Sisterhood Blog

Digest: When Is It Okay to Laugh at Jewish Women?

By Gabrielle Birkner

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The Sisterhood Digest:

• Haaretz profiles Tzvia Greenfield of Meretz, the first Haredi female Knesset member. Greenfield, a peace activist and mother of five, says she is troubled that Orthodox women today are expected to bear more children than they were in decades past: “Large families thirty years ago was six children; now there’s 13 or 14 — from one wife.”

• The new issue of 614 is all about Jewish women in comedy; it features an interview with Fran Drescher, and an essay by Sisterhood contributor Rebecca Honig Friedman, in which she opines on this question: “When is it OK to laugh at, or with, Jewish women?”

• MyJewishLearning is in search of a name for its soon-to-be-launched Web site geared toward parents of children ages 0-5. Email nameoursite@myjewishlearning.com with your ideas. The person who suggests the winning entry gets a $500 American Express gift card. That will buy you half of a Bugaboo stroller. Happy brainstorming!

• There’s good news for single Israeli women who conceived using donor sperm, and for divorcées and widows raising children on their own. Israel’s Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry has raised their stipends for day care, early childhood education and tutoring — benefits that are available to single mothers for three years after she returns to work.

• On Zeek, Jewish Renewal Rabbi Chaya Gusfield discusses why she embraces the moniker “lesbian rabbi.”

• The Los Angeles Times tells a heart-rending story of a Lubavitch woman who was severely disabled while giving birth to triplets four years ago. Now, her ex-husband is denying the woman visitation rights and is asking for child support, to be paid from her multimillion-dollar malpractice settlement.

• The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles has an absorbing Q&A with Ms. Magazine founder Gloria Steinem. In it, Steinem discusses the Superwoman myth that just won’t die, the destructive nature of female guilt and her own Jewish heritage. She even quotes from the “Book of Ruth.”

• Tablet weighs in on the rise of the female nerd.

• Over at Jewcy, Emily Goldsher writes a love letter, of sorts, to actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, whose “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” character she related to, as a young yeshiva day school student.

• Our incomparable Web producer (and Sisterhood contributor) Nadja Spiegelman is out with a new children’s book that makes learning science fun. “Zig and Wikki in Something Ate My Homework”(TOON Books) is geared towards kids ages 4–8, and contains all sorts of fascinating facts about the animal kingdom. We’re so kvelling.


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