Spring 2020

Jewish Hair Now

Hair and all its complications • Raising feminist boys today • Tipping, service work and our changing world • A hot new Yiddish star • Taking off my wedding ring

Table of contents Get the issue

In This Issue

Lilith Feature

Jewish Hair Now.

Twenty-five years after Lilith’s original, classic, sold-out hair issue, new writers untangle the knots that connect us to our mothers, our bodies, our backgrounds and our politics. 

Lilith Feature

Raising Feminist Boys

How we can all help 

Lilith Feature

Tipping. A Feminist Issue.

Emotional Labor, Tipping, and Feminists’ Role in Promoting a Fairer Workplace Culture 

More Articles

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

The Social Context of Hair: Hairstyles, Race and Status


HAIR IS PERSONAL. Hair is political. To make sense of the social context of hair for Jews of color today, SARAH SELTZER talked to CHAVA SHERVINGTON, a longtime diversity activist in the Jewish community, as well as an attorney and mom, who by her own admission has become “obsessed with hair issues” as she helps her kids navigate the complex politics of their Black hair.

Taking Off My Wedding Ring


I wanted to take off my ring, but I needed a ritual to acknowledge that Divinity was present, even at this moment of loss. 

Head Covering: The Evolving Choices


My mother’s hair is colorful ropes of cotton, carefully and methodically wrapped in a rainbow of layers growing in width as the ends disappear into hidden corners below her hairline. As a girl, I often sat in my mother’s room, watching her in this morning ritual as she added the last detail of her dressing.... Read more »

When Your Family Is Someone’s Boss


Rabbi Mary L. Zamore on being an ethical family employer. 

Poetry: Burnt Offering


Poetry by Alisha Kaplan

Fiction: Driving Lesson


And yet, as she looked around at the paintings in their gilded frames, the polished silver candlesticks, the maid scurrying into the room with a china bowl filled with sugar cubes, she thought she might go through with it anyway. She was a milliner, after all. She had the taste for beautiful things. The possibilities tantalized her.

Making Yiddish Hip, Heymish & Hot


Channeling her own past, the remarkable diva Eleanor Reissa is singing, directing, writing and performing Yiddish for 21st-century audiences. 

A Sample Gender Email


A sample email to schools and camps

Fiction: Paved With Gold


So they leave, two more huddled masses sailing from old world to new. The newlyweds carry their tightly bundled life on board: Candlesticks, prayer shawl, brown crusted bread,
hand-stitched lace, a family ring tightly sewn into the band of her thick wool skirt.

I’m Eleven and I’ve Lost My Hair


For the last five years I have worn my hair long, thick and wavy, half-way down my back. I put it in ponytails, or I wear it down, or I bundle it in a bun. I just turned 11. But, I recently discovered I have liver cancer. Which was a real pain for me, because... Read more »

Waxing Nostalgic


In 2014, my friend Tess and I went to see a comedy called “The Other Woman,” starring Leslie Mann and Cameron Diaz. Its jokes were dumb and obvious, and although the film was written by a woman and purported to be about the power of female friendship, it was insultingly sexist. Its biggest selling point... Read more »

My Mother’s Unshaved Legs


There’s an age at which you start noticing the things about your parents that are embarrassing. The fact that your dad will say something and your mom will then burst into song, triggered by a single spoken word; the noise he makes when he clears his throat; or the way she eats a piece of... Read more »

At the Beauty Parlor


I arrive on time for my 10 AM cut-and-color, but my new hairdresser isn’t there. It’s New Year’s Eve, I’m newly unwed and I want to party, but I look like hell.  “She’ll be here,” I’m assured by a redheaded stylist on a headphone call.  At 10:20 Barbie strolls in, blonde hair in a tortoiseshell... Read more »

Combing My Mother’s Hair


An erotic/sensual memory trip through crackles and changing colors of her hair. Heavy frizzy… foamy blonde… long wavy auburn… short Mamie Eisenhower bangs… little girl barrettes…. Still defiantly long and curling past her shoulders.  We tried to make her cut it as she reached a certain age (based on advice in women’s magazines). We forced... Read more »

The Books that Taught Me to Love My Body Hair


When I begged my mother to teach me to shave my legs, I was nine years old. “Your body hair is normal,” she said, “And it’s not healthy to worry so much about it now.” That was easy for her to say. Her pale legs never had visible hair to my eyes, whereas my legs... Read more »



Before my hair was patchy and thinned out from years of trichotillomania, the body-focused repetitive behavior of hair-pulling, I took unabashed pride in the fact that I was blessed with “good” hair. As a young girl I was acutely aware that my intelligence and confidence both came at a price. I was “gifted” and “an... Read more »

The Weight of Shiva


Sitting shiva for my father was hard. Our house was filled with people from morning until night, and I was sad. I wore the same clothing every day, with the rip across the front of that damn white button down shirt. We followed the ritual guidelines pretty strictly: the mirrors were covered up; we stayed... Read more »

Hair as a Jewish Art Form: A Parasha Haircut Project


It was late October. I had been going to a new barber recently. I had seen Billy’s (@Odabu) incredible line work on Instagram and was ready to start doing bolder things with my hair. On this day, I walked in and said: “I’ve been thinking a lot about water and waves lately, waves that roll... Read more »

Fiction: Anniversary


The longer they sat without stirring, the more concrete and real the other became. As the evening progressed it became a conversation in which they spoke in their own impenetrable, unutterable language, which only they could perceive.

Big-Mouth Bar Mitzvah


prepping for bar mitzvah with a raunchy Netflix show 

Back Issues

image of cover of magazine for Winter 2023 Winter 2023
image of cover of magazine for Fall 2022 Fall 2022
image of cover of magazine for Summer 2022 Summer 2022
image of cover of magazine for Spring 2022 Spring 2022