Tag Archives: Women’s Rights
Passover in Hebrew, matzah, kiddush cup

The Other March Madness

Whether you observe Passover according to the strict rules of Jewish law, or you attend one family Seder, or whether your Passover observance is watching The Prince of Egypt, or whatever traditions, practices or customs you find meaningful, the weeks leading up to Passover (April 3-11, 2015) feel like a Jewish March Madness. Between planning Seders, cleaning your house of chametz or mentally preparing yourself for a week of matzah, there’s a lot to get done and it always feels like not enough time. Read more…

Rosie the Riveter

Not Enough: The Ongoing Fight for Women’s Liberation

As a kid, “Dayenu” was perhaps my favorite Jewish holiday song. It’s catchy, it’s upbeat, and, if you sing the full 15 verses, it goes on forever. With “Dayenu,” we express our thanks for the myriad miracles that took place at the time of the Exodus. We sing that each was so powerful that one alone would have been enough. Read more…

Keep Abortion Legal

Pursuing Choice in the States: The Current State(s) of Reproductive Rights

It seems like every day—if not several times a day—that I get an email update from one of our coalition partners or from one of my reproductive rights news alerts telling me that another state anti-choice bill has moved forward. Just this week, Ohio state legislators introduced a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks, one of several of its kind across the country; the Montana House of Representatives and an Idaho Senate committee passed a ban on abortion telemedicine, with dangerous implications for rural women who live too far from an abortion provider to consult a physician in person; and a Florida House committee advanced mandatory waiting period legislation, which would require patients to consult a physician at least 24 hours before having an abortion.

It can certainly be difficult to keep track of the frenzy of anti-choice legislation, especially as reproductive health victories these days are few and far between. (In a single, yet important victory among the slew of advances, a New Mexico Senate committee halted bills to increase abortion restrictions after the first trimester and to ban altogether abortions after 20 weeks.) What is most important to remember, however, is that each of these laws has real consequences for women and families living in that state. Read more…

Defend Women's Reproductive Rights

From Page to Practice: Reinterpreting the Helms Amendment

Since his inauguration in 2009, advocates for reproductive rights have been urging President Obama to reinterpret the Helms Amendment, which bans American foreign aid for abortion services in all circumstances. Though certainly not the only dangerous, anti-choice policy in U.S. law, Helms stands out as the lowest hanging fruit on these issues. This is especially the case because while most of these reproductive rights-related policies take the form of legislation and apply immediately individuals across the country, the Obama Administration administers the foreign aid that would be sent to clinics around the world. Thus, it is in the power of the executive branch to reinterpret the Helms Amendment, so that entities like USAID who oversee some of the granting process, will change the rules for grantees who offer reproductive health services. Read more…

The Right to Wear a Kippah in Israel: Why I’m on the ARZA Slate

I don’t remember the first time I skimmed my skull with a bobby pin and pushed a circle of knitted white cloth and strands of hair into its metal clasp. Wearing a kippah felt like a natural extension of the Jewish history I was learning and the Hebrew grammar and vocabulary that was quickly becoming the primary language through which I understood my surroundings. I was 15 years old, and I had chosen to study on Kibbutz Tzuba with Eisendrath International Exchange as a return to both my symbolic, spiritual home as diaspora Jew, and to my familial home, only miles away from the kibbutz where my father grew up and his parents and siblings still lived. I wanted to know, as I began to plan out my college career, if Israel would be my future home, if the army would be my intermediary step and if I would, perhaps, studying at Hebrew University  instead of an American university. Read more…

Employee denied pregnancy accommodations

Our Bodies, Our Bank Accounts: Pregnant Workers Accommodations and Economic Security

When we think of pregnant women in the workforce, the first thing that comes to mind is often maternity leave. But, maternity leave is just one piece of the complex puzzle of policies necessary to support working mothers and working families. Another critical piece of that puzzle are pregnancy accommodations—necessary to ensure that pregnant workers can keep working to support themselves and their families throughout the duration of their pregnancy. Read more…

International Women's Day

L’Taken Student Lobbies to End to Violence Against Women

Over the course of six L’Taken seminars this winter, I had the opportunity to work with inspiring groups of teen advocates dedicated to ending violence against women. At the final seminar of this season, Sasha Halpern, from Temple Brith Achim in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, connected Jewish values to a powerful personal story to implore her Senators and Representatives to support the International Violence Against Women Act: Read more…

Civil Rights

‘Make it Happen’ on International Women’s Day and Bloody Sunday

By Marla Feldman

A version of this post originally appeared on WRJ Blog.

March 7, 2015 marks the commemoration of Bloody Sunday – that day in Selma, AL 50 years ago that is seared into our visual memory, even for those who were not there or not even alive at that time. Hundreds of civil rights activists standing toe to toe with hostile state troopers wielding billy clubs and an angry mob ready to attack. Like Moses standing before Pharoah, they choked down their fears and dared to ‘speak truth to power.’

Many heroes joined Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Edmund Pettus Bridge that day and throughout the struggle for civil rights. Our nation’s soul owes them a debt of gratitude: the freedom riders who risked their lives in the cause of justice; the students who faced gauntlets of hatred for the right to go to school; the men and women who sat together at lunch counters; the lawyers who defended them and challenged unjust laws; the clergy who spoke truth from the pulpits of churches and synagogues despite bomb threats and arson; and the politicians who, finally, heard their pleas and changed their hearts. Read more…

<