Jewfem Blog

Episode 30: Women in Israeli Politics: An Election Primer


On April 9, Israeli voters head to the polls. In this chaotic and potentially momentous election, the headlines are mostly focused on political maneuvering and corruption scandals in the top-ranks of the male-dominated political parties. But in this election, more Israeli women are running for Knesset than ever before, and they're speaking out abou...

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Don’t use ‘anti-Semitism’ to protect sexual abusers

The New York Times report about megadonor Michael Steinhardt's history of sexual harassment should come as no surprise to anyone following the #metoo movement or the excellent reporting of Hannah Dreyfus. The Jewish Week published an investigative story by Dreyfus about Steinhardt last year, although there was very little tangible fallout from the ...

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Back-to-back Israeli holidays are exhausting – and emotionally manipulative

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Wednesday night was one of the hardest nights on the Israeli calendar. In that hazy space between sunset and nightfall, Israel transitioned from the intense pain of Yom Hazikaron, Memorial Day, to the uninhibited joy of Yom Ha'atzmaut, Independence Day. It's an evocative, jarring and charged transition. After a full day or more of ...

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Dynamics of the Jewish Patriarchy

Dynamics of the Jewish Patriarchy

I made an infographic on "Dynamics of the Jewish Patriarchy" for the current Journal of the Association of Jewish Studies (AJS). With the help of super-talented graphic designer Shoshana Balofsky.  A few disclaimers: It obviously does not exhaust every aspect of the patriarchy, nor does it go into intersectional aspects of the patriarchy ...

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Parshat Zachor: On memory, Miriam, and the capacity for empathy

I walked to shul this morning in the rain and hail. As I was futilely trying to keep my layers of clothing dry, thinking about the 49 people killed in mosques in New Zealand yesterday, thinking about the overall state of the world, I was recalling the shabbatot of my childhood in Flatbush, where certain weeks we had to go to synagogue no matte...

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Simply Love: Launching our new political party in Israel


This morning I have thrilling news: We are excited to invite you to an event launching the new Israeli political party, Simply Love (פשוט אהבה Pashut Ahava in Hebrew, ببساطة محبة Bibisataten Mihabeten in Arabic). This multicultural party, comprised of women and men across the spectrum of Israeli society, has a unique platform built on values o...

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Yes, the art of the sexual predator IS affected by his attitude towards women

The article by Linda Bloodworth Thomason -- the brilliant creator of the 1980s sitcom, Designing Women -- about her harassment by Len Moonves of CBS, sheds light on the connections between a man's attitude towards women and the work he creates in the world.  Moonves sexually harassed lots of women. And in the meantime was in charge o...

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Rosh Hashana 5779: What is the sound of the universe?


Below is the text of the talk I will be giving tomorrow, first day of Rosh Hashana, right before the shofar blowing, at Kehilat Renana in Modi'in: We are about to do something strange. We are going to abandon the prayerbook, the verbiage, all the texts that the Jewish people have preserved for many generations, we are going to put that all aside an...

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MY wishes for 5779

My wishes for the year 5779: * Massive political changes: turning the US Congress blue, and getting a new prime minister and coalition in Israel.... * The restoration of hope and optimism * That the cultures of hate will be overpowered by cultures and practices of compassion, empathy, and kindness * that the women (and men!) who have suffered from ...

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Parashat Ki Tetze: The Beautiful Woman in Captivity and other stories where the men forget to ask the women about our experiences

 Dvar Torah by Elana Sztokman, 25-8-2018, Minyan Renana, Modi'in Parashat Ki Tetze is the Torah portion (parasha) that is most packed with no less than 74 commandments between men – or to be more precise, commandments between men and other men, or between men and the women who didn't do anything to them. You might call this parasha, "When you ...

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