A ninth-grader derives tzedakah lessons as she sorts through her family’s philanthropy.
A ninth-grader derives tzedakah lessons as she sorts through her family’s philanthropy.
New York City Browse the wish lists of New York City teachers and finance their projects. The website was created a year ago by history teacher Charles Best to link philanthropists and teachers. Since the World Trade Center attack this connection has helped bring an Afghan artist for workshops in a Bronx high school, an architect... Read more »
The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America (by Lawrence J. Epstein, Public Affairs, $30) is a pop-culture historian’s informative history of Jewish performance humor in vaudeville, radio, film and TV from turn-of-the-century European Jewish immigration to the present. Epstein juxtaposes the ups and downs of Jewish assimilation and anti-Semitism in the U.S.... Read more »
God-Optional Judaism: Alternatives for Cultural Jews Who Love Their History, Heritage, and Community (by Judith Seid, Citadel Press, $19.95) offers alternatives to God centered religious practices of Judaism, notably the “Big Three” movements in North America. Seid opts for a humanistic Judaism concerned with universal justice. equality and spirituality that stems from various other sources, such... Read more »
At a critical turning point, facing 40 with two young children and a clinical psychology practice, Wendy Mogel happened to attend a Rosh Hashanah service. “Now we could see how these people, the Jews of West Los Angeles, celebrated their ancient holy day,” she says. From that single experience, Mogel, who had known almost nothing about... Read more »
Though it’s hard to believe, the Jewish addition to the Chicken Soup series—Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul (edited by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins, Health Communications, $12.95)—has only just hit bookstores. Ironic, considering that the chicken soup as- medicine metaphor comes straight out of Jewish-American culture. Included in the anthology arc... Read more »
Read Bringing Home the Light: A Jewish Women’s Handbook of Rituals (by E.M. Broner, Council Oak Books, $22.95) if you’re looking for creative Jewish feminist rituals, or just for the sheer pleasure of Broner’s lovely prose. The rituals that Broner describes are wide in scope and purpose—they range from rituals designed to bring about peace... Read more »
Women and American Judaism: Historical Perspectives (edited by Pamela S. Nadell and Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University Press, $24.95) is a compilation of essays about Jewish women in America that covers a wide range of time periods, regions, and approaches to gendered history. One contribution takes us back to the lives of Jewish women in Colonial... Read more »
Emotional and poetic. The Get: A Spiritual Memoir of Divorce (by Elise Edelson Katch, Simcha Press, $10.95) is the story of one woman’s divorce from her husband, and the important sense of closure that the get (Jewish divorce) process provided her during that traumatic time. While the get experience was an important, if harrowing, healing... Read more »
Our Monica, Ourselves: The Clinton Affair and the National Interest (edited by Lauren Berlanl and Lisa Duggan, New York University Press, $18.95) is an anthology of essays looking back on the Clinton/Lewinsky affair with a new set of crucial questions. Scholars and journalists discuss how coverage of the event reflected our cultural notions of democracy... Read more »
Fighting to Become Americans: Jews, Gender, and the Anxiety of Assimilation by Riv-Ellen Prell, Beacon Press, $28.50. Riv-Ellen Prell’s study of Jewish gender stereotypes reveals how American Jews played out their social and cultural anxieties on the bodies of women (and sometimes on male bodies as well.) Drawing on decades of cultural images in the Jewish... Read more »
Another Desert: Jewish Poetry of New Mexico by Joan Logghe and Miriam Sagan, Sherman Asher, $15. Looking for Lost Bird: A Jewish Woman Discovers Her Navajo Roots by Yvette Melanson with Claire Safran, Avon Books, $22 It is a sadly well-documented fact of history that Native American children have been systematically taken from their homes to be raised... Read more »
Voices of the Religious Left: A Contemporary Sourcebook edited by Rebecca T. Alpert, Temple University Press, $27.95 Voices of the Religious Left: A Contemporary Sourcebook is chock-full of politically engaged, theologically and textually grounded essays. For a Jewish reader, the challenge and payoff are tripled: Some essays are written by Jews from a specifically Jewish point of... Read more »
Martyr’s Crossing by Amy Wilentz, Simon & Schuster, $24. A Palestinian mother tries to bring her sick toddler from the territories into Israel for medical help on a day when violence has prompted the Israelis to seal the border crossing. The Israeli soldier in charge hesitates, makes her wait, then disobeys orders and decides to let them... Read more »
Yentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism edited by Danya Ruttenberg, Seal Press, $16.95 When my friend Mara turned twenty-four, she asked everyone at her party for a piece of advice. “Pay attention to the margins,” one woman told her. These words rang in my head as I read Yentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave... Read more »
Lower East Side Memories by Hasia R. Diner, Princeton University Press, $27.95 The Girls: Jewish Women of Brownsville, Brooklyn, 1940-1995 by Carole Bell Ford, State University of New York Press, $18.95 Lower East Side Memories examines American Jewish perceptions of the Lower East Side, and the ways in which our understanding of this neighborhood has... Read more »
Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation edited by Rebecca T. Alpert, Sue Levi Elwell, Shirley Idelson, Rutgers University Press, $24 In 1972, Sally Priesand graduated from Reform Judaism’s Hebrew Union College and became the first woman to receive smikha (ordination) from a rabbinical school. Priesand threw open the heavy doors of tradition, and the dreams and rabbinic aspirations of countless... Read more »
Lilith As Map I started reading Lilith one year ago this month. A friend bought a copy for me after I told her I had made the decision to convert to Judaism. Throughout my conversion process, 1 looked forward to each new issue. Four issues later, my conversion is complete and next ‘ week I will... Read more »
Fresh fruit, kibbutz sex, and a young woman who gets to the core of some unexpected stereotypes.
In which our informant confesses her involvement in the invention of one of Emma Goldman’s most famous misquotations.
She’s ubiquitous, this anarchist hero—on coffee mugs, T-shirts and post cards. How come "Red" Emma still speaks to us, 60 years after her death?
Daughters of Holocaust survivors have a special, paradoxical burden: helping their parents to forget, and promising them to remember.
A longtime lobbyist for women’s rights, remembering the loss freedoms during the First Cold War, implores us not to lose our voices in the current fray.
Undo it, take it back, make every day the previous one until I am returned to the day before the one that made you gone. Or set me on an airplane traveling west, crossing the date line again and again, losing this day, then that, until the day of loss still lies ahead, and you... Read more »
A female American Jew was in the mountains of Greece on 9/11. Here’s what she heard, what she said, and what she wishes she’d been able to tell her hosts.
When women anywhere are forced under cover, we all quake. Here’s one take on veiling and women’s shame.
Lilith editors talk to Afghan women about their lives under the Taliban yoke, and how their rights eroded step by step. What resonates for us—as Jews, and as women?
The FBI tormented her union activist parents, this Red-Diaper Daughter remembers. The family fears lived on, even after the activist days were over.
“Jewish women and girls” began the tiny ad at the bottom of the New York Times’ front page, looking at first like the Lubavitch sponsored ads which for years appeared every Friday in this same spot to remind females of Shabbat candle-lighting times. But the ad appearing on the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom... Read more »
In this communications revolution, some Jewish women are using e-mail to construct a kind of informal media-cum-public opinion watch. Talia Carner, an Israeli-born writer on Long Island, (WordFairy10@aol.com) started a list after the most recent Intifada began in September 2000. Carner, who describes her political position as “in the middle,” says she spends up to three... Read more »
A listserve hosted by Bridges, a journal for “Jewish feminists and their friends” that has about 400 subscribers, is a forum for, among other topics, promoting peace activism In Israel, which many find controversial. This past summer, when the discussion turned contentious, moderator Clare Kinberg suspended the list for a month and a half. It all started... Read more »
Last January, Israeli women who work in high-tech set up their own branch of the womens’ international networking organization “DigitalEve,” which has more than 20 branches worldwide. The Jerusalem Post reported In October. So far “DigitalEve” in Israel has about 160 members. The Post noted that women in Israel especially need to form their own... Read more »
lsraelNationalNews.com. reported that v\/hen a Montreal synagogue received a letter from an Islamic organization that stated “Death to the Jews, this letter contains anthrax. Death to Israel. Islam marches forward,” the Jewish community tried to keep it quiet. But Esti Mayer, an Israeli living in Montreal, informed Israel Radio. Israelis, she said, do not keep... Read more »
“Coming to New York is a little like making a shiva call.” These are the words of Sheila Peltz Weinberg, rabbi of the |ewish Community of Amherst (Massachusetts), speaking on November 11 at a Jewish meditation conference in New York City. She explained, “When we practice mindfulness, the quality of attending moment to moment, we... Read more »
When Judy Yudof was recently chosen as the first woman president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, she assured The Forward in an interview that she wasn’t “a knee-jerk feminist.” “I never wanted my gender to be the reason for getting anything, and I don’t think it ever was,” she told the newspaper. Her... Read more »
This fall. The High School of Jewish Studies in suburban Buffalo offered a new course with the riveting title “Lilith as Cover Girl.” Cantor Barbara Ostfeld, who created the course, said that her inspiration came from LILlTH’s Spring 2001 cover “Boobs! How Jewish Women Feel About Their Breasts.” “I wanted a course to oppose the insidious quality of... Read more »
Trembling Before G-d,” the groundbreaking film by Sandi Simcha DuBowski documents the lives of Orthodox and Hasidic gay and lesbian Jews, who both struggle against and give in to the fierce pull of their religious world. In one of the most poignant segments of the film, “Malka” and “Leah,” a couple who met at their... Read more »
The striking new glass, steel and Jerusalem-stone building at 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper West Side houses state-of-the-art sports facilities as well as a beit midrash (traditional house of study). Also a kosher dairy cafe, computerized listings of Jewish resources throughout the city, and a Judaica shop run in cooperation with the Jewish Museum. And... Read more »
He was perfect: self-assured, with sterling credentials, and generations of adoring mothers entrusted their children to him. He was active in his community, and in his Reform synagogue. So when the New York State Health Department last December revoked the license of Dr. Stuart Copperman, 66, after an investigation revealed that he had sexually molested... Read more »
Feminists from every segment of the Jewish community are continuing to fight the good fight for women’s fuller participation. But Orthodox interpretations of halakha—Jewish law—can make the struggle particularly difficult for Orthodox women. Still. Orthodox feminists are coming up with new halakhic paradigms for women’s participation in Orthodox Judaism. Increased opportunities for Orthodox women’s religious... Read more »
From chanteuse in the ’50s, to feminist cantata composer and performer in the ’70s, to composer and lyricist of a spooky post-Holocaust operetta in the ’80s, Mira J. Spektor has lived multiple musical lives. Today, she continues to compose—new CDs of some of her work have just been released—something she feared she would be unable to do after... Read more »
Women as poultry. We’re used to the images: chick, bird, mother hen, old crow. And now, more soberly, more eerily: canary. This is the bird sent ahead of the workers in the coal mines. If she died, that meant poisonous gases escaping, a forewarning of grave danger, a sign to take action, the claxon to... Read more »