Jewfem Blog

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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Women Break Through in the Midterms

The women who were elected – unlike the people surrounding the Trump White House and the radical Right – are not calling for violence, bigotry or hatred. Three women were elected to Congress who have some right-wing Jews shaking in their boots as if having Palestinian or Muslim women speaking their minds is the greatest threat to Israel's existence...

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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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אשת יפת תואר ועד מקומות שבהם שכחו לשאול את הנשים מה אנחנו חוות

       פרשת כי תצא: אשת יפת תואר דבר תורה של אילנה סטוקמן, 25-8-2018, מניין רננה, מודיעין פרשת כי תצא היא הפרשה הכי דחוסה עם לא פחות מ-74מצוות בין אדם לחברו – או ליתר דיוק מצוות בין גברים לגברים אחרים או בין גברים לנשים שלא עשו להם כלום. אפשר לקרוא לפרשה הזאת, "כשאתם עושים דברים איומים, תנסו להיות קצת פחות איומים." אני מגזימה טי...

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The pain of watching my fellow Jews fawn over trump

Jerusalem Post Op-Ed, June 21, 2018Since Trump took office, it has been difficult for me to be an American-Israeli. Watching fellow Israelis and American-Israelis cheer for a man who has no moral compass or capacity for empathy has been chilling. Moreover, the realization that so many members of my tribe care more about soulless buildings – like, s...

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Rabbinical School Highlights

Some highlights from my year at HUC rabbinical school: * Every single Talmud class we had with the amazing Prof Ruhama Weiss, for whom "love" is not a catchphrase or platitude but an entire way of life, whose classroom is freeing and healing -- in the Paulo Freire sense of freeing --  freedom and compassion in action. * When Debi Shoua-Haim conducted the entire prayer service in the female form, with God as "she" and the prayer as "she"....using some amazing texts written also by Rabbi Stacey Blank ... Wow, so much healing * When Osnat Eldar dedicated the entire prayer service to #MeToo * When Yael Vergan did an entire service in sign-language * The time we had a Friday night tefilla on the roof of Rabbi Naamah Kelman's house in Jerusalem * Hearing talks from amazing women, like Rabbi Yael Karrie, Orly Erez-Likhovski, Rabbanit Devorah Evron, and many others. * Learning liturgy with the amazing Professor Dalia Marx * Learning gender in bible with the amazing Dr. Lea Mazor * When Dr. Judith Rosenbaum came to visit and talked about gender, Judaism, and history * Getting to play piano to accompany the tefilla * Getting to know so many interesting students from many different sectors of Israeli society. Listening to their sermons, watching them create beautiful prayer experiences. Having some beautiful, real conversations about life, God, and the world..... #gratitude #rabbinicalschool

My daughter Meital in JGirls Magazine on her trip to India

My daughter Meital wrote an article about her trip to India last year that is featured in the amazing JGirls Magazine. Thank you Elizabeth Mandel for the beautiful work you do!! <3   By Meital Sztokman423   Last year I got a huge surprise: I was going to fly to India with my parents! My father told me just a few days before our trip, and I was so excited that I couldn’t focus on school. My father runs an NGO in India called Gabriel Project Mumbai, and for the past two years, I’ve been begging him to let me volunteer with them.