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In this issue: Rituals for healing after a mastectomy:  a prayer, a mikveh immersion and a women’s-group ceremony. In Marcia Falk’s alternative feminist prayer book, words you can utter with conviction.  Manya Shohat, the tough female visionary who really invented the kibbutz. Getting your Jewish marriage annulled by the Catholic church. Erica Jong on mothers, daughters and Jewish men.

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My First Days at Kheder

by Pauline Wengeroff, translated by Henny Wenkart

A vivid—-and rare—-autobiographical portrait of Jewish girls’ school days 165 years ago, at the dawning of the Enlightenment. Wengeroff’s story, according to scholar Shulamit Magnus, represents the first time a major epoch of Jewish history is refracted through a female lens. Plus...Susan Schnur on gendered Jewish history, telling us that loss characterized Jewish modernity for women—-but not for men.

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Getting Annulled

by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

What happens when the Catholic Church cancels out a Jewish-Jewish marriage? Here are the travails of Jewish women whose ex-husbands have decided to remarry Catholic women.

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A Foretaste of the Prayer Book to Come

by Rabbi Susan Schnur

The long-awaited new prayer book from the gifted poet and liturgist. Finally we have prayers and blessings we can utter with conviction—in English and (even more wonderful) in re-imagined and re-gendered Hebrew.

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A Special Section on Mastectomy

Breast cancer touches the lives of more and more Jewish women. Three new ceremonies that can help us through: a bris, a mikveh immersion, and a women's-group ritual.

  • What God Takes: Bris and Mastectomy by Leslie What
  • Mastectomy: Twelve Months After Surgery by Jerilyn Goodman
  • Helping a Friend through Breast Cancer: Our Experience by Bonnie Resnick, Margy Hirsch and Sara Hoppe
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Our (forgotten) Foremother: Manya Shohat (1880-1961)

by Shulamit Reinharz

Who was Manya Wilbusevitz Shohat, and why didn’t we know before this that she rode wild horses, smuggled arms to Russian revolutionaries, insisted on teaching Arabic to Zionists, and invented the kibbutz?

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Free-Associating

by Robin Epstein

A college student pays a call on the novelist who practically invented guilt-free sex, and talk to her about mothers, daughters and Jewish men.

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