Jezebel, Phoenician princess, wife of Ahab, King of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in the 9th century B.C.E. Hazleton — journalist, political writer, and author of several books about the Middle East today — brings... Read more »
The poetry of Merle Feld has made an indelible imprint on the contemporary Jewish spiritual landscape, included as it is in several new prayerbooks. Her memoir, A Spiritual Life: Exploring the Heart and Jewish Tradition, (SUNY Press, $19.95) became a classic of Jewish feminist spirituality following its first appearance in 1999. Now in a 2007... Read more »
These three Holocaust memoirs, each republished after years of obscurity, are stories of courage, compassion, and dignity under conditions of unspeakable horror and cruelty. Tania, the fictionalized author of Tell Me Another Morning: An Autobiographical Novel by Zdena Berger (Paris Press, $15.95) was 14 when she was deported from Prague with her family. She does... Read more »
The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit (Ecco, $25.95) by Lucette Lagnado is a memoir about her family’s exile from Egypt and the course they chart from Cairo to Brooklyn in the years following Nasser’s rise in the 1960s. Like André Aciman’s Out of Egypt (1994), this book is powerful testimony to the ignored story of thousands of Jews from the... Read more »
People ultimately get married because they want to grow. They want to change. They want to become better. They want to be more than what they are. And the wedding ceremony is that most celebrated time for people to begin this change. But getting married is not the only way. Throughout our lives we have... Read more »
Jennifer Anne Moses, author of Bagels and Grits: A Jew on the Bayou (University of Wisconsin Press, $26.95) is caught in a crisis of faith. As an East Coast liberal Jew, Moses is accustomed to a world where smoked salmon and doubting God’s existence are acceptable forms of religious identity. Then her husband accepts a professorship at Louisiana... Read more »
One man’s freedom is another woman’s jail. Enforced Marginality: Jewish Narratives on Abandoned Wives by Bluma Goldstein (University of California Press, $39.95) is about that woman: abandoned by her husband but still bound to him by Jewish law, she is imprisoned by a web of shame and poverty. Goldstein’s mother was abandoned by her father when she was a year... Read more »
In the series Rashi’s Daughters (Plume, $15), Maggie Anton sets herself the daunting challenge of bringing to life the words and world of Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac, known by the acronym Rashi, probably the most famous and revered of medieval Jewish scholars. A vintner in 11th century France, Rashi is known to us through his... Read more »
Esther Freud’s novel Love Falls (Ecco, $13.95) takes place during the summer of 1981, against the backdrop of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding, as 17-year-old Lara travels to Italy to spend time with her mysterious father. It’s the latter narrative on which the novel focuses, even as it relies on the former for... Read more »
Amanda Marcotte, best known for her blogging, has a new book that proves she can play tough in multiple media. It’s a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments (Seal, $13.95) showcases Marcotte’s acerbic yet casual feminist tips for less-than-perfect situations (whether you’re in an “abstinence-only” classroom or maneuvering the “wedding-industrial complex”). Although the... Read more »
Women Talking Torah A new, unique — and gendered — look at the Bible Until our own lifetime, traditional Jewish texts have been almost exclusively the product of only half the population. Once women began to study and to teach, and our voices began to be heard from pulpits, it was only a matter of... Read more »
To stave off headaches, my mother, néeBronislava Ilivna Tonkonogia, for decades worea headband like a squaw’s, minus the feather. With the set of her jaw, the scar on her forehead,the look in her eyes of having crossed many waters,she could have spoken Japanese or Cree. It is her eighty-fourth year. She has just gotten her... Read more »
Marinating requires a plan. One must have on hand the ingredients, a vessel large enough, and the time to engage in the process. If the pan or bowl isn’t large enough to submerge the whole roast, if indeed a roast is the item, the marinater must be available to turn it at regular intervals. The... Read more »
They speak frankly about making ends meet, keeping peace at home (in every sense of those words), and the powerful pull of their closest relationships. What keeps these women sane?
Spending one week a month in isolation with other women in a menstrual hut isn’t easily done in modernday Israel, so Ethiopian immigrants — and their university-educated daughters — are figuring out how to transpose these women’s rituals into the 21st century.
Four artists and a jazz singer come to lunch and dish about politics, gender, and where cultures clash. Then they reveal how Israel grew them into artists. You eavesdrop, via Naomi Danis’s translation of their Hebrew conversation.
In her own words, a young woman on the brink of the big day reflects on how struggling over just a quarter-inch of the neckline of her wedding dress makes her who she is.
Surprisingly, amulets and holy books can actually ward off bad outcomes, but not the ones you’d anticipate.
Schoenburg-becomes-Belmont was only the beginning. What got lost when families hid their Jewish-sounding monikers? On a mission of reclamation, Erdreich and her sister change theirs back.
There’s been lots of hype surrounding an announcement from Jerusalem’s Shalom Hartman Institute that their new ordination program would ordain Orthodox women as rabbis. But it turns out that the Orthodox she-rabbi is really just a byproduct of the program, not the point of it. The non-denominational program is intended to train a new crop... Read more »
There’s nothing quite like the sight of the Old World running right smack into the New. The Make-a-Shidduch Foundation, a Baltimore-based organization dedicated to “building the Shomer Shabbos community one shidduch at a time!” is a most delicious example. This foundation offers tech-savvy additions to the field of shidduch [match]-making. Some of these, like the... Read more »
“Praying With Lior,” which won the Audience Award for Best Documentary in the Boston and Washington Jewish Film Festivals, has just gone into commercial release. Lior Liebling, a boy with Down Syndrome, has a remarkable relationship with prayer and God. Award-winning documentary filmmaker and television producer Ilana Trachtman (also a Lilith author) brings the audience... Read more »
“My (obese) mother sent me a care package to college with weight-loss pills — and cookies!” After hearing this recollection we had, as you might imagine, a lively discussion about food and families, and heard statistics from one of our participants on eating disorders as a heritable trait. That the conversation took many paths didn’t... Read more »
Now you have a dramatic new way to celebrate one of the few holidays on the Jewish calendar where the key player is a woman. Kolot, the Center for Jewish Women’s & Gender Studies at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, this year launched Ta’anit Esther: The Jewish Day of Justice, reclaiming a part of the Purim... Read more »
Mollie Katzen, with over six million books in print, is listed by the New York Times as one of the bestselling cookbook authors of all time. The Moosewood Cookbook, which helped bring vegetarian cooking from the margins into the mainstream, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. How has vegetarian cooking changed? I used to... Read more »
In 1994, an estimated 250,000 women were raped in Rwanda, part of a deliberate genocide; in many cases, HIV-infected Hutu men raped Tutsi women, often announcing to the rape victim that she would pass the disease on to any resulting children and that both would die a slow death. Three years ago, a friend who... Read more »
If anyone is well prepared for being half of what is almost universally called “Israel’s literary power couple,” Shira Geffen is that person. She’s the daughter of Israeli poet Yehonatan Geffen, sister of Israeli rock star Aviv Geffen, and a great-niece of Moshe Dayan. “I have my own life,” Geffen said from her home in... Read more »
This has certainly been a season where women feel torn. But Clinton vs. Obama is only part of it. In the world of Jewish women — or in the universe I live in, at least — there was another rending going on too, as the keystone magazine of American feminism acted foolishly in rejecting an... Read more »