A special section
Words of wisdom- and irritation- from that eternal source.
Songs & Prayers Counting Angels In the Wilderness, Geela Rayzel Raphael, Juliet Irene Spitzer, and Margot Stein sing original songs about biblical women—Ruth, Leah, Bilhah and Zilpah; holidays, ritual occasions and more. Cassette $12, CD $16, plus $1 shipping, from MIRAJ, 166 E. Levering Mill Rd #240, Bala Cynwyd PA 19004; Phone orders to Sounds Write... Read more »
Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope: A Jewish Spiritual Companion for Infertility and Pregnancy Lossby Nina Beth CardinJewish Lights Publishing, $19.95 Sitting in Kol Nidre services, pounding my chest for repentance during the Al Het prayer, I was struck by the power of the words and I understood, for the first time, how the prayer held personal... Read more »
To New Jersey With Love and Apologiesby Elayne CliftOGN Publications (P.O.B. 299, Saxtons River, VT 05154), $14.95 paperback Elayne Clift’s latest collection proves that we can go home again, at least in our own minds. A memoir comprising short vignettes and poems, To New Jersey … covers territory well-trod in Jewish women’s memoirs: living as... Read more »
The very first issue of the journal of the Southern Jewish Historical Society, Southern Jewish History, contains some fascinating bits of Jewish women’s history. Among the six pieces are a profile of “Jewish Nursing Pioneers” Amelia Greenwald and Regina Kaplan. Author Susan Mayer, an assistant professor of nursing, explores the reasons these two women from... Read more »
The Ladies Auxiliaryby Tova MirvisW.W. Norton & Co., $23.95 If you moved into the Memphis Jewish community of Towa Mirvis’ The Ladies Auxiliary even moments before Shabbat, chances are one of the women in the community would come knocking—both to welcome you and to find out who you are. By the time you had your bearings, they’d... Read more »
The Slow Way Backby Judy GoldmanWilliam Morrow & Company, Inc., $24 In her first novel, The Slow Way Back, Judy Goldman addresses the burden of family secrets, the irreversible bond between sisters, and the development of Jewish identity in the American South. Goldman lovingly portrays the intimacy among three sets of sisters in three generations as... Read more »
The Times of My Life and My Life With The Timesby Max FrankelRandom House, $29.95 Max Frankel’s new memoir, The Times of My Life and My Life With The Times, is a fascinating chronicle of the last four decades as seen by an astute journalist; it is also an account of Frankel’s evolution from a 10-year-old... Read more »
Iranian-American Pegah Hendizadeh Schiffman explores the double life of Persian Jewish girls in the U.S. as they balance between parental expectations of purity and their own modern passions.
Sara Shandler, author of the best-selling Ophelia Speaks, reveals the darker side of American teenhood.
Lilith wants to know: Are the men in your life feminists? Have you ever gone to a mikveh? Would you marry a Jewish man? Tear-out questionnaire enclosed.
For the first three years of our marriage, my husband and I had the perfect egalitarian household. We made all our financial decisions together. And we never argued over housework; we simply paid others to do it. A cleaning woman scrubbed our apartment, the laundromat down the street washed our clothes, and Manhattan’s vast array of... Read more »
Over the last three decades, women have won many legal victories in the public sphere but in our private lives, we remain miles away from gender equality. Nevertheless, if my children’s generation of thirtysomethings are representative of young, educated, middle-class, Jewish, heterosexual, cohabiting couples (what a mouthful), we are witnessing a seismic change in at least... Read more »
My eight year old son Asher was waving his arm, bouncing up off his seat. “Please call on me. I know the answer. Pleeeeze!” It was lunchtime at his Jewish camp, and while the kids ate, they played riddles. This particular day the counselor told a feminist classic: “A boy and his father were in a... Read more »
I have a Yom Kippur fantasy. God has just inscribed me in the Book of Life and, as a bonus, adds, “Ophi, pick a fine Jewish man and he’s yours.” I close my eyes and whisper, “I choose Ben Stiller.” Bring me the high forehead and furry back, the rock-cut facial asymmetry. Deliver, O Lord, the... Read more »
My husband Mickey and I met and courted over cooking. He and his roommates invited a bunch of us to brunch. I didn’t like just milling around, so I headed for the kitchen and cooked Julia Child scrambled eggs for the assembled hoards. I knew how to do this because I had learned to cook in... Read more »
SCENE I. “Hi, honey, it’s me. Listen, I hope you can get home from work sooner rather than later. I’ve been frustrated recently that I seem to be doing most of the cleaning and cooking when we have Shabbat guests. I want to figure out how we can do this better. See you soon. Oh, don’t... Read more »
As the author stakes out the landmarks on her path toward the Orthodox rabbinate (a clue: wearing tefillin is one of them), she comes to terms with the trappings of male orthodox observance... Read a preview of her book, Life on the Fringes.
Why - and how - one foundation turns its attention to eldercare.
Duty and intractable sexism fuel a complex caregiving history for a Baghdadi-Indian-American-Canadian family. Here, their youngest child tells her tale.
A feminist therapist cares for her ailing husband and, a decade later, evaluates how she feels silenced as an "old Jewish widow." She traces the dynamics that disempower her and issues a plea to be treated, even in infirmity, as the adult she is.
Women West and East are bringing gender consciousness to the emerging democracies—and the Jewish communities—of the former Soviet Union. Project Kesher creates a hands-across-the-sea sisterhood.
It was an uncommon sight—a dozen women, some wearing yarmulkes, strolling down Oranienburgerstrasse in Berlin. It was lunchtime for participants in Europe’s first-ever conference for female rabbis, cantors and Jewish educators. Passers-by could not help noticing these women, openly Jewish, with “Bet Debora” name tags pinned to their lapels, meandering toward one of the neighborhood’s several... Read more »
“Sexism is a sin. Shana Tova.” With these words, an anonymous groups of women offered its first challenge to the Jewish community. Calling themselves “Jewish Women Watching,” the group carried out its first kamikaze mission in September with a mock Rosh Hashanah card (also published as an advertisement in several Jewish newspapers), sent out to an... Read more »
“It could be you or me. What happens to your life out there is not your destiny.” Over 200 people walked away from Union Square with this thought in September at a rally to show support for Lori Berenson, an American who has been a political prisoner in Peru since 1996. Working in Peru as a... Read more »
Jewish women worldwide will be fasting this year around Purim to protest the plight of agunot, Jewish women whose husbands refuse to grant them a religious divorce. Last year the fasts, sponsored by the International Jewish Women’s Human Rights Watch, were observed around the world between the Fast of Esther (the day before Purim, March... Read more »
Julie Spitzer, a leader in the fight against spousal abuse, died of ovarian cancer in October at the age of 41. Spitzer, a rabbi, educator and activist within the Reform movement, was an early voice addressing issues of domestic violence within the Jewish community. Spitzer was the author of When Love Is Not Enough: Spousal Abuse in... Read more »
One is a funny playwright, the other a composer of somber operas. What might result from their artistic pairing? Well, a funny opera about the somber ritual of tashlich, “The Festival of Regrets.” The creation of playwright Wendy Wasserstein and New York City Opera composer-in-residence Deborah Drattell, “The Festival of Regrets” marks the High Holiday ritual when Jews symbolically throw their... Read more »
Recently, Ellen Kushner, host of National Public Radio’s “Sound and Spirit,” received a letter from a longtime fan: “I just wanted you to know that I am a man. You probably think that most listeners of your show are female, but I love your show.” The show, which is broadcast every Sunday night out of Boston,... Read more »
What makes a relationship fail? What makes it last when all odds are against it? These were two of the driving questions that impelled filmmaker Jennifer Fox to make the 10-part landmark television series, “An American Love Story,” an in-depth look at the daily life of an interracial family that began airing on PBS in September 1999.... Read more »
When my son, my first child, was two weeks old, I took him for his first walk in his little collapsible carriage. As soon as I started to move along the sidewalk, my hands on the bar of the buggy, a rush of familiar sensation came over me; I knew in my body, in my... Read more »