Sisterhood Blog

Bat Mitzvah Confessionals

By Elissa Strauss

istock

When we talk about bat mitzvahs, we tend to focus on the more absurdist elements of the day, like our regrettable sartorial choices and tales of general teenage awkwardness. We get so caught up in the puffy sleeved pink skirt suits and the fact that Ron Greenberg decided to do “Love Shack” in the karaoke booth with Jessica even though you asked him first, that we fail to consider how truly progressive this ceremony once was.

The bat mitzvah was a major achievement for early Jewish feminists who, caught up the fervor of the suffragette victory of 1922, decided to claim the right of passage as their own. Now, in light of bat mitzvah’s 90th anniversary, the JCC in Manhattan is hosting an exhibit about ceremony, as well as a concert and performance this Thursday night dedicated to the ceremony.

The show is headlined by Girls in Trouble, led by singer/songwriter Alicia Jo Rabins, and will feature performances by comedian Judy Gold, performance artist Glenn Marla, writer Deborah Feldman, and actress Sam Mozes.

The Sisterhood spoke with these women about their sometimes funny, sometimes boring, and sometimes empowering experiences up on the bima. Feel free to share your bat mitzvah story in the comments section below.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Sam Mozes, Judy Gold, Bat Mitzvah, Deborah Feldman, Glenn Marla, Alicia Jo Rabins

Video: '3 Alicias 3'

By Gabrielle Birkner

For those of you weren’t there to hear the breathtaking performances by poet Alicia Ostriker, klezmer fiddler Alicia Svigals and violin-wielding songstress Alicia Jo Rabins — who played solo and as a trio at the yesterday’s Forward-sponsored “3 Alicias 3” — here’s a taste of what you missed:

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Alicia Ostriker, Alicia Jo Rabins, Alicia Svigals

Alicia-Fest Is Around the Corner

By Gabrielle Birkner

Free tickets are still available for “3 Alicias 3” — an evening of performances by composer and klezmer fiddler Alicia Svigals, poet and critic Alicia Ostriker and singer, songwriter and violinist Alicia Jo Rabins, who plays with the bands Golem and Girls in Trouble.

The Forward is sponsoring “3 Alicias 3,” alongside Manhattan’s Sixth Street Synagogue, where the event will be held at 7 p.m. on August 24. The artists will perform solo and as a trio; they’ll also participate in a panel discussion on Jewish women in the arts, and the relationship between poetry and song. For more information, click here.

The first 10 Sisterhood readers to email me get in free; otherwise, the cover is $8.

P.S. - I’ll be bartending.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Alicia Jo Rabins, Alicia Ostriker, Alicia Svigals

Join Us for Alicia-Fest

By Nate Lavey

On August 24, the Forward and the Sixth Street Synagogue will present three accomplished Jewish artists — all named Alicia — whose work extends across generations and genres. The event, called “3 Alicias 3,” will feature:

Alicia Svigals
Svigals is a virtuosic klezmer fiddler, who was a founder of the Klezmatics and the band Mikveh. Svigals is a native New Yorker, who studied with the legendary Leon Schwartz. She has been called “the greatest living exponent of the klezmer fiddle.”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Alicia Jo Rabins, Alicia Svigals, Alicia Ostriker




Find us on Facebook!
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.