Lilith FeatureIs Gen-Z Alright?
Young feminists confront a fragile future.
"Working on issues constantly on the precipice—healthcare, social justice, climate change, education—is emotionally and physically draining. When I founded Plan A, I was driven by what a friend called 'divine feminine fury.' Unfortunately, that fury is constantly being replenished, although my anger is coupled with excitement for the impact Plan A’s clinic will have on improving access to care."
Florence Adler Swims Forever (Simon & Schuster, $25.99) is a poignant title for abook about a woman who drowns in the first chapter. Yet it’s the perfect title forRachel Beanland’s new novel, telling the interwoven stories of the loved ones thetitular character leaves behind. This book pulls us immediately into its vibrant setting, Atlantic City,... Read more »
As an undergraduate Jewish studies major, I stuffed my brain and bookshelves with the literature of Jewish feminism: Nice Jewish Girls: A Lesbian Anthology, On Being a Jewish Feminist, Joining the Sisterhood: Young Jewish Women Write Their Lives, Yentl’s Revenge: The New Next Wave of Jewish Feminism, Like Bread on the Seder Plate: Jewish Lesbians... Read more »
About three years ago, when I was a senior in high school, I embarked upon a project that I don’t expect to finish anytime soon. Some people read books to be trans-ported or to feel empathy. I read for those reasons, too, but I also read to conductresearch. Since high school, I’ve actively sought books... Read more »
I recently decided to take a break from my fourth rewatch of Rachel Bloom’s CW musical dramedy Crazy Ex Girlfriend to read her new memoir, I Want to be Where the Normal People Are. Boy am I glad I did. Mark Twain famously said, “Comedy is tragedy plus time.” For Bloom, comedy is tragedy plus... Read more »
Looking at Americanization and how women creatively grappled with relocation is the subject of “Immigration and Adaptation: Jewish Women of the Lower East Side,” an illustrated talk by historian Annie Polland. Keeping the Sabbath, an important marker of Jewish identity for many women, was a great challenge when they observed a different Sabbath from their... Read more »
There have been many taboos around family-building in the American Jewish community, with secrets surrounding adoption, sperm donation and more. A new collaboration that uses the Jewish Women’s Archive mobile app Story Aperture in cooperation with Hadassah, the Jewish Women’s Zionist Organization of America and Uprooted offers individuals the opportunity to share their stories, however... Read more »
Longtime activists Rabbis Susan Talve of St. Louis, Missouri, and Ariel Stone, of Portland,Oregon, talk about strategies for social justice work, which, they emphasize, is amarathon, a movement, and not a sprint. Citing Moses, who led the people of Israel out of Egypt, Talve says movements are messy and full of challenges. Take measures to... Read more »
A program designed to support organizations and communities working to create a healthier, more equitable and more sustainable world for all, links Jewish values to substantive action toward sustainability and climate-centered goals. Receiving the Hazon Seal of Sustainability means that your organization or community has committed to and taken substantial action on two or three... Read more »
A national information and advocacy campaign to demystify infertility and the inability to conceive also encompasses pregnancy loss, adoption, foster parenting, becoming a single parent by choice, LGBTQ+ family-building, and blended families. Training sessions help women advocate for insurance changes and empower them to speak openly about their pathways to parenthood—or their decision “to live... Read more »
Uprooted: A Jewish Response to Fertility Journeys raises awareness within theJewish community, educates Jewish leaders and provides direct support to people struggling to conceive. This organization aims to shift the culture so that the community is more inclusive for those who face family-building challenges. Uprooted shares Jewish teachings and spiritual traditions, creating new rituals and... Read more »
Female deities were often represented in the polytheistic world of the ancient Near East, and many later evolved as part of biblical monotheism. Problem is, after the Babylonian exile they were increasingly suppressed and the one God in the Hebrew Bible and the rabbinical interpretations acquires a “female side” as opposed to a divine female... Read more »
“Our terror connects us to others’ terror. The trauma Jews have experienced does not make us separate from other Peoples; it connects us to other Peoples.” Political educator Jo Kent Katz quotes her sister, Dove Kent, in a new resource to address the “trauma and internalized oppression of assimilated, white Ashkenazi Jews living in the... Read more »
A new project analyzing the Yiddish folksong tradition takes advantage of major collections that are now a click away online. Itzik Gottesman, one of the project’s creators, is a grandson of Lifshe Schaechter-Widman and son of the poet and artist Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman. He says, “Not only can much about Jewish life in Eastern Europe and... Read more »
Manhattan’s Museum of the Jewish Heritage offers a free Holocaust curriculum forteachers at all school levels using recorded field trips. Special programs include“Meeting Hate with Humanity: Life During the Holocaust” that utilizes the museum’s exhibition “Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away.” to teach about Jewish life before, during and after the Holocaust. “Love Thy... Read more »
Three years after the beginning of the #MeToo movement, members of the Israeli Knesset, at the initiative of the Israel Women’s Network, held an event reminiscent of the Vagina Monologues; Knesset members read aloud narratives of sexual abuse as part of an effort to educate their peers and the public and to promote significant policy... Read more »
As Americans were obsessing over the results of the presidential election, a New Zealand law aimed at eliminating pay discrimination against women in female-dominated occupations went into effect. The bill, which takes an approach known as “pay equity,” provides a road map foraddressing the seemingly intractable gender pay gap. Unlike “equal pay”—the concept most often... Read more »
This year, I was an organizing intern for Merav Ben-David: a Jewish woman, a climate scientist, a Democrat. She was running for Senate in Wyoming, which also happens to be one of the most solidly Republican states in the country. According to polls, the odds of her winning her race were a whopping 0%. The... Read more »
The 7th Night of Chanukah, on Rosh Chodesh Tevet, we celebrate Chag haBanot (Eid al-Banat in Arabic), a North African Jewish Festival of the Daughters. This holiday elevates women’s power— the strength, wisdom and resilience of women throughout the ages. Women, young and elderly, would gather for a celebration together to delight in sweets, sing... Read more »
Simona Di Nepi is the first full-time curator of Judaica at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Among her acquisitions are a “subversive” Passover Hagaddah and feminist Jewish ritual objects including a decorative arm bracelet that evokes tefillin. “To me this is underrepresented Jewish work,” she said. “What we don’t have yet is queer[Judaica]—that’s the next... Read more »
There’s a normalization of hate, a permissiveness around antisemitism that has grown, so that people commenting on Facebook pages are alluding to my being a Jewish candidate. There are memes put out by the man I was running against that are for me really right on the line of antisemitism, with me holding money bags... Read more »
"In the worlds she captures with her camera, Roth quickly becomes an insider. She doesn’t step out of the story. While she’s not in the picture, she’s grounded in the lives she is documenting."
Researchers at the University of Windsor, in Ontario, are working to deliver a “Flip The Script” program to women in high school…. The conversation moves beyond consent to sex—pleasurable sex, at that. The young women talk about female sexual anatomy, masturbation, desire and a persistent phenomenon known as the “orgasm gap”: Time and again, researchers... Read more »
Wall Street Journal writer Joseph Epstein’s condescending attempt to convince Dr. Jill Biden to drop the Dr. in favor the “Mrs.” which he opens by saying “Madame First Lady—Mrs. Biden—Jill—kiddo,” is actually an attempt to belittle her. And to belittle all women who have the audacity to display their legitimate credentials, which, once again, they... Read more »
My grandmother is a Nana for the Nation. While she was a patient in the hospital just before November’s U.S. election, she spent her time urging everyone to exercise their civic duty. As she got more than a liter of fluid drained from her lungs, 74-year-old Sylvia Fisher wasted no time spreading the word about... Read more »
I got sick in mid-March. By the time I regained any semblance of mental focus or lung capacity it was near the end of May. I Marie Kondo-ed every cabinet and surface of the house. In the interim, the world was on lockdown, my roots were growing in, I hadn’t had my monthly haircut since... Read more »
A roundup of books to help your young reader navigate difficulties.
Home Haven (name changed), a local, family-owned home goods store, is as close to an old-fashioned department store as it gets these days, with three-and-a-half floors and an array of products that one customer jokingly described to me as “everything you didn’t know you didn’t need.” I begin my work days there by wiping down... Read more »
One night in January, we saw a rat in my boyfriend’s kitchen. We heard it first, strutting between the pots and pans and knocking spoons off the countertop. Then, it emerged. We watched it waddle across the floor and burrow beneath the sink, fearless. We gave it a name: Big Boy. “Oh yes,” my boyfriend’s... Read more »
I am an opera singer. It has been almost a year since I last entered a concert hall, performed for an audience, or had an in-person rehearsal. My industry has been forced to close all doors, cancel performances and wait. I know this is what we have to do to protect artists, neighbors and loved... Read more »
So here I am, a mature woman working in religious life, having joyous, guilt-free extramarital sex. The relationship has been going on for several months, with no diminution of my enjoyment, my FWB’s ardor, or my husband’s tacit support.
The issue Coney Barrett’s hearings evoked, though, is that the stakes are greater when women who are protecting the patriarchy enter leadership. Then, the contradiction can take a sinister turn. Religious women can use their newly acquired power to keep other women in their place.
A former staffer in the Lilith office would always answer the perfunctory “How are you?” question with an enthusiastic, “I’m doing great, thanks. How are you?” These days, both the question and its cheery, upbeat rejoinder seem out of place. We’ve had to change how we say hello and goodbye. “Sholem Aleichem” is the common... Read more »
With so many arms and no clear hierarchy, QAnon is a protean monster, mutating and multiplying like cancer cells, and it is precisely its adaptability to today’s climate that makes it so scary. QAnon, like a sewer flowing through the Internet, collects and absorbs every piece of noxious substance that passes into it from the waste pipes of our culture.
No one upstairs knows for a long time what actually happens at the end of my visits to the basement apartment. From the beginning I understand without being told that these stories and these prayers are meant only for my grandmother and me and do not tell the rest of my family. That summer and for a long time after, my grandmother and I live a secret life, Marranos in the midst of Long Island, afraid of being caught out in the open by our family.
We were black and white girls with backyard passages so we wouldn’t have to go around the block and knock, wouldn’talert our brothers or interfere with their one-on-ones or alert our parents making dinner, mine likely easy leftovers so ourworking mom needn’t fuss, hers likely grit and greens working their organoleptic magic... Read more »
I MOURN THE TASTE OF APPLES—tart-sweet, honeyed.
Yiddish children’s literature, created all over the world, largely during the period between the two world wars, includes writers who considered themselves secularists, and nevertheless shared stories about the magical aspects of keeping the Sabbath; as socialists they wanted to encourage workers not to let capitalists own them seven days a week. On the occasion... Read more »
My girlfriend and I celebrated our one-year anniversary over FaceTime, each of us curled up in a blanket fort, 1,600 miles apart. We ate dinner “together,” opened gifts that we’d sent by mail, and played games. By the end of the evening I was in tears, overjoyed to have such a special person in my... Read more »
I left college as a second-semester junior, not knowing if I was coming back. While the class of 2020 was pitied for losing their graduation and final moments with friends, I envied them their near-complete four years at school. My senior fall has since gone online, and there’s no indication of a different fate for... Read more »
This September, I moved back to New York City, where I’m in school, and began online classes. With the new expectation that we should be performing our best, even with the restraints of the pandemic, my hard-won equilibrium from the summer faded. I missed large chunks of days from constant dissociation. I felt inhuman. It... Read more »
Throughout this pandemic, I haven’t let myself journal, despite having kept one for most of my life. Instead, I’ve spent the time looking over past journals. Only recently have I begun to understand why. Not writing was the only way to allow myself to grow. It sounds counterintuitive for someone like me who has always... Read more »
There is nothing quite like being in shul on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I never feel the impact of the phrase, “k’eesh echad b’lev echad,” that the Jewish people are like one person with one heart, as strongly as I do on the High Holy Days, when everyone is gathered together and wearing emotions... Read more »
My freshman year of college probably looks quite different from yours. I have to wear a mask while I use the bathroom. I’ve never seen the mouths of the people who serve me lunch every day. And my friends and I yearn to see invitations to events in our inboxes, that—just this once—won’t include a... Read more »
Aviva took a swan dive. Her father sometimes remembered a nose dive. She hit the ground, arms outstretched like wings, a clipped duck, a New York pigeon. The moment she leapt, she felt Yaacov, her husband, shudder. Later she learned that he was gone. Somehow, on his way to check on his school, he disappeared,... Read more »