Link Roundups 1 of 2

June 15, 2012 by

Link Roundup: Jewish Women Fight Back

Welcome to this week’s installment of Lilith’s Link Roundup. Each week we post Jewish and feminist highlights from around the web. If there’s anything you want to be sure we know about, email us or leave a message in the comments section below.

A Michigan state Rep was silenced after speaking out against an anti-abortion bill.

During a heated debate on the floor of the Michigan state House, Rep. Lisa Brown made an impassioned speech against a bill that seeks to put new regulations on abortion providers and ban all abortions after 20 weeks.

Brown, a Democrat, argued that her Jewish faith allowed for therapeutic abortions when the mother’s life is in danger without regard to length of pregnancy.

“I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours?” she said. But what came next is what got her in trouble: “And finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina.

The Detroit News reports today the House Republican leadership did not allow Brown to speak on a bill about the retirement of school employees. [NPR]

In an editorial about the lack of Jewish organization run by women, CEOs Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Ruth Messinger, and Carole Zawatsky offered suggestions about how to increase female leadership in the Jewish community. Among the suggestions, which included encouraging search committees to consider female candidates and increasing the number of women on speaking panels, all three women stressed the importance of mentorship opportunities for women. [Washington Jewish Week]

It’s widely known that women in the United States make 77 cents for every dollar that men make, however, a new report revealed that the gendered wage gap increases with age. According to PayScale, at the age of 22, the median salary for male college graduates is $40,800 compared to $31,900 for female college graduates. Female college graduates reach a “pay ceiling” by the age of 39, capping off at an average of $60,000 per year, whereas male college graduates’ salaries continue to grow till the age of 48, capping off at an average of $95,000 per year. [Economix]

As expected, the Paycheck Fairness Act failed in the U.S. Senate. However, Irin Carmon suggested that the White House could take measures to protect women by “issuing an executive order making retaliation for pay disclosure illegal for companies with federal contracts.” [Salon]

June 3rd marked the 40th anniversary of Sally Priesand’s ordination as the first woman rabbi. Cartoonist Vanessa Davis celebrated the special occasion with an illustrated look at the history of women rabbis. [Tablet Magazine]

Sarah Tuttle-Singer bravely shared her story of being Jewish having an abortion during her Freshman year of college. [Kveller]

Israel’s Chief Rabbinical Council announced that women wanting to deliver eulogies must seek permission to do so from her city’s rabbi. The announcement came in response to a request by Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, who is the chair of “an interministerial committee on how to keep women from being shunted away from the public domain.” [Haaretz]

Have nose jobs taken a nose dive? The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that the procedure, which was once considered a “rite of passage” among Jewish teenage girls, has declined by 37% since 2000. Melvin Konner, author of The Jewish Body, attributed the decline to “increased ethnic pride and a decreased desire to stop looking Jewish and blend in.” [Tablet Magazine]

Journalist Debra Nussbaum Cohen profiled Women’s Tefillin Gemach, an organization that lends tefillin exclusively to women for six months at a time. Since its conception in 2007, the organization has lent out tefillin to couple of dozen women. Anne Lapidus Lerner, a faculty member at the Jewish Theological Seminary, explained that wearing tefillin has not become popular practice among women in liberal denominations because it “is so male connected that it’s hard to work through.” [The Forward]

Mia Schaikewitz of the new reality series “Push Girls” spoke to blogger Naomi Pfefferman Magid about how Judaism helped her endure after she became paralyzed at the age of 15. [Jewish Journal]

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