Sisterhood Blog

Digest: Yanklowitz on Feminism, and the Fruit of Egalitarian Marriages

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

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The Sisterhood Digest:

• It is a rare thing for a man to publicly identify as feminist and to advocate on behalf of equitable pay, women’s lay and professional leadership, and increased paid maternity leave at Jewish organizations, but in The New York Jewish Week, Shmuly Yanklowitz does just that. In his essay “Jewish Feminism Beyond Ritual,” the Yeshivat Chovevei Torah rabbinical student, Columbia University doctoral candidate, and founder and co-president of the Orthodox social justice organization Uri L’Tzedek, calls on Jewish women and men to broaden their perspective beyond new feminist rituals.

• Over at Tablet, Lee Smith profiles the controversial Obama advisor Dalia Mogahed, a pollster who is also an observant Muslim and the director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. She is the co-author called “Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think” — a book that set out to prove that the vast majority of the world’s Muslims are moderate by nature. But some say that Mogahed, a member of the President’s Advisory Council of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, underestimates the impact of Muslim extremism in her analysis of the population.

• Also on Tablet, in honor of Yom HaShoah, is a profile of Holocaust survivor Sonya Gorodinsky Oshman from Novogrudek, Poland. She survived bombings, round-ups, imprisonment by Nazis and, in 1943, made it through a hand-dug 700-foot-long tunnel from the ghetto to join the Bielski brothers.

• On the domestic front, this article from a New York Times’ parenting blog, “Motherlode,” is for all those mameles, who occasionally let slip a choice demand like “shut up.” It’s about one mother’s struggle and ultimate liberation from the burden of fear of saying it to her child. The post’s best line: “to a work-at-home parent, sick kids on a school day can be akin to lighting one’s hair on fire, especially when your deadline is looming.” Tell it like it is, sister.

• Another story from this week’s Times is this story, about a study that shows that, despite the reality that in many homes both parents work long hours, we are actually spending more time with our children than parents did in generations past. It’s attributed not so much to changes in parenting styles, but to a change in marriage styles and the increase of more egalitarian marriages, which an expert in the piece calls “hedonic.” The best news in the story? This: “So where is the extra time coming from? Women, in particular, are spending less time cooking and cleaning their homes, while men are putting in fewer hours at the office.”

• On a less “hedonic” note, a senior paramedic with Magen David Adom was barred from entering the Jerusalem synagogue which had called for an ambulance, as reported by Ynet, because the paramedic is female.

• And the Orthodox newspaper The Jewish Press recently profiled blogger Aliza Hausman, a.k.a. “Jewminicana.” The profile of the Dominican-American-Latina-Jew-by-Choice generated some strongly negative comments on the Jewish Press Web site, which can be seen after the interview. Hausman talks a little about the experience on her blog here.


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