Lilith FeatureThe JAP
Reclaim her or reject her?
Elaine Cohen and Steven P. Cohen celebrated the committment ceremony of their daughter Tamara. Here's how Elaine toasted the couple.
Introducing American audiences to Isareli plays Eretz Theater Reading Series presents Israeli plays in English, directed and performed by Americans and Israelis. In May, “Sonya Mushkat,” Savyon Liebrecht’s drama of relatives and their servant struggling with the horrors of the Holocaust and a dark family secret riveted the audience. The monthly series will begin again in September. It’s... Read more »
I am becoming common place, ordinary, the very thought of it maddens me,” wrote 16-yearold Marie Syrkin in her diary in 1915. This diary, as Melissa Klapper points out in Jewish Girls Coming of Age in America (New York University Press, $45), allowed Syrkin to combat her fears of anonymity. Her adolescent writings and those of other young Jewish women... Read more »
Her punk clothes are tzniusdik (modest) and she hides out in the high school bathroom to write poetry, rather than smoke cigarettes. In Never Mind the GoldBergs (Scholastic, $16.95) by Matthue Roth, Hava Aaronson relishes her brand of self-expression. Though Orthodox and living in Brooklyn, she cuts and dyes her own hair into various punk styles. Her mother is a workaholic... Read more »
There are 11 short stories in this hilarious, touching and bitingly wicked third collection by O. Henry Award-winner Lynda Schor. The Body Parts Shop (FC2— Fiction Collective Two; http://fc2.org; $14.95). They hit on themes as wide-ranging as American consumerism and the history of lipstick. Sex—desire, as well as obsession— undergirds each piece in a manner both erotic and... Read more »
Rosie Meadows, the improbably named narrator and heroine of Heir to the Glimmering World (Houghton Mifflin, $24) the new novel by Cynthia Ozick, is the furthest thing from an heiress. A motherless child with a callous, mendacious and irresponsible father, she knows from the dawn of her consciousness that she has poor expectations and stands to inherit nothing. In... Read more »
Mainstream (and Jewish) popularity of kabbalah, which got a boost in 1997 when Madonna embraced it publicly and scores of celebrities followed suit, is more than an overpriced fashion statement of red-string bracelets meant to ward off evil eye. Beneath the hipness of the kabbalah craze lies, for many, a genuine search for meaning. Kabbalah, a Jewish... Read more »
The rabbis teach that each word of the Torah has 70 possible interpretations. Perhaps this accounts for the steady proliferation of Biblical commentaries published each year, including four new books on the women of the Bible. In Sarah Laughed: Modern Lessons from the Wisdom and Stories of Biblical Women (McGraw Hill, $24,95), Vanessa Ochs, a professor of .Jewish Studies at... Read more »
In which the novelist and philosopher reveals who really makes her feel guilty.
Miriam Stone argues that the image is a larger-than-life caricature, casting a shadow over women trying to walk the walk as activists for social change.
Alfalfa lost his one-city-block kingdom the day after my husband lost his job. Overnight, both of them turned into permanent fixtures on my striped living room couch. The couch before was floral, and the one before that, green. Every two years or so, after the boys had clawed the life out of a couch—forget scratching posts—we... Read more »
Back in Morocco, a first-time visit to the Muslim women's baths delivers Moroccan-born Azagury unexpected sightings of tender friendhsips (and terrors) that cross religious boundaries.
The noted author of Lost in Translation explores the Shoah's legacy in the lives of the second generaiton. She speaks with Carolyn Slutsky on writing about memory and history.
Just the two of us in the chaosof ghetto round-ups. Zofia and Wanda,Wanda and Zofia, begging parentsfor the children, catching them as theywere thrown. Every day, we camehere for the children. Umshlagplatz.A quarter million deported, ripped out of the heart of Warsaw. We had manynames, changed as often where we slept.Veronika, they called me. Alicia,... Read more »
She stands in a corner and sighs;Closing her eyes,My wife prays. I listen to the silenceAs her lips move without sound,As she sways Back and forth slightly. Her prayerTransforms this room with its radiance, its haloAnd its haze: A cave where pious scholars unravel secretsOf the hidden Torah; a lens through whichAngels gaze To ponder... Read more »
Plenty has changed since the last century; a new study looks at how Jewish Jewish women feel who choose partners who aren't. Plus...Eve Coulson on two books about interfaith marriage.
Old wives say I keep the doctor away.Sunshine realized, I hang from the treelike a red monkey dangling possibilitieswithin your reach. Sleepwalk or wakeup. The choice is yours. Who is thisGod you fear so much? I offer everythingright on the tip of your tongue. Jane Ellen Ibur is a widely published poet who lives in... Read more »
Letty Cottin Pogrebin on violence in Jewish families
When faculty at British universities proposed a boycott this spring against Israeli academics, threatening to deny them access to conferences and other events. Frances Raday. President of the Israel Association of Feminist and Gender Studies and Professor of Law at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, published an open letter from Israeli feminist academics to their colleagues in England.... Read more »
Pharmacist refusals to fill legally valid prescriptions for contraception constitute a serious erosion of reproductive rights and impede women’s access to critical health care. The National Women’s Law Center’s Pharmacy Refusal Project is compiling a register of pharmacy refusal incidents to document the scope of the problem. If you or someone you know has been... Read more »
Yes, truly cause for celebration: 20 years of ordination of women as Conservative rabbis by the Jewish Theological Seminary. In fact, following the standing-roomonly screening of a new video “And the Gates Opened: Women in the Rabbinate” in March at the JTS, the women rabbis and rabbinical students posed for a photograph, then spontaneously began... Read more »
Asra Nomani, author of Standing Alone in Mecca and former Wall Street Journal reporter, led a mixed-gender prayer [in March] inside a prayer hall at Brandeis University…. Traditionalists say women can lead an all-women congregation in prayer. Less conservative interpretations of Islam say a woman can lead her mixed-gender family, but only in the privacy... Read more »
Mom, would you read this page out loud to me?” I was sitting next to my mother on the couch in the den. The words I had written for her to read to me were on a page on her lap. She looked steadily at me. I looked into her brown eyes, smiled and said,... Read more »
You’ve heard of the Nanny Diaries and the Bridget Jones Diaries, but welcome to the world of “”Queer Spawn Diaries'”: Nava EtShalom and Chana Joffe Walt are two young Jewish women right out of college who co-produce a web and radio project by and for the grown children of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) parents. Nava and Ghana grew up only a... Read more »
A couple of years ago, Ruth Ades, had short salt-and – pepper hair Then one of her granddaughters, preparing for her bat mitzvah, decided to grow her own hair long in order to contribute it to the organization Lodes of Love, where it would be made into wigs for children who d lost their hair from medical... Read more »
Rebecca Weinstein is drawn to jobs most other educators avoid. After graduating from college in 1993, she became a teacher in a New York City homeless shelter Then she found work at a school for kids with serious behavior problems. And—in 1997—at a juvenile detention program. None of her earlier experiences prepared her for what she... Read more »
Why and how—do people change their minds, and then their behaviors? This season we’re celebrating 20 years of women as Conservative rabbis. The anniversary gives us an opportunity to look back on how the movement decided to change its position from negative to positive, with exhilaratingly good results both for women who want to be rabbis... Read more »