Sisterhood Blog

Assessing Problems of Women’s Status in Israel

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

Nearly every month, it seems, there is troubling news relating to the status of women in Israel. Late last year it was women forced to sit at the back of public busses, and then Haredim attacking schoolgirls in Beit Shemesh for being insufficiently modest. In October the leader of Women of the Wall was arrested and allegedly mistreated by police for leading others in prayer at the Kotel. And recently, according to the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, Knesset candidate Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan declared that the agunah issue is caused by women’s groups trying to besmirch the rabbinical courts, rather than by husbands who refuse to divorce their estranged wives.

JOFA brought together some of the women involved in confronting these issues, both in the U.S. and Israel, for a roundtable discussion on November 28 in midtown Manhattan.

Israeli feminist leaders Hannah Kehat, founder and executive director of Kolech: Religious Women’s Forum and Susan Weiss, founder and executive director of The Center for Women’s Justice participated, along with Americans Nancy Kaufman, director of the National Council of Jewish Women; JOFA founder Blu Greenberg and Forward Editor-in-Chief Jane Eisner.

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Prime Ribs: Is the Yeshiva Girl Fall Fashion's Muse?

By Gabrielle Birkner

Fall fashion may be drawing inspiration from an unlikely source: yeshiva girls.


Forbes has released its list of the 100 most powerful women in the world — and a Jewish woman has the No. 2 slot. That would be Irene Rosenberg, the CEO of Kraft Foods — makers of Cheez Whiz, Kool-Aid, Velveeta, Chips Ahoy and Ritz Crackers, among many other food products. Check out the Forbes list in its entirety here.


Miri Cohen, a professor who researches the different ways that Jewish and Arab Israeli women deal with breast cancer, said that many Arab women still feel the need to hide their illness, which is often perceived as a death sentence in their communities. Haaretz has this Q&A with Professor Cohen.

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