Janet Yellen is soft-spoken, tough, methodological, flexible — and Jewish. President Obama’s announcement last week that he had tapped Yellen, 67, to succeed Ben Bernanke as chair of the Federal Reserve made news in part because she would be the first woman in the top spot.
Many New Yorkers, as the New York Times notes, are “baffled by the loyalty shown by Huma Abedin” to her transgressing spouse, Anthony Weiner. I suspect, however, that for many first generation immigrants such as myself, especially those of us with Asian and South Asian roots, she is much less of a puzzle.
Former White House correspondent Helen Thomas, a trailblazing journalist who reported on every U.S. president from John Kennedy to Barack Obama, died on Saturday at the age of 92, The Gridiron Club and Foundation said.
Ah! How authors wax poetic about the allure of a vulnerable woman! How tempting it is for that mensch in shining armor to whisk that vulnerable waif off her delicate feet and carry her away on his white horse, how tempting to rescue her from unnamed perils, and especially from her own demons.
A Jewish-Arab American woman is suing a U.S. airline and the federal Transportation Security Administration for removing her from an airplane and strip-searching her.
Last week’s episode was hardly the first time Israeli police stopped activist Anat Hoffman while she was leading a women’s prayer service at the Western Wall in violation of Israeli law.
Jerusalem police arrested the leader of Women of the Wall for singing at the Western Wall.
To all the elderly women who have tried my patience over the years: Retribution is yours for the asking, for as you have known all along, I am becoming you. I’ve stood behind you in the supermarket line, tapping my foot and pretending to be absorbed in the details of Jennifer Aniston’s love life splayed across the magazine covers, but really I was a roiling tsunami of frustration that could boil over at any moment.
Haredi Orthodox men threw stones at a woman and her baby who were shopping in Beit Shemesh.
Members of a Palestinian terror cell were indicted for the murder of an American tourist in a forest near Jerusalem. Four Palestinians from villages near Hebron were indicted Wednesday in Jerusalem District Court for the murder of Christine Logan, 40, also identified by some media outlets as Christine Luken, and for the attempted murder of her hiking partner Susan Kaye Wilson. The two women were attacked Dec. 18, 2010, while hiking at Khirbet Hanut, an archaeological site near Beit Shemesh. Wilson pretended to be dead and survived the ordeal and provided descriptions of the attackers. The suspects reportedly have confessed to the attack.
Elena Kagan would make it three -- three women and three Jews on the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time in its history.
Chanting “Stop Abuse” and “Free Your Wife,” 200 people rallied on the eve of Purim in front of the Fairfax-area home of a man who refuses to grant his wife a Jewish divorce.
If you want to really annoy Adeena Bleich, just ask her what it feels like to be a young Orthodox woman running for City Council. I know, because when we sat
down recently for lunch at Shiloh's, the first thing I asked her is what it felt like to be a young Orthodox woman running for City Council.
One night on the phone, she confesses to me about the "voices" -- the voices in her head that keep telling her she feels empty. I tell her the story about the man who picked up radio signals via the fillings in his mouth. She ignores me and tells me she knows it's about wanting another baby. That she wants to have another kid, and it's too late.
Are we electing a candidate based on his or her ability to lead the country, or are we crowning a king who looks good in pictures and who is above criticism, examination and challenge?
Do I have a sign on my forehead that says, "Fix me up"?
In elementary school I realized I was different. I had no vocabulary for it, but all the books, movies and relationships I saw led me to believe that my feelings were not normal and needed to be suppressed.
The Reform movement will soon publish a commentary on the Torah that gives the woman's perspective. "The Torah: A Women's Commentary," a project of Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ), the movement's women's division, is a collaboration of 80 biblical scholars, archaeologists, rabbis, cantors, theologians and poets from across the religious spectrum -- all of them women who came together to present a new perspective on the Bible.
My girlfriend "E" was the first to declare what others had been observing for a while. "God sure is having a good laugh," she said. "You write a column called 'A Woman's Voice.' And yet you have no voice". The irony had crossed my mind.
In the life of every single girl, there comes a point where she has to look herself in the mirror and ask one very important question: "Do I look fat?" No, just kidding. That one we ask every day. The other miasma hanging over our heads like impending gray hair is this question: "Am I too picky?"
Ameenah Kaplan, who calls herself a "hybrid" -- the product of an African American mother who converted to Judaism and a Jewish father -- is directing, choreographing and co-producing "Everyman for Himself." Appearing weekends at the Unknown Theatre in Hollywood, the show is a hybrid itself, in that it blends music, dance, theater and capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian dance form that incorporates self-defense maneuvers.
According to some once-doting men, I'm terrific. I'm also beautiful, talented, smart, sassy, funny, dynamic, cute and sweet. To make matters worse, I'd make a fantastic mother. And the final blow? Apparently ... I'm a catch. I listen intently to my lover-gone-evil dumper's compliments -- and cringe. Somehow my fairy tale has gone awry.
The stereotypical Jewish woman is strong, supportive, receptive and respected. Growing up, she is showered with love, pampered by objects and experiences of beauty and quality. She keeps a welcoming home. She attends to detail, wants what she wants and is unapologetically "high maintenance." She is wise, and capable of keen manipulation. She is emotional -- following her heart more than her mind. She is nurturing, loyal, generous and willing to sacrifice. She finds total fulfillment only when she has balanced her work with marriage (preferably to a doctor or lawyer) and children. Most significantly, she loves receiving beautiful clothing, fine perfume and dazzling jewelry.
Filmmaker Tiffany Shlain laughs when asked where she gets her finely honed sense of ironic humor. It comes with being Jewish, she explains -- a group whose number constitutes just one-quarter of 1 percent of the human race and thus makes getting along with others paramount.
Betty Friedan, who died last weekend at age 85 at her home in Washington, D.C., was both universal woman and particular Jew. The word Jewish does not appear at all in "The Feminine Mystique," her seminal work, yet every heartbeat was a Jewish one. Once, in her 50s, after fame, fortune and independence had filled her life, she asked one favor of friends -- to find her a nice Jewish husband.
While other photographers have sought to document Chasidism from more of an insider's perspective, Maya Dreilinger purposefully maintained her distance as an outsider. She wandered around the La Brea area dressed as she normally does and refused the occasional invitation to dinner at someone's home.
Letters to the Editor
Polish journalist Hanna Krall's "The Woman From Hamburg: And Other True Stories" (Other Press, $19) is based on interviews she did that in some way involved the Holocaust. But when one of the 12 stories was recently featured in The New Yorker's fiction issue, an accompanying note explained that her writing is indeed factual.
The 60-something Krall was a reporter for Polityka from 1957 to 1981 when martial law was imposed and her publications were banned. Her award-winning books have been translated into 15 languages, (the English version is by Madeline G. Levine). Yet the boundary between fact and fiction can seem blurred in her work, for Krall writes in an unadorned but intimate style, moving in fractured time, creating a rhythm that might resemble contemporary fiction.
I have plenty of friends who keep more strictly kosher than I do, but even some of them make exceptions -- like bouillabaisse in France or lobster in Maine. I deviate when I'm the guest in someone's home, and the options are slim -- my rationale being that it's better to not shame a host than to stick to my half-baked rules.
Jews, like others caught up in the debate, have a range of beliefs, and their understanding of how to apply halacha varies accordingly.
These two cases vividly illustrate the current problems of the modern day agunah (a woman chained to an unwanted marriage), because halacha (Jewish law) gives the husband the sole, unfettered power of divorce. While under Ashkenazic tradition a woman can withhold her "consent" to such a divorce, the remedies available to the victim of a recalcitrant husband or wife differ substantially.
It seems a bit disingenuous for women to get all bent out of shape over Harvard President Larry Summers' recent suggestion that innate gender differences may account for variances in math and science skills. After all, most women maintain that innate gender differences exist when it comes to other highly valued skills, like communication.
"Annulla: An Autobiography" tells the story of Annulla Allen, a woman born in Lvov, Galicia, who survived the Holocaust by passing as Aryan, and eventually immigrated to London.
Zager started out as a reporter, working for a short stint after college at a community newspaper in her hometown, Detroit. After getting married and having children, she turned to comedy. She spent 14 years as a stand-up comedian, entertaining at clubs in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
But being a journalist was her lifelong dream.
Lately it seems as if everyone I know is interested in me getting married. In fact, the person pressuring me the least is my girlfriend, Carrie.
Myra Waldo Schwartz, travel writer, food editor and critic died July 25.
"It was very helpful to have a rabbi help us grieve and to understand what we were going through, because she has that feeling toward pets," said Vicky Goodman, who with her husband Chip raised Maggie with their two daughters.
You date. You go to dinners. The beach. A friend's showcase. You retell your charming story until you hate every polished detail.
Setting out onto the yellow brick road of singlehood at 40, I could already see it would be a haunted trail. Those of us, man or woman, who have been married a long time, who have birthed children together, dandled and diapered them together, those of us who thought we were building lifelong partnerships before we were betrayed or bored or desolate or dead inside, cannot help but be haunted.
The photo shows an African American woman on the picket line with striking supermarket workers, a portable microphone in one hand and the other holding a placard proclaiming in large letters, "Jewish Labor Committee."
The woman is Cookie Lommel, and she is the new executive director of the Jewish Labor Committee's (JLC) Western region.
These days, Lommel can be found weekly picketing the Pavilions market in Sherman Oaks, bringing along doughnuts for the strikers.
7 Days in Arts
In fact, few people would have recognized Franklin's contribution had it not been for Watson.
Did you have an Aunt Coca? My auntie, to whom I am not genetically connected, was a lady we kindly invited to family gatherings because she was alone. It was silently understood that she was an "old maid," one of those unfortunate women who did not marry and have children.
My Aunt Coca, from my child perspective, was an "old" woman. A distinguished blonde lady, a member of the adult clan who clumsily pinched my cheeks and brought gifts. What seemed old then, is close to home now. Like her, I am an unmarried, 40-year-old woman, and I sometimes painfully feel the same loneliness and single-woman stigmas as she did.
The self-described raconteur refuses to label herself a stand-up comedian. But Rhea Kohan's wit has, over the last decade, made her a sought-after personality in the local Jewish community, and she refuses to charge money for her humorous hostessing.
Rachel Corrie, 23, a senior at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., was run over and killed by an Israeli bulldozer on Sunday, as she was trying to prevent a Palestinian home from being demolished.
Iris Bahr is pretty, but you could watch her for the full span of her 54-minute one-woman production and still manage to miss that.Â
With the help of a masculine hairdo (she cut her hair for the show, and wears it slicked back) and some minimal wardrobe changes, Bahr morphs into no less than seven different characters, each with individual, and often hilarious, accents. The show is called "Planet America, or Are You Carrying Any Fruits of Vegetables?" and Bahr's characters bring differing perspectives to the themes of American isolationism, xenophobia and racism.
The issues are particularly timely, but for Bahr, who was recently nominated for an L.A. Weekly best solo performance award, they were also personal. She said she'd finished the first draft prior to the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Growing up in Riverdale, N.Y., and Herzliya, Israel, she said, "I have the advantage of having lived in two very different cultures." It made her conscious of issues like terrorism and immigration long ago.
As an Israeli whose life was split between Israel and America in the familial and environmental sense, I have the pleasure of viewing both worlds as a foreigner and native. When it comes to Israeli men vs. American men, I am a big advocate of my Mediterranean-blooded counterparts.
Israeli men seem to have confidence imbedded in their DNA. Maybe it's from the army, or perhaps it's the carpe diem syndrome. Maybe it's outright self-destructiveness. Either way, Israeli guys know how to approach a woman and make her feel like God has descended upon her.
She may not know the word shteibel, but she knows what's going on.
When you meet someone new, you start with a clean slate. Tabula rasa. There's such a wonderful sense of mystery and discovery in the air.
It's hard to imagine that I could have been less delectable.
So, my divorce is now official. My marriage of three years, eight months is over.