This time, she tries the mikveh. Why?
This time, she tries the mikveh. Why?
Living the Legacy A curriculum for grades 8–12 focuses on Jews in the Civil Rights Movement and includes women such as Freedom Rider Judy Frieze Wright (above) and a lesson on the influence of feminism on civil rights activism. Leah Berkenwald of the Jewish Women’s Archive says it “wrestles with the complexities of Jewish social... Read more »
Maja Kriel, an author from South Africa, has been around the block and around the world. Or at least that is the impression she gives in her first novel, Rings in a Tree (Kwela Books, $23.95), in which her characters circumnavigate the globe. This peripatetic family saga begins in the tiny village of Sharabaka, Poland,... Read more »
Sixty years after the untimely death of Milton Steinberg, scholars have collaborated to publish an incomplete and previously unknown novel by the legendary author of As a Driven Leaf (1939).The newly released novel, The Prophet’s Wife (Behrman House, $24.95), is the story of Hosea and his wayward wife Gomer, a tale of love and betrayal... Read more »
The twelfth book of poems from Alicia Ostriker, The Book of Seventy (University of Pittsburgh Press, $14.95), written as Ostriker enters her seventieth year, showcases the wisdom she has gained as both a poet and a person: “I have less / interfering with my gaze now / what I see I see clearly.” She has... Read more »
Heidegger’s Glasses by Thaisa Frank (Phoenix Books, $22.95/$28.95 Canadian) takes as its protagonist a woman capable of transforming herself. But unlike Demeter or Arachne, she does so by shifting identity rather than by physical alteration. She operates in a world, a time that has lost its moral compass. While others adhere to strict ideological codes,... Read more »
Two recently released graphic novels detail the lives of independent Jewish women: Greg Rucka’s Batwoman Elegy (DC Comics $24.99) is a slick and powerful superhero story where a woman takes command; Vanessa Davis’s Make Me a Woman (Drawn and Quarterly, $24.95) is an irreverently told slice-oflife autobiography. This is nothing new. The subject of Judaism... Read more »
I almost always get the same reaction when I say that I became a vegetarian seven months ago. Everyone wants to know: Does this mean that I won’t cook for them anymore? Of course, I haven’t stopped cooking, in part thanks to The Vegetarian Shabbat Cookbook by Roberta Kalechofsky & Roberta Schiff (Micah Publications, Inc.... Read more »
Real estate and its associated aspirations lie at the heart of both Eden, by Yael Hedaya, and Every House Needs a Balcony, by Rina Frank. Hedaya provides a searing portrayal of a contemporary bourgeois bedroom community built alongside a decaying Israeli agricultural settlement. Frank documents a Romanian family’s struggle to establish roots in Haifa shortly... Read more »
Hollywood successfully capitalized adaptations of Edna Ferber’s novels — Giant the best-known of them — in its midtwentieth- century studio phase. In Edna Ferber’s Hollywood: American Fictions of Gender, Race, and History (University of Texas Press, $55), J.E. Smyth rescues Ferber from her present-day obscurity, describing the processes by which seven major “Ferber films” migrated... Read more »
Haya Leah Molner, author of Under a Red Sky: Memoir of a Childhood in Communist Romania (Farrar Straus Giroux, $17.99) was almost eight before she learned she was Jewish. Growing up in Communist Romania in the 1950s, in the wake of the Holocaust that obliterated over half of Romania’s Jewish population, Eva, as she was... Read more »
In the interest of full disclosure I should admit that given a choice between a piece of chocolate and a plate of Brussels sprouts, I’ll take the sprouts every time. I mention this only to prove that you do not have to love chocolate to enjoy True Confections by Katherine Weber (Shaye Areheart Books, $22.00).... Read more »
Sifted through her staggeringly tragic childhood, Flusberg’s poems, including the three offered here, become a monument to healing and strength.
Before the recession, five years of rabbinical school guaranteed a self-supporting vocation. Not anymore.
For older women suddenly out of work, retooling themselves for the New Economy and the Internet Age is a double challenge.
Meet the woman who thinks there’s a better way to organize for the way we work today.
After a century of silence, a family that specialized in forgetting finds its secret revealed in a yellowed 1909 Yiddish newspaper.
NAAMAH KELMAN: From the minute we sat down to talk on the lawn in front of the library at Camp Ramah in Palmer, we knew. Even as we exchanged details of daily teenage life, we understood the magnitude of our meeting. In peasant blouses and jeans, both descendants of rabbinic families, we felt the insistent... Read more »
Florence Howe on Grace Paley
Opening up my e-mail one night a few months ago, I saw it: a message from my closest friend from late childhood. She’d found me — no surprise — on Facebook. “Hi Alice! You remember me — I hope!” As if I wouldn’t. We’d met at Jewish summer camp when we were both nine. Until... Read more »
I feared it would be awkward to talk by telephone, she so many thousands of miles away, barely able to respond. But the words pour out of me — a groundswell, a flood. I talk and talk, trying to tell her what her life has meant to mine these 47 years, from the summer we... Read more »
Most people recollect that flutter for a special someone as early as elementary school. Yet when it comes to addressing the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, many people feel these children are too young to know what they want. People say, “How can you be sure?” or, “You have so... Read more »
“A magazine about sex has to be sexy, don’t you think?” Merav Maroody asks in response to a compliment about the design of Ms.Use, a new — and gorgeous — Israeli periodical focusing on both art and sexuality. But Maroody, editor in chief, has a much wider vision: “We’re trying to build a community, to... Read more »
When open adoption advocate Betty Jean Lfton died in November, this issue surfaced once again. In the New York Times obituary, Margalit Fox wrote that when Lifton’s Twice Born: Memoirs of an Adopted Daughter was published in 1998, “Adoption in general was a veiled topic, and adoptees — assuming they were told anything — rarely... Read more »
Varda Ben-Hur is a big woman with a big personality — enough to fill a home, a stage, a book or two. A chubby little girl in Israel’s thin austerity years; a too-round teenager; an outrageously zaftig young woman who thought marriage and motherhood would make it all right. Varda Ben-Hur is an actress, an... Read more »
Last month, my two-and-a half-year-old was diagnosed with a nut allergy. She had picked cashews out of a salad, and her eyes had gotten red and “fluffy,” as she calls it. We had her tested, and were introduced into a new world. We were told to rid our house of nuts. We were told that... Read more »
Monsoon season is not the time to apartment hunt. I spend days traveling around Mumbai’s suburbs, getting soaked as I jump in and out of auto rickshaws, helping a friend look for that perfect one-bedroom. We find it — finally — and begin the deal-making process. But the next day the broker calls. There’s a... Read more »
In the touristy areas of the French Quarter, which was relatively unscathed by Katrina, New Orleans streets are full of buskers. By the dozens, these street performers enact all kinds of feats: lumber balancing, group singing, break dancing, rapping; at least this was the assortment I took in when I was there a couple of... Read more »