Monthly Archives: August 2016

Today is Women’s Equality Day–by Ayala Emmett

XMBBqEIa9Pl6k2a0Ga2rEg665kqNoVVWWZe-z6Z6-gGlVf0dgmdSTBKiGonXwVvpBjD38j0=s85Today, August 26, is a celebration of a long journey for women’s equality marked by the many who fought for it.

The list is long, but the thrust of the struggle for women’s rights began in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848. It witnessed Susan B. Anthony’s clarion call for women’s right to vote, which was finally granted in 1920. Women’s Equality Day was conceived by Representative Bella Abzug to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

images-129Abzug led the successful act in the U.S. Congress in 1971 to designate August 26 as Women’s Equality Day. read more

An Open Letter to My Republican Cousin Joel–by Lisa Klein

An Open Letter
An Open Letter

This is my response to a political email you sent me supporting Trump.

I must say that it astonishes me that any Jewish person, observant or not, could support Trump’s views. Only a short time ago in Germany, Italy and the Soviet union, demagogues arose who started out with Trump’s exact rhetoric. They demonized minorities of all sorts, including Jews and other ethnic groups, disabled people, LGBT, people of different political philosophies.

Have you seen the propaganda posters of Jews as vermin and thieves? Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini blamed Jews for the economic ills of the time. Those leaders also said, as Trump says daily that they were the only one who could save humanity. The logical conclusion for their policy of vilification was the Gulag and Auschwitz. read more

Heaven on Earth– by Molly McDonald

letter to the editor
letter to the editor

In your article, Keeping the Marriage and Splitting the Vote, you could not have hit it more on the head, if your pen so to speak, was a hammer!

Is there a biological imperative that demands this sort of power play we see between men and women, where men have to be in control? Yet, I do know personally a few, who call themselves feminists; I know them, and not all of them are gay. They see a natural equality and seem to be not at all interested in power and control but are interested in understanding and making the world a better place. Maybe they had better relationships with their mothers I don’t know. read more

Keeping the Marriage and Splitting the Vote—by Ayala Emmett

splitting the vote
splitting the vote

I did not pay much attention to the intertwining of love and voting, until I had a conversation with some friends, working class women.

I was aware that research indicated that in 2016 working class white men tended to vote for Trump, yet he was losing working class women. I have not however, explored or questioned the domestic dynamics of husband and wife who split their votes.

I have known this group of women friends for a number of years; they are all remarkably hardworking, often holding two or three jobs. I have been meeting with them quite frequently and we have shared personal stories and recipes, and exchanged holiday gifts; we mostly stayed away from politics. But in the last few months we have been talking about the rise of Trump in the political arena. read more

How will we Mourn Our Mother Earth?–by Deborah Kornfeld

images-9The destruction of Jerusalem as remembered by Jews all over the world on the 9th of Av is somber and dramatic. Unlike the mourning practices for bereaved individuals which starts with intense mourning and morphs slowly into a new reality, mourning for the holy temple and city of Jerusalem grows in intensity.

As the three weeks before Tisha B’av commence we refrain from merriment, live music , haircuts and weddings, in the nine days we don’t eat meat or swim and we begin to neglect ourselves and then on ninth of Av itself we sit on the floor, read the vivid description of the destruction of Jerusalem in the book of Lamentations, rejecting food, drink, and the comfort of friendship itself. read more

Letter to the Editor: White Privilege, Women Rabbis and Larger Issues of Equality—by Cathy Harris

th-1The recent Forward article, “Disturbing Sexist Trend in Interfaith Work” is not surprising, just disappointing. Our progressive congregations continue to push equality and respect across genders and racial and ethnic boundaries, but the many invisible privileges of white men can be an elusive target, so deeply woven as they are into our culture.

For a more concrete grasp of what this means, check out the full text of the classic essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh below. It’s a tough challenge. read more

Fighting for Social Justice, Ending the Occupation: Presentation Proposal– by Maya Haber

Presentation Topic: A recent Pew survey shows a distinct gap in thinking about Israel
between Israeli and American Jews. While four‐in‐ten Israeli Jews cite economic issues (inequality, rising housing costs, etc.) as the single biggest long‐term problem facing Israel (this number is higher among Arabs), when U.S. Jews were asked the
same question, almost none (1%) mentioned economic problems, and two‐thirds cited various security issues as the biggest long‐term problem facing Israel. read more