Lilith FeatureRiddles of Identity
...In which the author, mourning the gradual loss of her mother to Alzheimer’s, discovers a generation of women who remember how to laugh.
CONNECTIONS Conference to celebrate the past and future of Jewish feminism sponsored by the Jewish Women’s Resource Center will be held at Temple Emanu-El (5th Ave at 65th St) in NYC on Sunday, December 5. 1993. The conference, titled, “From Generation to Geneation—a Celebration of Jewish Feminism,” will feature, among others, Judith Plaskow, Blu Greenberg and... Read more »
Dani Shapiro sits in the living room of her apartment in New York’s Upper West Side landmark, the Hotel des Artistes. She is a composed, gracious hostess, offering cold drinks and nibbling delicately on a butter cookie. With her cool, blond beauty, dazzling blue eyes, and understated, up-to-the-minute clothing, she hardly looks like the granddaughter... Read more »
What do you get when you cross “Fiddler on the Roof,” silent film, fictitious history, and a Jewish feminist writer-director-producer? “The Man Without A World” (Milestone Film and Video, 1991, 98 min.)—a postmodern-retro-Yiddish silent film, circa 1928, actually made in 1991. Confused? Let me explain. Eleanor Antin, creator of the film, is a professor at... Read more »
Jews, Money & Social Responsibility: Developing a “Torah of Money” for Contemporary Life. Lawrence Bush and Jeffrey Dekro. A Guidebook with Supplementary Essays by Letty Cottin Pogrebin and Arthur Waskow. With a forward by Jonathan Schorsch. Published by The Shefa Fund. Rabbi Abba bar Acha said:It is impossible to understand thenature of this people—when theyare... Read more »
The Wild Motherby Elizabeth Cunningham, Station Hill, 1993, $20.95 The author of this novel, which belongs to the genre of magic realism, breathes new life into contemporary conceptions of Lilith, Eve, and Adam. While engaged in the highly energetic plot, the reader becomes drawn into the mystery and splendor of the Kabbalah, the Bible, magic... Read more »
FEMINIST REVISION AND THE BIBLE. Alicia Suskin Ostriker, Blackwell. 1993, $14.95. In her latest book. Rutgers professor and Lilith Poetry Editor Ostriker examines Western literature from the Bible to such nineteenth and twentieth century women writers as Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and H.D,, who create their own poetic readings of Biblical narrative. Ostriker moves deftly... Read more »
A Brooklyn physician recalls with bitter irony her experiences as a medical student in a "normalized" Poland in the year immediately following the Holocaust.
I lied to them. I said, “Of course, if you want, I will speak to your baby only in English.” But they still looked skeptical. Mr. Appelblom turned to Mrs. Appelblom and, when he thought I was not watching, he raised one eyebrow and cocked his head to the side. Mrs. Appelblom shrugged her shoulders. Well,... Read more »
In my last two years of Colgate University I stepped out of my comfortable community of young Jewish women to work in various feminist organizations, I worked in a women’s film production company, spent a summer with a multicultural feminist organization and attended countless meetings and workshops on women’s issues. I felt powerful seeing so... Read more »
What happens when I fit into more than one category?
As soon as I boarded the Dallas-bound plane in Newark I felt like the only Jew for miles around. A man wearing a ten-gallon hat sat in the row across from me, and for a split second I felt relieved that I was able to pass. By the time I made it to Wichita, two... Read more »
Jewish law—-which no longer permits animal sacrifices or slave-holding—-still binds married women to husbands who refuse to grant them divorces. Now Jewish women’s groups around the world, declaring this the Year of the Agunah, vow to overturn, overrule, or overwrite the law’s cruel inequity
In these children’s books. Mommy is a Rabbi, a deer in a dress carries a Torah scroll, and Grandpa makes the soup for Shabbat dinner. Kar-Ben Copies, the internationally known Jewish children’s publishing company, sells 200,000 books a year and carries 90 titles geared for preschool and primary school children. The books are bright, colorful... Read more »
What image comes to mind when you hear the words “rural New England?” “Bucolic farms,” possibly? “Towering church steeples?” “Quaint Puritan villages?” How about, “one of the most vibrant, diverse, and committed Jewish communities in North America.” Surprised? Skeptical? So was I until I attended the Eleventh Annual Conference on Rural Judaism this past June... Read more »
HIV/AIDS is a topic that many people avoided for years while it silently took its toll on their communities. The Jewish community is as guilty of this as any other community, and now there is much lost time to be made up. For AIDS prevention and education to be effective, it must overcome ignorance, prejudice and... Read more »
LILITH intern Robin Beth Schaer tells us…”I sold T-Shirts as my final political act on campus before graduating from Colgate University this past May. On the front the T-shirt said “feminist” and on the back it read “feminism is the radical concept that women are human.” By graduation weekend I had sold 60 T-shirts, with... Read more »
College women’s music listening can usually be divided between the sweet Christian imagery of the Indigo Girls and the grange noise of grrrl groups like Hole or L7. Now there’s Brenda Kahn, “She is so funny—and she is Jewish,” says Jennie Fennel!, a college radio DJ at a small, conservative college in Virginia. Starting off her major... Read more »
Visiting San Deigo last summer, I did—subconsciously— what I always do in my travels, I searched for signs of Yiddishkeit. And I found an unexpected reward. One sunny afternoon, driving south on El Camino Real in nearby Encinitas, I spotted a sign for Temple Solel. I pulled in. Clearly, this was serendipitous! There in the parking lot stood... Read more »
WOMEN PHILANTHROPISTS In the article on Jewish women’s philanthropy [“Jewish Women’s Philanthropy,” Winter 1993], your analysis and evaluation of the potential of Jewish women in this area were most enlightening. What a pity that mainstream organizations are not aware of this tremendous untapped reservoir of financial support. I commend you on the ten steps which you... Read more »
Featured on the cover of this issue is a set of stories written by Jewish women of the twentysomething generation, or that allegedly inscrutable “generation X.” While these women (I can’t say “young women,” although I want to) are trying to place their own desires into the mosaic of the cultures around them, what I... Read more »