Tag Archives: Women’s Rights in Israel

Double Booked: Language matters

By Anat Hoffman

Hebrew is a language obsessed with sex. Every noun is either male or female and verbs and adjectives have to follow their example. The language allows sexism in places that normally seem innocent, but it is a subtle way of making women feel excluded. Nouns for professions normally have both a male and female forms, but for some reason we prefer to use the male form no matter who might be doing the job. Men never take a moment to think about how that would feel if the tables were turned.

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A 16-Year-Old’s Epiphany at the Western Wall

This post originally appeared at ReformJudaism.org

This past November, I traveled to Israel as part of a NFTY delegation team in honor of the 25thanniversary of the Women of the Wall. Today, nearly three months later, I still don’t know how to describe the trip in a way that will do it justice. How can I talk about the most impactful week of my life in just five minutes or 500 words? Although I can’t capture the whole trip in one sitting, I can describe the small but powerful moments that caused me to feel immense pride — and question my beliefs — in the hope that listeners will learn from my experiences and pass it on to educate others. Read more…

Gary Perlin

Visiting Beit Shemesh

Last month I visited Beit Shemesh, a city less than an hour’s drive from Jerusalem. We had read about some of the most noteworthy incidents there, such as when a young girl was spat on by an ultra-Orthodox extremist on her way to school. However, we could not imagine the enormity of the on-going challenge represented by the treatment of women in Beit Shemesh.

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Jerusalem of Snow

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Union for Reform Judaism’s 72nd Biennial.  I met new people, reconnected with old friends, attended interesting learning sessions and sang my heart out at Shabbat services with 4,500 other people–and I got to do it all in sunny San Diego, California.  It was amazing!   The only thing missing was snow.  My friends tell me I’ve got it all wrong, but I am Midwest girl at heart; having grown up in Chicago, spent my summers in Wisconsin and gone to university in St. Louis, I firmly believe that all December’s, January’s and February’s need snow.      Read more…

Women’s Issues at Home and Abroad at the URJ Biennial

Amidst the whirlwind of Biennial, three powerhouse women came together to discuss the challenges that women and girls face at home and around the world. In a fascinating panel moderated by Rabbi Marla J. Feldman, Executive Director of Women of Reform Judaism, Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center, Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America and Ruth Messinger, President of American Jewish World Service spoke about their work on a broad range of women’s issues in Israel, in the United States and internationally.

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Anat Hoffman

Update from Anat at the General Assembly

Last week, more than 3,500 people from 156 Jewish federations arrived in Jerusalem for the Jewish Federation of North America’s General Assembly.  Restaurants were crowded with many people for the first time eating hummus fit for human consumption. The Kotel was at the top of the agenda and it turned out to be a huge engine that carries behind it a multitude of religion and state issues.  Civil issues were central to the convention.  Entire panels were dedicated to who can marry and divorce in the Jewish state, insights into the Haredi world, and egalitarianism at the Kotel and in the Israeli public sphere.   Read more…

Women of the Wall at Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5774

Women of the Wall Celebrates 25 Years!

This past Monday, on Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5774, more than 800 worshippers gathered at the Western Wall to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Women of the Wall.   Women of the Wall holds a monthly prayer service on rosh chodesh (the start of each new month), and their mission is “to achieve the social and legal recognition of our right, as women, to wear prayer shawls, pray and read from the Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall.” Read more…

Women of the Wall 25th Anniversary

Women of the Wall 25th Anniversary: Why I’m Going to Israel

This article by Rabbi Kari Tuling originally appeared at the Reform Judaism blog on November 1, 2013

I am packing for Israel, after a long time away. Like nearly all Reform rabbis, I spent my first year of the rabbinical program in Jerusalem, learning firsthand what life is like in the Jewish state: beautiful, complicated, ordinary, and above all else, profoundly Jewish.

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