Lilith FeatureThey Say “It’s Not Sex”
But experts call it "an oral sex epidemic." What do Jewish teen girls think is really going on?
One of our favorite artists and cartoonists, the hilarious Nicole Hollander, who has given us two great LILITH covers over the years, has a new book. Her many fans will rejoice (and laugh out loud) over The ABCs This is a preview, reprinted with permission. Napping is nature’s way of getting you into tip-top shape. Haven’t lots of... Read more »
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Journey Toward Freedom: A Haggada for Women Who Have Experienced Domestic Violence is designed to transform the seder into a service that addresses the oppression—and liberation—of women journeying from abuse to safety. Available from The Faith Trust Institute: Working Together to End Sexual &Domestic Violence (formerly the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and... Read more »
The Al Aksa intifada now entering its fourth year and by now part of Israel’s collective consciousness,forms the basis for Orly Castel-Bloom’s new novel Human Parts (translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu; David Godine, S24.95). The setting is Israel’s freakishly cold and snowy winter of 2001, when terrorist attacks were occurring with alarming frequency, causing the economy to sink.... Read more »
Nazi attempts to annihilate all Jews involved specific measures against men and against women, and triggered different gender responses. The authors and editors of these two volumes acknowledge that many survivors and Holocaust scholars have serious objections to including gender factors in their research, for fear of trivializing the enormity of the Holocaust. These authors... Read more »
At first glance, a collection of essay son circumcision as part of the Brandeis Series on Jewish Women might prompt a double-take. What could be more patently out of place?” So begins the introduction to this intriguing collection of essays, The Covenant of Circumcision: New Perspectives on an Ancient Jewish Rite (Brandeis University Press/University Press of New... Read more »
Disturbance of the Inner Ear (Carroll and Graf, $25) is a novel that trades many conventions of storytelling to mix incident, emotion, history, and social observation. To the extent that Joyce Hackett’s debut novel is pure narrative, it’s about an orphaned former child prodigy, a brilliant young cellist named Isabel Masurovsky who finds herself alone in Italy without... Read more »
Jennifer Natalya Fink’s provocative and ambitious novel. Burn (Suspect Thoughts Press; San Francisco, $16.95), could not have been released at a better time. As politicians grapple with ways to curtail civil liberties and concoct ways to monitor activities deemed suspicious, a book that revisits the McCarthy era seems prescient. Set in the fictitious Sylvan Lake Collective Colony, a... Read more »
A rabbi whose encounter with a pair of Siamese twins rocks his world and his faith. A father whose life of hard work and devotion is utterly undone by his charming, perfidious son. Three sisters—one Hindu, one Orthodox Jew and one an actress of no particular persuasion (but trying to keep her head above water)—all receive a... Read more »
In this bold new compilation, Lost Tribe:Jewish Fiction From the Edge (Perennial,$14.95), editor Paul Zakrzewski scopes out fresh and fertile terrain. And of the 25 stories or novel excerpts found here, more than half are written by women. Some are well known, like Myla Goldberg and Tova Mirvis, and several, including Goldberg, Rachel Kadish and Dara Horn, have previously... Read more »
When Farideh Goldin was 15, a school girl in Iran in 1968. her father made a fire and burned all her books: his goal was to keep her “naive,” and thus desirable for marriage. Her own parents had been married when her father was 23, her mother a mere 13 and not yet menstruating. (Goldin... Read more »
Until Vicky Knafo demonstrated in front of the Knesset last year to protest cuts in benefits to single mothers, women had been almost entirely absent from recent discussions about the political and economic crises in Israel. Two recent books portray Israeli women’s achievements and struggles in recent years. Jewish Feminism in Israel: Some Contemporary Perspectives, edited by Kaplana... Read more »
That Mudhouse Sabbath (Paraclete Press, $13.95) is published by a Christian press and addressed largely to a Christian audience only makes it more curious, for in many ways it is a “Jewish” book. Author Lauren F. Winner, who grew up Jewish and practiced Orthodox Judaism in college, converted to Christianity seven years ago. As she puts it, this... Read more »
No one alive has ever seen Hannah Rochel Verber macher. She left no writing behind, and historians aren’t even sure where she is buried. Writing her biography should be a nearly impossible task, But not for Nathaniel Deutsch, whose new book. The Maiden of Luclmir: A Jewish Holy Woman and Her World (University of California Press, $34.95) chronicles... Read more »
The Secret (Public Affairs, $25.00), Eva Hoffman’s long-awaited first novel, marks a radical departure from Hoffman’s previous works of memoir and historical non-fiction, in which she explores her life as an uprooted Polish Jewish refugee in North America. This book is a tale that blends scientific the story of a young girl’s coming of age, set in the... Read more »
Sheila Katz’s ambitious project, Women and Gender in Early Jewish and Palestinian Nationalism (University Press of Florida, $55), attempts to address the roles of and attitudes toward women in the opening decades of the Jewish and Palestinian nationalist movements (pre-1948). She claims that early nationalist discourses were highly gendered, contributing both to the creation of national communities and... Read more »
She walks straight ahead. A scarf covers her hair. The chin angular, eyes large. Her hands push a carriage. You cannot see the baby, but a child is resting. Others walk before and behind her. The clothes are brown or black. She stands out. She could be walking to the bookstore or fruit market. Who... Read more »
A Canadian Muslim lesbian feminist activist born in Africa is the bold (and brash) voice speaking out on how to deal with Muslim texts and terrors against Jews, women, gays and "infidels."
Spies, Terrorist Hunters, and an Uneasy Reporter try to decode the Middle East
for Molly Prusak
Ashkenazi Jews may think that the same flavors and aromas waft in nostalgia for all Jews. Not so. Our informant, a professional cook and an outlying member of a close Syrian clan returns to the center through meatballs with cherries. The recipe comes along too!
A short story by Roberta Israeloff about the scary games survivors’ children play.
A longtime advocate for the rights of women struggling to free themselves from a Jewish marriage, Hammer warns of what happens to many women after that freedom comes.
The scene is a lavish bat mitzvah affair, replete with giant martini glasses and girls in slinky hipster dresses. The dolled-up bat mitzvah girl is discussing sex with her two pals. An older woman overhears and comes over to scold her “Please,” the girl retorts. “I’ve been giving blow jobs since I’m 12”. Her best... Read more »
After helping Holocaust survivors tell their stories, Julie Heifetz knew she could humanize healthcare if only doctors knew the narrative of the person walking into the examining room.
In September the Saudi religious police began campaign against Barbie doll; which, although officially banned from the Kingdom for the past 10 years, can be purchased on the black market. Speaking by telephone from Medina, Islam’s second holiest place, to the Associated Press, a spokesman for the Saudi Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and... Read more »
A study recently published in the journal Science indicates that women who carry one of the two BRCA mutations have a high risk of developing breast cancer even if they have no family history of the disease. This finding negates a previous assumption that women with the mutation but no family history were not high-risk.... Read more »
In response to what he calls a “shidduch crisis” in the religious Jewish community, Chananya Weissman, a 25-year-old rabbinical student at Yeshiva University in New York has started “End the Madness,” an organization which hosts live symposiums and chat rooms on its website. The madness, says Weissman, refers to the crazy questions (“Does he wear shoes with... Read more »
Just before the onset of it High Holidays in September, Channel Thirteen, New York’s local PBS station, ran a special program featuring cantorial music that had been recorded in the Portuguese synagogue in Amsterdam. Cantors: A Faith in Song featured three chazanim, Naftali Herstifc, BenZion Miller, and Alberto MIzrahl—all men. One might argue that women cantor; were... Read more »
February, 2003: Imagine 30 of the most prominent women in the New York Jewish community—including author Letty Cottin Pogrebin, philanthropist Barbara Dobkin, Jewish Home and Hospital CEO Audrey Weiner, past Hadassah president Marlene Post, AOL marketing director Jackie Stone, UJA-Federation campaign chair Susie Stern, Broadway producer Daryl Roth, Lebenthal and Company president Alexandra Lebenthal —sitting on two rows of stools on a stage in front of... Read more »
Two years ago, Sandi DuBowski’s groundbreaking documentary Trembling Before G-d, a searing look at what it means to be homosexual in the Orthodox and Hasidic worlds, hit the theatres. Since then, DuBowski has traveled around the country, showing his film to audiences in theatres and synagogues, some of them Orthodox. For the first time, homosexuality, formerly a forbidden... Read more »
She held the Shabbat prayer book in her hand, but Inna Astvatsatryan could barely read it through her tears. This was Astvatsatryan’s first visit to Berlin from Armenia, her first Bet Debora conference. “Like most Soviet people, I didn’t believe in God.” Astvatsatryan, who chairs the women’s club of the Jewish Community of Armenia, later said. “But at that moment,... Read more »
In a scene from the new film “Slaves of the Lord” by Hadar Friedlich, it is the night before Passover. A slight 13-year old girl stands frozen in her living room. As her parents lie sleeping in their bed, she is shouting, over and over again—silently—in her head: ”I say shut up as I always have and... Read more »
In this Administration’s continuing assault on women’s rights, President Bush in November signed the so-called “partial birth abortion” bill, which was twice vetoed by President Clinton. The law, the first to criminal an abortion procedure, bans a form of late-term abortion without any exceptions, even if the mother’s health is in danger. Its language, critics say, is deliberately vague and... Read more »
Sex and food in the same issue—what a pleasure, right? Well, not exactly. The sex report (not good news) is about a form of precocious sexual activity we’ve been hearing about at LILITH with increasing frequency, and it seems to have much more to do with power, peer pressure and popularity than with pleasure. I have... Read more »