The Lilith Blog

October 12, 2020 Rishe Groner

The Struggle of Finding Shelter as an Orthodox Woman

Sukkot is supposed to be the holiday of rejoicing.

And yet for me, a particularly difficult time, as a single woman.

Usually, it’s the week before Sukkot that I put a call out to ask the internet to help me build a sukkah or find one – and then, sometime during the actual week of the holiday I spill my guts and explain why the week brings about so much heartbreak.

I even wrote a poem about it once

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October 8, 2020 Mirta Kupferminc

Clamor in the Desert: A Shelter for Anyone Who Feels Forlorn

We are living in uncertain times. In Argentina, my home, the flights are almost totally suspended and the feeling of confinement and distance becomes more evident.

I am an artist born in this country to Auschwitz survivors. Their story of exile and loss of their homeland, their language, their culture, marked my life and of course my art. I always felt some responsibility to try to renew and make their ancestors’ culture live in their new chosen land. That choice was obviously by default since they arrived in Argentina clandestinely as refugees. 

Thus, borders, migrations and exiles, human rights, and the mother tongue have always been an essential core in my artistic concern, since I consider that art has the gift, but also the commitment to transmit and contribute to the formation of culture and popular thinking. 

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October 7, 2020 by

I Had Planned a Midlife Hair Makeover— Then Covid Showed Up

Dear Reader,

In the midst of a terrible season, allow me some self-indulgence.

During the winter of 2020 before the world derailed with Covid-19, I was 49 years old, facing my 50th birthday with a mix of excitement and resignation. Certainly, I was glad to be healthy, in an intact marriage, with growing wonderful children, and a full roster of friends, family, social engagements, community service, and even a resuscitated second act after retirement to practicing as an attorney in solo practice.

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October 5, 2020 Susan Barocas

Stuffed with Abundance and Gratitude

What better way to celebrate the abundance of the harvest than by stuffing vegetables with an abundance of meat, rice, vegetables and fruits! No wonder stuffed foods are a traditional favorite for Sukkot, the festive fall holiday, for Jews from around the world. 

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September 29, 2020 Aileen Jacobson

Harbor From the Holocaust: The Jews of Shanghai

By Aileen Jacobson

In 1941, Laura Margolis, the American Joint Distribution Committee’s first female field agent, was sent to Shanghai to help the nearly 20,000 Jews who had fled there to escape Nazi Germany’s persecution. In an audacious move, she negotiated with the Japanese officials who controlled Shanghai and was able to secure funds (partly from Russian Jews and other communities who had found shelter in China in previous generations) to build a hospital and expand a soup kitchen. She saw to it that the neediest refugees got at least one meal a day to keep after they were forced, in 1943, into a mile-square area known as the “Shanghai ghetto.” The thousands of Chinese people who already lived there stayed.  

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September 25, 2020 by

Collage Artist Sally Edelstein: “My Politics is My Art.”


Collage-maker Sally Edelstein calls herself a “visual archeologist,” digging deep into American mythology. But she does more than this. Alongside the creation of innumerable pieces of wall art that juxtapose the collision between past and present, her blog, envisioningtheamericandream.com, probes the ways that advertising and media steer our perceptions of race, class, and gender and how they can either expand or limit what we imagine for ourselves and our lives. Humor is abundant. So are pointed critiques of the Trump administration. There is also a focus on environmental calamity: Edelstein’s work chronicles the transition from World War II shortages, when “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without” segued into rampant consumerism at the end of the war and sent Rosie and her riveting sisters back to the roost. She spoke to Lilith’s Eleanor J. Bader about her art, writing, and political rage from her Long Island home in mid-September.

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September 24, 2020 Rabbi Jen Gubitz

Why did(n’t) the Funeral Procession Cross the Road?

I brought my hand to my heart and took a deep breath. The voicemail was from David, at Levine’s Chapel in Brookline, MA, one of the most thoughtful funeral home directors I have the somewhat unusual privilege to know. As a rabbi, it is not unusual to get a call from a funeral home director; the rabbinate is a vocation where you make plans with friends with the caveat that you’ll show up as long as no one dies. 

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September 23, 2020 Melissa Slavsky

Reflecting on the Protests in Portland

Portland is one of the whitest cities in America, with an extremely racist history. So who would have ever thought we would be the city to watch during the modern-day civil rights movement?

The murder of George Floyd changed our country, and it changed Portland. So much so that this week, along with Seattle and NYC, we were designated an “Anarchist jurisdiction” by the Attorney General just this past Monday.

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September 23, 2020 by

We Are Still Being Called to Action

It turns out revelations can still be scheduled. 

Even with empty theaters and bare music halls and staggered schooling and limited services and vacant pews, it turns out we can still be called to action. By now I should know that it’s built into the Days of Awe, those ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but every year I’m surprised. Every year, I’m stunned. And this year Ruth Bader Ginsburg died right as Rosh Hashana began. 

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September 22, 2020 by

Black Jewish Women Artists You Should Know… Rebecca S’manga Frank

Art–whether it be dancing, painting, drawing, film–creates a space for self-examination, helping us to envision possible futures, and better versions of ourselves. And the Jewish month of Elul is traditionally an opportunity for introspection before the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Recognizing the power of art to be transformative, Lilith is highlighting Black Jewish women artists in this time leading up to and through Elul. On Lilith’s platforms you’ll have a chance to experience, share, and celebrate their work.

You can also participate by letting us know (at info@Lilith.org) Black Jewish women creators we should include!

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