Sisterhood Blog

Impact on Women of Israel's Violence Problem

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Kursat Bayhan
Photojournalist Lynsey Addario

Discussion of the exclusion of women from public spaces in Israel — its manifestations, its dangers and its possible remedies — has increased in recent weeks, with a different variation on the theme catching the media spotlight every few days.

Recently there has been increased focus on the issue of violence against women. First, Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat (who also heads the Ministerial Committee on the Status of Women) exclaimed during a heated cabinet debate, “Where there’s an exclusion of women, violence against women eventually grows.”

Walla published a related opinion piece by attorney Anat Tahon-Ashkenazi titled, “The Exclusion of Women From Security Issues Influences Their Security.” While much of the concern recently has been about gender segregation and the disappearance of women from advertising and signage, as well as on the paucity of women journalists (especially on television) presenting and analyzing news, she zeroed in on political leadership and decision-making.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Violence, Military, Israel, IDF

Holding Leaders Accountable for Kotel Violence Against Women

By Micah Kelber

These days, we’re hearing about more ultra-Orthodox men who are turning to increasingly hateful tactics to prevent women from praying as they wish on their side of the Western Wall’s mechitza. Recently, they hurled chairs over the divider, even before the women had a chance to begin their davening. Once the police were called, the chair-throwing stopped; two men were arrested.

But there are some things to follow up on:

1). How many women have to be physically hurt before the Ministry of Religion and the Chief Rabbinate say, unequivocally, that this is unacceptable? The Prime Minister needs to take an unambiguous stand against this violence.

2). It seems to me from the video that there were more than two men involved. What should happen to the men who participate in such incidents? They shouldn’t be allowed back.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Women of the Wall, Violence, Mechitza, Kotel, Chief Rabbinate

Women: Sit at Home or Risk Being Spat Upon

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

Years back, when the Lubavitcher rebbe was alive and I was covering various events connected with that movement, I was always pleasantly surprised when my job seemed to cancel out my gender.

For instance, at a gathering of thousands of Chabad emissaries, then held at a hall on Eastern Parkway across from the movement’s headquarters, instead of being kicked upstairs with the wives, I was led through a packed, black-jacketed male-only crowd to be introduced to bigwigs at the front. It was definitely not in keeping with that community’s practice of maintaining physical distance between women and men if they’re not immediate family members, but it didn’t seem to matter, because I was a journalist.

A female reporter for ABC News-Europe covering haredi rioting in Jerusalem over a parking lot opened on Shabbat was not so lucky.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Violence, Journalist, Jerusalem, Haredi

When Your Daughter Is Being Stalked Via Text

By Leah Berkenwald

Today I discovered the National Council for Jewish Women of Columbus, Ohio’s “Love Shouldn’t Hurt” community service project, which educates high school students about dating abuse and healthy relationships. The NCJW’s Love Shouldn’t Hurt committee, chaired by Nancy Eisenman, has reached over 1,800 students with their teen dating abuse lecture. The NCJW of Columbus, Ohio is working to pass a bill to require all schools to include educational programs about dating and relationship abuse in the high school curriculum. I applaud this initiative, and wish there were a similar bill on the floor of every state legislature.

Teen dating abuse is an issue dear to my heart after teaching in a high school last year and observing this kind of abuse on a daily basis. I think people are generally aware of physical abuse issues, and schools are quick to report bruises and other signs of violence. Harder to monitor, however, are signs of verbal, and electronic abusive behavior (depicted in the following television commercial):

I am sure most of us are familiar with this PSA about abuse via texting, but I am not sure most realize how realistic it unfortunately is. Texting simply provides another vehicle for the kind of verbal and psychological abuse that has always existed in unhealthy relationships, and it absolutely stuns me that there is no formal health education for teens on this subject.

Read more

Leah Berkenwald is the online communications specialist at the Jewish Women’s Archive, and a contributor to its Jewesses With Attitude blog, which will be cross-posting weekly with the Sisterhood.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Violence, Teenagers, NCJW, Domestic Abuse




Find us on Facebook!
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." 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.