Lilith FeatureJewish Women & Food (Eat, Eat, Diet, Diet)
Approach/avoidance at the Jewish trough
So that’s what Robert Frost meant??? A secular English literature instructor lands in an ultra-Orthodox high school for girls. "To Sir with Love" with a Jewish spin.
Calls For Materials For an anthology of Holocaust-inspired writing and art, send short written materials or photographs of original art. Cynthia Brody, 1001 Bridgeway, #246, Sausalito, CA 94965. (415)522-9080 Violence Against Women, a journal of research and scholarship, is soliciting theoretical papers, research notes, book reviews, articles or creative work from survivors. Topics include sexual assault and coercion;... Read more »
Even the barest outline of Amy Levy’s life is tantalizing. Born in the Clapham section of London in 1861, she was the first Jewish woman admitted to Newnham College, Cambridge. In her lifetime .she published three novels and three collections of verse, and contributed to several major literary magazines, including Temple Bar and The Gentleman... Read more »
Two films, recently shown by Jewish film and video expert Roberta Newman, make for extraordinary programming; The Gypsy Princess is a 19-minute. droll, jolly, painful reframing of the so called Jewish American Princess by director Beverly Ginsburg. The experimental documentary (which employs Ginsburg’s grandfather’s home movies along with voice-over narration) tells of one immigrant family’s... Read more »
FAT CHANCE by Leslea Newman Putnam, 1994, $15.95 Based on a real journal left behind by an adolescent girl who died of bulimia, this fictional diary chronicles the insecurities and social pressures that lead a young Jewish girl into an eating disorder. Judi is trying to figure out what she wants to be when she... Read more »
UNDER THE DOMIM TREE by Gila Almagor, translated by Hillel Schenker, [Simon & Schuster], $15 This is a beautiful, bittersweet story of an appealing group of teenagers in a youth village in Israel in 1953, post-Holocaust. Abandoned children who long to belong, the characters are both human and noble in the face of terrible events. In... Read more »
BLACK BREAD: POEMS, AFTER THE HOLOCAUSTby Blu Greenberg [Ktav], $20 What right-thinking person isn’t a fan of Blu Greenberg’s? In this generous-hearted collection of 58 poems (they are musings and vignettes, actually, rather than poems) written over 20 years, Greenberg offers up homely examples of what she calls “The Holocaust Factor.” We all carry within... Read more »
THE DYKE & THE DYBBUKby Ellen Galford [Seal Press], $10.95 In this very Jewish novel, a medieval lesbian puts a curse on her ex-lover by conjuring up a dybbuk to haunt her and her firstborn daughters unto the 33rd generation. But Kokos, the dybbuk, gets exorcised and incarcerated in a tree for 200 years. Upon... Read more »
BETWEEN FRIENDS: THE CORRESPONDENCE OF HANNAH ARENDT AND MARY McCARTHY, 1949-1975,edited by Carol Brightman [Harcourt Brace], $34.95 Two famous intellectuals, Arendt and McCarthy, are notable in these pages not only for their keen moral minds and political left-of-center views, but for their intimate, loyal chitchat and for a rich range of emotions which, in breadth,... Read more »
MYRIAM MENDILOW: MOTHER OF JERUSALEMby Barry and Phyllis Cytron [Lerner Pub., Minneapolis], $21.50 If you’re committed to providing young Jewish girls with inspiring role models, no one better fits the bill than Myriam Mendilow [1910-1989|. In this nicely written biography for pre-teens (with photos), readers are introduced to a true “foremother” and humanitarian, born and... Read more »
FRAUEN: GERMAN WOMEN RECALL THE THIRD REICHby Alison Owings [Rutgers Univ. Press, 1993], $24.95 Were German (non-Jewish) women of the 1930’s and 40’s more anti-war than German (non-Jewish) men? Did they feel as drawn to Fascist rhetoric? What did they know of Nazi atrocities, and what did they do with that knowledge? In Frauen, Alison... Read more »
THESE ARE OUR CHILDREN: JEWISH ORPHANAGES IN THE UNITED STATES, 1880-1925by Reena Sigman Friedman [Brandeis Univ. Press, 1994], $39.95 A poignant photograph forms the cover of Reena Sigman Friedman’s book, These Are Our Children, Jewish Orphanages in the United States, 1880-1925. Cracked at the edges from age, the 1904 picture portrays “our children” against a... Read more »
A nursing home is nobody’s idea of a happy ending. But an unusual mother-daughter volunteer team has visited every Friday for many years—-reviving Yiddishe memories for the Jewish residents at a Methodist facility. Plus... -Altruist at Age 14—meet Rachel Dalton, four-year veteran of visiting -"Pretend they’re in armchairs, not wheelchairs."—how to visit a nursing home and what to say when you get there. -"Bring your birds."—Unusual volunteering possibilities, from finches to clown noses.
When we hear about the Druze people’s full participation in Israeli society, that means only the men. A Druze woman can aspire to an engineering degree, but not a driver’s license. This paradox makes Israel’s Jewish population look progressive on women’s roles.
"Continuity"—how to ensure Jewish survival—is the fin-de-millennium hot potato of the organized Jewish community. But how does feminism play in the frenetic drama being enacted in self-important Jewish commissions, task forces and conferences around the country? The real excitement in Jewish life comes from women; our new scholarship, new books, new rituals, new pedagogy. Here’s what’s really "continuity"—the best news is feminist.
Really my mother is moth ball mad;not just attic or basement but living roomstoo, all receive the treatment: generous application to stacksof five for a dollar paperbacks;liberal coverage of rug scratched to nap by a train of cats;periodic replenishment around the chair of a manrecovering from radiation as the Dow flickers by. The final step,... Read more »
We wanted our parents to be bland,to fade into the flocked wallpaper.We wanted our parentsto pay less attention to us.We wanted our mothersnot to sew our clothes and notclutch us as we crossed the street.We wanted our fathersto be like other dadsand booze with men in hotel bars. Instead our fathersmarked long hoursin greengrocer shops,coming... Read more »
My ancestors have put on weight, their bodies white against the skyline of Brooklyn or Warsaw, bath slippers skimming over black roof. Here my ancestors tan and do not age, saving, “The sky was never like this. So uncluttered, so gay.” I come up once a week with Coppertone and the Sunday Times. It’s enough, it... Read more »
Beverly Naidus, 41, tenured professor of “activist and new genre art” at California State University at Long Beach, first published her book. One Size Does Not Fit All, at her local Kinko’s. “I thought female body hate was my personal, clandestine obsession, my own self-esteem problem. At the time I was doing ‘serious’ art about... Read more »
At a National Women’s Studies Association meeting, a woman told the following story. When she was a teenager, her mother, a Holocaust survivor, constantly pressured her to eat more and put on weight. Why? Because “in the camps,” her mother explained, “those people who had a few extra pounds could survive a few extra days.”... Read more »
“It has become acceptable for the get [Jewish divorce] to be used as a tool for extortion and blackmail,” said Toby Yeger, of Brooklyn, New York, speaking to an audience of about 50 women and men at a rally for agunah rights in Manhattan last March. Married to an assistant D.A. in Brooklyn, Yeger has... Read more »
On a Sunday morning in April I joined 38 other high-school girls at Harvard-Radcliffe Hillel for a daylong conference titled “Reflections of Jewish Women: Conversations between Graduate, Undergraduate and High School Women.” Upon arrival I was handed a folder with my name and workshops printed on the front, and inside were the day’s schedule, biographies... Read more »
On March 28 at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York, 27 Protestants, Catholics and Jews (only four of them male) gathered for a conference entitled “Sexual Harassment and Exploitation of Women in the Religious Community: An Interfaith Workshop for Clergy and Laity.” Beginning with a panel of three women from different religious communities, the program... Read more »
1. Contact your Jewish Federation or local women’s organizations to find out if women in your community still need financial support to go to Beijing. 2. Write a position paper on issues concerning Jewish women and arrange to have the paper distributed at the Forum. 3. Organize a meeting of young Jewish women in your... Read more »
“That Friday evening I walked down the bill to the synagogue. Women from the U. N. Forum were still arriving, dripping wet from a fierce thunderstorm. After services we waded through the mud to a generous oneg Shabbat. It was amazing to be in Africa — singing Hebrew songs, sharing a blessing over wine with... Read more »
From an editorial in the April 20 Washington Jewish Week, referring to a feminist seder open only to women, girls and boys under age 13: “Such extremes—like bell bottoms and platform shoes—set one up for ridicule. Feminist’s underlying error can be seen by trying to imagine a seder for fathers, sons and pre-bat mitzvah daughters.”
“Growing up in a Jewish home, I never in my life thought of Jewish women as battered, let alone of myself as a battered woman. I just didn’t think it could happen.” Thea DuBow related to students from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York how her seemingly thoughtful, perfect husband had turned abusive and dangerous.... Read more »
HAIR WE GO AGAIN What about women with no hair? How about Phyllis Ocean Berman, Program Director of Elat Chayyim, the Jewish Renewal Retreat Center, who chose to go wigless after she lost all her hair? What courage ! Equal I think to the bearded woman you feature in your Hair articles [Spring ’95.] Also, I... Read more »
Discussing the subject of Jewish women and body image with a group of college students last month, one young woman made an observation that has played in my mind many times since: “If my roommates and I stopped talking about what we’ve eaten or avoided eating, about how fat we look and how thin everybody else... Read more »