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Tag : jewish feminism

The Lilith Blog

March 26, 2020 by

Warmth from an Afghan Blanket

Coronavirus has suddenly changed our lives, so quickly and in ways so profound that we are just beginning to grasp how. The thousands of mundane acts that we do every day—grabbing the overhead bar on the subway, pushing a button in an elevator, sitting down at a conference table with work colleagues—are now possible sources of contagion. So are the human connections our souls need and crave. Kissing our grandchildren or hugging a friend are acts now fraught with danger. We must keep our distance from everyone and everything, we are now told. Otherwise, we may catch the illness, and get horribly sick. Or die. Yes, die.  

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The Lilith Blog

February 24, 2020 by

You Are Your Name

You are your name. In India, where I’m living for seven months as a Fulbright scholar researching the relevance of archaeological relics today, I’m constantly reminded of this. 

“My daughter’s name is Zianna, it means bold and strong,” an acquaintance tells me.

“My name is Arushi, it means first ray of the sun,” says another new friend. 

“My name is Pormishra, a god. It means, a god,” says a waiter.

“I am Suraj, the sun,” says another. 

When I respond that my name is Elizabeth, Indians often say, “Oh, the queen. You are a queen.” Glad to dissuade them of any connection between my name and India’s former colonial rule, I tell people, “Actually, Elizabeth is a Hebrew name, it means house of God: beit means house; el means God.”

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The Lilith Blog

December 13, 2018 by

7 Jewish Feminist Highlights of 2018

I don’t need to tell readers of Lilith that parts of this year have been soul-crushing for Jewish feminists.  In 2018 we mourned those massacred at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, and many of us gnashed our teeth about antisemitism in our own feminist movements.

But Jewish feminist hope, grit, and creative resistance were also part of 2018. As the secular year winds down, let’s remember and celebrate all that has healed and nourished our souls. Here’s my annual list of 7 Jewish feminist highlights (7 being the number associated with creation and blessing in Jewish tradition):

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The Lilith Blog

September 21, 2018 by

A Forgotten Lillian Hellman Play That Deserves Another Chance

Set in a small town in Ohio and revolving around a workers’ strike at a brush factory, Lillian Hellman’s little-known play, “Days to Come,” was a resounding flop when it debuted on Broadway in 1936. Hellman, who had enjoyed great acclaim for her first play, “The Children’s Hour,” went on to even wider success and fame with her next play, “The Little Foxes.” 

But at the opening night of this one, her second-born, as she recalled in her 1973 memoir “Pentimento,” she stood at the back of the theater, sensed that things were going wrong, and vomited. Then she saw William Randolph Hearst and his six guests walk out during the second act. Bad reviews and a quick closing followed.

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The Lilith Blog

August 10, 2018 by

Five Quotes That Will Increase Your Chutzpah

From the JAP to zaftig to the belle juive, there are no end of Jewish stereotypes. Chutzpadik is probably one of the least painful, and incidentally one of the most gender-neutral. Here are 5 quotes from Jewish women, words that embody chutzpah in its most inspiring and hopeful forms.

“I’ve been described as a tough and noisy woman, a prize fighter, a man-hater, you name it. They call me Battling Bella, Mother Courage, and a Jewish mother with more complaints than Portnoy. There are those who say I’m impatient, impetuous, uppity, rude, profane, brash, and overbearing. Whether I’m any of those things, or all of them, you can decide for yourself. But whatever I am —and this ought to be made very clear—I am a very serious woman.” – Bella Abzug 

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The Lilith Blog

July 14, 2017 by

This Website Helps Progressive Female Candidates Run for Office

Eliza Cussen was on her way to see “Wonder Woman”, and listening to an episode of her favorite podcast, “Call Your Girlfriend.” This one focused on women in politics (or the lack thereof). Like many would in this situation, she was wondering: what can I do?

Right then, she decided to create what is now Project Sheila, an organization dedicated to helping female politicians launch campaign websites. Cussen has been interested in web design for most of her life, and was working as a digital communications specialist when she had the idea. She saw that although she did not have significant funds to donate to campaigns, she could use her expertise to help in another way. She put out a call to friends in her network, asking if anyone needed help with web design, and received several requests right away. Around three weeks later, Project Sheila went live.

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