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In this issue: Gender rebellion in Yiddish film: check out Molly Picon’s cross-dressing roles, and why they made it to the screen. An altruistic mother adopts a Jewish war orphan, the first child survivor to make it to America.  The December Dilemma anew: Jewish boy, Mayflower girlfriend. Meet Rachel Felix, tragic Muse of the Comedie Francaise in the 1850s!

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The December Dilemma

by Sandell Morse

When her Jewish son’s May flower girlfriend draws him away from his tribe, the author suddenly wonders, "What was in my head when I hung up Christmas stockings for them when they were kids?" So what’s Nu? Our children, as always, are our best teachers.

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Gender Rebellion

by Eve Sicular

"Trouser roles" aren’t just the property of Marlene Deitrich and Julie Andrews. Read here about Molly Picon’s popular cross-dressing—-and what the droll, surprisingly subversive world of Yiddish film reveals. What’s gender anxiety got to do with Jewish anxiety? Lots.

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An Explosion of Jewish Women’s Popular Music

by Rahel Musleah

Why? How? When? And—most important—who? A journalist/ musician surveys the scene and gives us her 13 Best Picks of singers and composers. Susan Schnur interviews Musleah herself, descended from the renowned 18th century Chazzan of Baghdad. PLUS...An invaluable Resource Directory of EVERYTHING in folk/pop music that’s Jewish and female.

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Saving Dina

by Jean Shikman

"I may not have room in the apartment, but I have room in the heart." LILITH kicks off a new occasional column—-Altruists—-with an account of the adoption, 50 years ago, of a Jewish war orphan (the first child survivor to make it to America). Dina Rom’s courageous, empathic, working-class "Mom," Frieda Shikman, is still doing good deeds at 88.

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Frieda Shikman at 88

by Susan Schnur

Remembering the early years with Dina

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Rachel Felix: Europe’s first real theatrical star 1821-1858

by Rachel Kadish

Another Jewish foremother who needs reclaiming, Rachel Felix (1821-1858) was Europe's first real theatrical star. Proud of her Jewishness, written about by Charlotte Bronte, Virginia Woolf and Henry James, painted by Delacroix, she scandalized France (no easy feat) and redefined theater.

Spilling Out Wine: A New Wedding Blessing

by Deborah Eisenbach-Budner

A beautiful new wedding blessing, in English AND Hebrew, that (finally) fills the ethical bill. Clip, save, and fax immediately to your fave rabbi or cantor.

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