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In this issue: Holocaust survivor, filmmaker Mira Hamermesh (“Maids and Madams”), on how racism and sexism meet in apartheid South Africa. Aviva Cantor interviews Vitke Kempner, the woman who carried out the first known act of Jewish sabotage against the Nazis. Can we laugh at Joan Rivers, misogynist comic? Two Jewish comics use humor to fight stereotypes. Lilith’s appeal to free Ida Nudel.

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Familiar Cruelties: A Nightmare Journey Through South Africa

by Mira Hamermesh

Researching her film "Maids and Madams," a study of black women and their white employers in South Africa, a Holocaust survivor has a personal encounter with apartheid, and tells here how its racism is inextricably linked with an equally corrosive but less frequently documented sexism. The cruelties of both are jarringly familiar to Hamermesh, resonating with her childhood memories of Nazi persecution.

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Something Critical For My Mother

poetry by Barbara Berman

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Fagel Speaks

poetry by Phyllis Stern

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Free Ida Nudel!

Lilith launches a Women's Appeal to Raissa Gorbachev for the release of longtime refusenik and human rights activist Ida Nudel, isolated in the town of Bendery, Moldavia after four brutal years of Siberian exile.

Comedy and Consciousness

by Celia Weisman

Can thinking women find anything to identify with in the persona of the abrasive late-night comic with the misogynist barbs?

Funny and Feminist Too

by Judy Rosenfeld

Two Jewish comediennes use humor to fight stereotypes—and still get laughs.

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She Fought Back – An Interview with Vilna Partisan Vitke Kempner

by Aviva Cantor

The woman who carried out the first known act of Jewish sabotage against the Nazis talks with LILITH about what it was like to be a woman in the Resistance in the ghetto and forest, her relationships with male and female comrades, and the special role women took in the movement.

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Lifting The Yoke

by Gila Berkowitz

Thousands of women came to Jerusalem in December to express their views on how the Jewish legal system oppresses them, and to call for action. But were the male rabbis, who have the power to change things, really listening?

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by Tzipporah Ben Avraham

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