In a groundbreaking appointment, the Academy for Jewish Religion, California (AJR,CA), has selected Tamar Frankiel as its new president, making her the first Orthodox woman to lead an American rabbinical school. Frankiel, 66, is a professor of comparative religion and an expert on Jewish mysticism.
More than 2,500 people signed up to participate in a global Shema flash mob as part of a campaign to promote religious pluralism in Israel. The gatherings early Monday afternoon came two days after Conservative Jewish congregations were asked to dedicate a recitation of the Shema to the topic as well.
The legislature in Bahrain has appointed a Jewish female parliamentarian to serve as deputy chairwoman of the foreign affairs, defense and national security committee.
Yiddish signs briefly sprouted on Brooklyn trees asking Jewish women to step aside when a man walks down the sidewalk.
The year is 1950. The setting is a dimly lit movie studio backlot. It’s the middle of the night, and an attractive young woman named Betty Schaefer is explaining to her screenwriting partner why she became a writer instead of what she really wanted to be — an actress. The movie is “Sunset Boulevard.”
Panic Ensemble: Jewish Women (have more fun)
We have been having a conversation in the Jewish community about gender for more than three decades. During that time there have been some remarkable changes: the ordination of women rabbis, the proliferation of egalitarian prayer services and bat mitzvah as a rite of passage.So why do we still need to talk about gender? Because in a critical aspect, the gender gap still persists in the Jewish community.
Now, following the latest publishing craze of themed Jewish anthologies comes "Bread and Fire: Jewish Women Find God in the Everyday" (Urim Publications, 2008), edited by Rivkah Slonim (with consulting editor Liz Rosenberg). The 400-page compilation features writings from 60 women on topics including modesty, faith, childbirth, prayer, family, community, feminism and, in one way or another, Orthodox Judaism.
Various Letters to the Editor regarding previously published stories
I know too many beautiful, brilliant single Jewish women in their 30s and 40s.
Letter to the Editor
More than 30 years after Gloria Steinem founded Ms. Magazine and Sally Priesand was ordained a rabbi, more than 25 years after Judith Resnick became an astronaut and more than 10 years after Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Jewish women, along with their non-Jewish counterparts, have discovered that they can have it all -- at a steep price.
The media had a grand time recently when tens of thousands of Jewish women stopped wearing their wigs out of concern that they might contain hair that had been offered to an idol. The more revealing story, though, lay not in the deep dedication to the Second Commandment but in the feeding frenzy of the Fourth Estate.
In a rehearsal room at the Odyssey Theatre, Colette Freedman propped her electric-blue high tops on a chair and good naturedly laughed at herself. "I'm truly flawed," the 30-ish actress-playwright said. "I am totally a hypocrite."
Well, not totally. While her "Deconstructing the Torah," an evening of one-acts, skewers part of herself, it mostly dissects conflicts faced by Freedman and other modern Jewish women.
I'm standing in the foyer of the Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood talking to Bryan Fogel, the co-writer/co-producer/co-star of "Jewtopia" -- a play that parodies dating, JDating, interdating, rabbis, Passover seders, Purim, Chanukah bushes, bar mitzvahs, shofar blowing, other types of blowing, goyim, Asian fixations, synagogue memberships and, most of all, Jewish women and their overbearing mothers -- when this overbearing Jewish mother shamelessly accosts Fogel outside his dressing room to peddle her daughter to him.
In my San Francisco days, I once had a brief romantic affair with a mime. I was living in a house with lots of bedrooms, which were rented out to many different people. One of them was her, Angie, a young woman who each day would leave the house, go down to the park and do her mime thing, collecting dollars in a hat. I would tease her and we would flirt.
We're nice Jewish boys who love our mothers," Sam Wolfson said. "We don't mean any harm," said his pal, Bryan Fogel.
Wolfson and Fogel feel nervous because they've written and are starring in an irreverent play, "Jewtopia," about a Jew who dislikes Jewish women (Wolfson), and a non-Jew who adores them (Fogel). They've included over-the-top riffs on clichés such as theme bar mitzvahs, cheesy Purim carnivals, JAPS and the politically incorrect word, shvartze. They say they intended to humorously but lovingly exploit Jewish stereotypes the way plays like "Nunsense" exploit Catholic ones -- but they're aware viewers could take offense.
A group of Jewish women of all ages and backgrounds meets regularly in Brooklyn to discuss the domestic abuse they have suffered.
There's something inherently sexy about a woman who owns a dog.
Whatever the rest of America made of last week's news that Loehmann's discount department store is declaring bankruptcy, for American Jewish women, it is very, very sad.