bess and frima

A Female Friendship From the Catskills to the Wider World

As Alice Rosenthal's novel of friendship, Bess and Frima, unfolds, the menace of world war is growing, and Beth and Frima must grow up fast. Balancing love, ambition, religion, family, and politics, each young woman faces challenges she never imagined in her girlhood. Fiction Editor Yona Zeldis McDonough talks to author Alice Rosenthal about the personal history she mined to write this tender story.

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The Patriarchy-Free Paradise of “Mamma Mia!”

Kalokairi, the fictional Greek island where Donna Sheridan decamps, is a matriarchal paradise: the animals are friendly and the men in thrall to the self-assured women who run things. It’s a place where “having it all” means having cake, dancing, and feeding other people cake while they dance.

Metoo

#MeToo, The Supreme Court, and Immigration Cruelty: Connected by Misogyny

It seems that women are being targeted on multiple fronts, almost as if #MeToo and its power have provoked a vicious backlash

Edna Ferber

Edna Ferber and Fannie Hurst: Blockbuster Jewish Novelists of Another Time

In their heyday during the 1920s and 1930s, Edna Ferber and Fannie Hurst enjoyed tremendous popularity but fell into relative obscurity soon after their deaths in 1968. With a decidedly Jewish sensibility, both of these women tell stories to inspire compassion and empathy about social issues–from body image to opioid abuse, from women’s roles to racism and the treatment of immigrants–startlingly relevant today.

An Unlikely Ballerina

The Book That Teaches Children About a Jewish Prima Ballerina

Lily falls in love with ballet—but can this fragile girl ever become a serious dancer? Fiction Editor (and lifelong balletomane) talks to author Krystyna Poray Goddu about her informative and charming new picture book.

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Brett Kavanaugh’s disturbing abortion history: He ruled against women who were forced to abort https://t.co/hQ20Tzqr4u

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A recorded conversation with Joy Ladin at Washington's DCJCC. She's wonderfully instructive, sometimes in deeply poignant ways; listen carefully here when she describes, among other things, the plight of transgender teens and their very basic need for shelter. 

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