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compiled by Naomi Danis

Happening

Headpieces for Peace

Here’s a witty installation with a video and stylized headpieces representing iconic women’s gear: a nun, a religious Jewish wife, a Muslim woman, an astronaut. Described by its creator, Columbian-born artist Jessica Sofia Mitrani, as “a non hierarchical, nomadic organization on a tandem bicycle that seeks to initiate free political action. Recently on view in New York, before that in Tel Aviv, and available for travel.
jessicasofiamitrani.com

Dare to Use the F-Word

A monthly podcast series from Barnard College and its Center for Research on Women tells the story of today’s young feminists through the ideas, art, and activism that define them. Listen to a conversation with Barnard President Debora Spar about her book Wonder Women: Sex, Power & the Quest for Perfection, about women’s struggles for perfection in every area of their lives, with millennial feminist Jamia Wilson. bcrw.barnard.edu/podcast-sections/dare-to-use-the-f-word/

Feminist Jewish Ethics

How can Judaism and feminism be reconciled? Count the ways! A comprehensive new Wikipedia article on Jewish feminist ethics does just that. It was created under Professor Michal Raucher’s guidance by her seminar students, candidates for the Jewish Theological Seminary’s new MA program in Jewish ethics. Judith Plaskow, Rachel Adler, Blu Greenberg, Tamar Ross and Tova Hartman are featured as key thinkers on such topics as feminist ethical approaches to traditional Jewish texts, theology and Jewish practice. Like all Wikipedia entries, this one is open to contributions and improvements from readers. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_Jewish_Ethics

Ways We Memorialize

Celebrities and noncelebrities are interviewed by authors Meryl Ain, her husband Stewart Ain and brother Arthur Fischman in their book The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last. Included is performer and playwright Ellen Gould, who wrote her play Bubbe Meises, Bubbe Stories as a way to resolve the untimely passing of two siblings and to pay tribute to her deceased grandmothers. A chapter honors the founders of Jewish Savannah. Contribute to a second volume; submit your story to: LivingMemoriesProject@gmail.com. facebook.com/LivingMemoriesProject, thelivingmemoriesproject.com

Jews & Mid-Century Modernism

Discover the role of mid 20th-century Jewish architects, designers, and artists in the creation of a new American domestic landscape in an exhibit featuring modern household items from furniture and textiles to dinnerware and serving utensils. The exhibition highlights such well-known designers as Anni Albers, Joseph Eichler, and Richard Neutra, as well as critically overlooked ones like Ruth Adler Schnee, Marguerite Wildenhain, and Alex Steinweiss, also patrons, merchants, and media figures who disseminated this modern aesthetic to a broad audience. At the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco from April 24 through October 6, 2014. thecjm.org

Skilled Volunteers for Israel

Teachers, university faculty, business consultants, photographers, social workers, Jewish communal professionals, archivists, scientists, translators, and other experienced professionals can find meaningful skilled volunteer opportunities helping meet the critical needs of the Israeli nonprofit sector via this organization founded and directed by Marla Gamoran. A commitment of one month is expected and volunteers fund all expenses.
Skillvolunteerisrael.org

Body Traces

Jewish sculptor and proto-feminist Alina Szapocznikow —born in Kalisz in 1926, and died in Paris in 1973 — was one of Poland’s outstanding post-WWII artists. Before her death at 47, she traded the language of classical sculpture for an idiosyncratic lexicon of new shapes, and unusual materials, processes and themes. Surviving the Holocaust and battles with tuberculosis and cancer, she expanded the definition of sculpture while casting parts of her own body in testimony to its deterioration. Through May 31, 2014 at the Tel Aviv Art Museum. tamuseum.org.il

Life-Saving Breast Milk

Mothers from the U.S., Canada and Mexico can donate their extra breast milk to stock nonprofit breast-milk banks that provide pasteurized milk to fragile and sick infants, thus improving their potential to survive and thrive. All donors undergo a screening process that begins with a short telephone interview, and the costs of screening and shipping are typically covered by the receiving milk bank. More info at Milk Banking Association of North America. hmbana.org/milk-bank-locations

Esther Broner

Esther Broner (1927–2011), with Israeli feminist Naomi Nimrod, researched and wrote The Women’s Haggadah for the women’s seders first held in 1976  one in New York City with an English text and another in Haifa in Hebrew. This new film by Lilly Rivlin documents the evolution of these seders over 35 years. Along with her “seder sisters”  among them feminist luminaries like Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem, Marilyn French, Grace Paley, Vivian Gornick, Carol Jenkins and Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Broner developed feminist interpretations of traditional texts, including a feminist version of the plagues and a narrative of Miriam, Moses’s sister. Rivlin’s film also features Broner herself (who wrote as E.M. Broner), reciting from her classic novel A Weave of Women. www.estherbronerthefilm.com

Women Drawing Talmud

Feminist artists Jacqueline Nicholls, above left, and Yonah Lavery-Yisraeli, above right, integrate pop-culture sensibility with serious investigation of Talmudic dilemmas in an exhibit titled, “Tosafot,” referring to the medieval commentators on the Talmud and representing a continuation of the tradition of adding to the Talmudic text. The artists take the liberty to imagine the physical setting, the scenery, the clothing, and much more that does not actually appear in the written text. Until April 22 at the Ein Harod Museum. museumeinharod.org.il/english

Resource Generation

Organizing young people with wealth to leverage resources and privilege for social change is the goal of this evolving nonprofit, founded as “Comfort Zone” in 1997. They hold events like “Making Money Make Change Conference” and “Creating Change Through Family Philanthropy Retreat.” Resources on their website support cross-class relationships, and a recently posted blog “Giving More, Praying More” by Jessica Rosenberg tells of her Friday afternoon ritual of making online charitable gifts while baking challah, before she turns her computer off for Shabbat. Resourcegeneration.org

Campers with Disabilities

The much-heralded Ramah camps have consolidated their ongoing programs open to Jewish children, teens, and young adults with a wide range of learning, developmental, cognitive and social disabilities. Campers with disabilities participate in activities with other campers throughout the camp. These interactions provide an exceptional benefit to the entire Ramah community by fostering a heightened sensitivity toward individual differences. The National Ramah Tikvah Network is also an incubator for young Jewish professionals who are motivated and trained to work with individuals with disabilities in the Jewish community. campramah.org/content/specialneeds

A Tombstone, a Ghost, a Film

Ghila Valabrega is an Italian-American Jewish filmmaker whose first work, “Felice Nel Box,” is a short comedy based on a true family story of her dad, a stolen tombstone from Sabbioneta in northern Italy, and a Jewish ghost from 1800 named Felice. Valabrega is launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to complete the post-production of the film and to help restore the synagogue of Sabbioneta, which was severely damaged by an earthquake in 2012. ghilavalabrega.com 


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