Sisterhood Blog

'What Jewish Feminism Means to Me'

By Gabrielle Birkner and Debra Nussbaum Cohen

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What does it mean to be a Jewish feminist today?

That is the key question that we will explore in a new Sisterhood series, in which women and men, from across denominational, political and generational spectra, will write about the convergence, and in some cases the separation, of their Jewish and feminist identities.

The series, which coincides with Women’s History Month, will feature essays by “The Red Tent” author Anita Diamant, founding mother of Orthodox feminism Blu Greenberg, Rabbi David Ellenson, who heads the Reform movement’s rabbinical seminary, and The Atlantic’s Hanna Rosin.

The series begins next week with an entry by the writer Letty Cottin Pogrebin, a founding editor of Ms. Magazine. She juxtaposes the achievements of the women’s movement in general with those of Jewish feminism in particular. In the second entry, one of Cottin Pogrebin’s daughters, the author Abigail Pogrebin, discusses her own discomfort with the “Jewish feminist” label.

Other contributors will argue that Jewish feminism provides a model of empowerment for other marginalized groups within the community, that the movement is the sole means for addressing biased workplace practices within Jewish communal organizations, and that it is linked inextricably to home and family.

We encourage you to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below, and to email us at sisterhood@forward.com.

Debra Nussbaum Cohen is a Forward contributing editor, and a blogger for the Sisterhood.

Gabrielle Birkner is the Forward’s director of digital media, and edits the Sisterhood blog.


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