I’m on a mission from G-d. (Only half joking, folks.)

Another writing gig landed at my feet, and it connects to the theme of the last article I published: female leadership in the Orthodox community. Meanwhile, half the things I’ve read in the last couple weeks seem to touch on the topic of leadership. I feel like G-d is sending me a little message: WRITE ABOUT THIS.

I wrote about feminism in the Jewish context a while back, in the form of a personal essay. I’ve wanted to write more about the particular spin I have on feminism for a while – a spin that has made me unpopular with some readers and a bit of a heroine with others. Unfortunately, Continue reading

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Orthodox Women Talk: Roundtable about media consumption

OWTHi, everyone! I know I pretty much never post twice in a day, but I’m hosting this month’s Orthodox Women Talk. Our panelists include:

  • Tali Simon
  • Melissa Amster
  • Ruchi Koval
  • Rivki Silver
  • Keshet Starr
  • Estee Lavitt
  • and yours truly.

This month’s question is this:

How much do you engage in popular music, movies and other forms of entertainment? What factors have contributed to that choice?

Wow! We’ve got a lot of variety in responses. Let’s see what our roundtable panelists have to say... Continue reading

This week’s edition of Orthodox Women Talk visits Melissa Amster’s blog

Would you like to hear the perspectives of seven different female Jewish bloggers about haircovering? Melissa Amster, the Merryland Girl, is hosting Orthodox Women Talk today, and we’ve got plenty different opinions represented: from those who cover, those who don’t, those who found it challenging to get used to, and those who love it. We have women who wear wigs, scarves, and everything in between.

Care to check it out? Read here.

Visiting “This Way to Eden” today for the Orthodox Women’s Roundtable!

Want to know what Orthodox women think about? Today I am appearing with several other amazing bloggers on the latest round of “Orthodox Women Talk.” We’re answering a reader’s question about integrating spirituality into every day life.orthodoxwomentalk

You can find the post here, and don’t forget to leave comments or even ask a question for the next round.

Have you seen my review of Miriam Kosman’s new book about Jewish feminism in this week’s Jewish Home L.A.?

This week’s Jewish Home L.A. contains my review of Circle, Arrow, Spiral: Exploring Gender in Judaismrecently published by Mekor Press and distributed by Menucha Publishers. 

Jewish book on feminism

Miriam Kosman’s outstanding new book about gender within Judaism

Miriam Kosman‘s new book appears at a pivotal point in Jewish history. The role of women in Judaism has dominated the headlines of Jewish media outlets in recent years. Usually, Hareidim are made out to be the bad guys: according to most writers, Hareidi men bully women, look down on us, and short change us in any way humanly possible.

For someone like me — a feminist who willingly joined the ranks of those observant Jews who lean to the right — this kind of “news” makes us want to bang our heads into the wall in frustration. Not only do we perceive the Jewish world differently, many of us chose Orthodoxy in some part because mainstream feminism had failed us. Frankly, we felt more supported and appreciated as human beings, as Jews, and as women within our new community than we did in in our former, non-Orthodox world. We feel respected by the vast majority of Hareidi men, including by our husbands, sons, and rabbis. And while we do see plenty of areas in which our community can and should improve, many of the issues targeted by reporters and crusaders hold completely different meanings for us than for secular people.

Many of the recent books about Judaism written by Modern Orthodox authors have compounded the problem. They report on our world as outsiders (sometimes trumpeting all along how because they are, loosely-speaking, “Orthodox” they therefore have an insider view), and often articulate outrage while playing fast and loose with facts. Yet, until now, few books for the English speaking world have expressed the genuine insider perspective as to why Orthodox women don’t participate in many time-bound positive commandments, are excluded from certain communal rules, and so on. 

Miriam Kosman‘s new book remedies that. Continue reading

Visiting elsewhere today for the Orthodox Women Talk roundtable

Rivki Silver from Life in the Married Lane organized a Jewish women’s roundtable, Orthodox Women Talk. Today’s topic is how to deal with long services in synagogue when you may or may not understand the language. 7 bloggers — including me — give responses over at this week’s host’s, Keshet Starr’s, blog. I found myself agreeing with a lot of what the other women said (okay, pretty much all of it). One of the things that I liked most was that the women selected reflect different stages of life and different backgrounds. Check it out. (If you’re so inclined…)