Lilith FeatureIn Pursuit of Motherhood
Infertility, Adoption and . . .
On being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist
Tzedaka Kol Ha-Isha (The Women’s Voice) is a feminist center founded in Jerusalem in 1994 as a resource and referral center for women’s immediate and long-term social, legal and emotional needs. It has a special focus on meeting the self-defined needs of Mizrahi women, single mothers, Palestinian women, women considering motherhood, survivors of domestic violence, low-income... Read more »
Persian Bridesby Dorit RabinyanGeorge Braziller, Inc., $22.50 Flora is a cursed woman. At 15, the once beautiful girl already has been married to a dishonest, itinerant cloth-salesman who “left her a baby in her belly and lice in her hair.” The gossip in her Persian village holds that she suffers because she lost her virginity... Read more »
The Secret Book of Dona Graziaby Jacqueline ParkSimon & Schuster, $25 The eponymous hero of this detailed, absorbing Italian Renaissance novel fights her grandmother to learn Jewish texts alongside her brother (and is beaten for it), enters the Casa de Conversos and almost renounces Judaism for Christianity, becomes the model for a Mantegna painting, gives... Read more »
Never Let Me Down: A Memoirby Susan J. MillerHenry Holt and Company, $22.50 When Susan J. Miller’s mother spoke at a conference of the National Organization for Women, she described her own late-in-life embrace of feminism and portrayed her Jewish family as typical middle class, with a hard-working, bread-winning father and stay-at-home mother. What she... Read more »
The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girlsby Joan Jacobs BrumbergRandom House, $25 The Spice Girls may have a scholarly ally in their call for a new “Girl Power.” In her new book, The Body Project, Cornell University historian Joan Jacobs Brumberg creatively explores how “the experience of living in an adolescent body is always... Read more »
Unopened LettersPoems by Linda ZisquitThe Sheep Meadow Press, $12.95 Wild Lightby Yona Wallach, translated by Linda ZisquitThe Sheep Meadow Press, $12.95 Every spring the American-born poet Linda Zisquit teaches journal writing out of her home in the German Colony section of Jerusalem. Often she begins her classes with an anecdote relating to her own integration... Read more »
Promises given are not to be taken lightly, my grandmother used to say, especially if they were made with great love, and I didn’t understand back then who made the promise and who keeps it. And she also said: You always have to remember to say thank you, even for a small plum branch. The words flow... Read more »
It had been a long time since I’d met anyone promising in the romantic arena, and I’d pretty much retired the dreams I’d carried since childhood about marriage and children. I’d been settling instead for a sprinkling of dates, here and there, taking what I could get, almost forgetting that I ever wanted more. One... Read more »
Susan Martha Kahn on pronatalism in Israel and why right-wing Orthodox rabbis have figured out how to make surrogate motherhood kosher.
Michele Kriegman sets forth new guidelines for how to adopt ethically.
Diane Cole asks, "Who’s the real mother?" and transforms Solomon’s divisive tale into one of healing.
How infertile women deal
Every week they assemble, Hanka, Gusta, Mayer, Hala,and Sam, to test their luck again. Seared blue-vein numbers,in ragged formationline up across their arms. Five cards for everyone,select the ones to keep: pairs,any three or four of the same. They place their betson what they hold,or hope to hold. No one speaks, the air isshaved... Read more »
Readers on allegations of Shlomo Carlebach’s sexual misconduct.
Lilith makes her debut in a new opera by Deborah Drattell.
Fondly, Faye As the old cliche goes; I have good news and bad news. First, the good news: my colleagues have nominated me to be chair of the English department of George Washington University. This is an amazing trajectory for me—from G.W. B.A. at 40 to tenured professor at 65 to department chair. I have... Read more »
“Prayer is an absurd act,” explained Rabbi Haskell Lookstein, quoting Rav Soloveitchik. “It makes no sense that a small finite person is addressing the infinite,” he said to 2,000 participants at the opening plenary of the Second International Conference on Feminism & Orthodoxy, chaired by Blu Greenberg, this past February in New York City. To... Read more »
From time to time, LILITH lets readers know of recent academic work of particular interest to Jewish feminists. Charlotte Fonrobert, “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Blood: On the Politics of Gender in Early Rabbinic Culture.” PhD dissertation. Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of California at Berkeley. The “politics of menstruation” would never have occupied to Jewish... Read more »
As Pnina Rosenblum, one of Israel’s most talked about celebrities makes her bid for a seat in the Knesset, Israeli feminists have faced a conflict: should they endorse the cosmetics entrepreneur in female solidarity, or should they withhold their support in opposition to the former model’s use of her sexuality in her campaign? According to... Read more »
The Harvard Mental Health Letter reports that a community survey in Los Angeles and New Haven finds a high rate of mood disorders and a low rate of alcoholism among Jewish men. Jews, the letter reports, “had a higher rate of major depression than Catholics or Protestants” and “Jewish men were almost as likely to... Read more »
“Chava,” from Portland, Oregon, reports that her husband demanded $5 million dollars in exchange for a get. “Yetta” from Spring Valley, New York, says she was given her official document of Jewish divorce only after she relinquished an order of protection against her husband; he subsequently entered her home and “nearly murdered” her, she reports.... Read more »
Women are being asked to donate bras for the creation of a 40×100 foot tapestry of the Statue of Liberty that will be presented to President Bill Clinton in the fall to demonstrate the urgent need for more research into breast cancer prevention. Spurred by anthropologists Soma Grismaijer and Sydney Singer, who wrote Dressed to... Read more »
Nearly 10 years ago, Naomi Berman-Potash was working in the sales department of a hotel when she read a newspaper article detailing how victims of domestic abuse were being turned away from full shelters. Her idea was to ask hotels to offer free rooms to these battered women. “It was sort of a tough start,”... Read more »
Jewish women perceive themselves as “well-educated, intelligent, very giving and supportive of others.” In contrast, here are some other findings in a soon-to-be-released report from L.A. on how we’re doing in popular media such as television and films: • We do not see ourselves as “beautiful or even attractive,” nor as “sensuous, playful or fun-loving.”... Read more »
This season we mourn the passing of Bella Abzug (1920-1998), Congresswoman, candidate for U.S. Senate and Mayor of New York City, creator of WEDO, an organization devoted to putting women on the worldwide political agenda (see p. 46). But Bella played a special role for Jewish women that wasn’t mentioned in the standard obits. Each time... Read more »