• Whoa! Guess who’s a regular mikveh-goer? “Blossom” star and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik. Makes sense: Her name means “water” in Hebrew. Read Jewcy’s recent Q&A with her here.
• A class action lawsuit was filed last week against Myriad Genetics. Myriad holds the patent to the breast and ovarian cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 — most prevalent in Ashkenazi Jewish women. Companies other than Myriad are precluded from testing for gene, thus making it impossible for women to seek a second opinion.
• Obama’s budget gets a mixed reaction National Council of Jewish Women. The organization approves of the defunding of abstinence-only education programs, but disapproves of the restrictions on federally funded abortions that the budget keeps in place.
• Jezebel weighs in on Rabbi Avi Weiss’s new training program for Orthodox women who want to become spiritual leaders.
• Youngstown State University in Ohio is has put out a call for academic papers for its March 2010 conference “The Jewish Woman and her Body.” The conference “will explore real and imagined constructions of the Jewish woman and her body,” according to Jewess.
• The mother of an accused Ecstasy smuggler suggests in this newspaper advertisement that by wearing skirts at least “four inches past the knee,” a sheytl that does not attract attention and shoes that do not make noise, women can help spring her son from the Japanese prison where he’s being held. Of the advertisement, blogger Elana Sztokman writes: “The very idea that a woman’s appearance (or now the SOUND of a woman’s body) can be construed as the cause of a person’s suffering is so sick.”
• Patti Stanger, the star of Bravo’s “The Millionaire Matchmaker” discusses her bias against curly hair, telling Los Angeles’s Jewish Journal, “If you want to keep it curly, go to Israel.”
A clip from her recent debate with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach can be seen below: