On Being a Jewish Feminist
A Reader

Heschel, Susannah (ed.)
Publisher:  Schocken Books, New York, USA
Date Written:  01/01/1983
Year Published:  1983  
Pages:  288pp   ISBN:  0-8052-3837-9
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX16496

This collection explores the myths and images of women that delimit women's growth within Judaism.

Abstract:  Over the past decade, the Jewish woman's movement has wrought significant changes in Jewish life. Women rabbis have been ordained, feminist books and courses have appeared, and women have gained access to many areas of religious and secular life from which they had previously been excluded. Yet despite piecemeal concessions, Judaism remains a tradition in which the experience of males is the norm and women are seen as "outside and other."

Is it possible to be a Jew and a feminist? Yes, Heschel argues, if Judaism grows to include the feminine experience of being human. This collection of essays represents the most current thinking of feminists who are trying to stay within the Jewish community. The focus is on the kinds of attitudinal changes that would enable women to become partners in a genuinely shared tradition.

This book explores the myths and images of women that delimit women's growth within Judaism--myths about Jewish family life, mothering, Israeli women, and the religious experience of Jewish women. Included are essays on and by women who have attempted to move beyond stereotypes and have sought out directly the means to express their commitments as Jews and feminists.

On Being a Jewish Feminist demonstrates the ways in which feminist contributions to ritual, liturgy, and theology can revitalize Jewish life for all its adherents.

[From publishers]

Table of Contents:


Part One: Old myths and images
The Jew who wasn't there: Halakhah and the Jewish woman - Rachel Adler
The Jewish family: Looking for a usable past - Paula Hyman
The hungry Jewish mother - Erika Duncan
The Lilith question - Aviva Cantor
Marriages made in Heaven? Battered Jewish wives - Mimi Scarf
Israeli women: Three myths - Lesley Hazleton
Women-identified women in male-identified Judaism - Batya Bauman
Memories of an orthodox youth - Thena Kendall
A feminist path to Judaism - Gail Shulman

Part Two: Forging new identities
Notes toward finding the right question - Cynthia Ozick
Women and power in the Federation - Deborah E. Lipstadt
The Noah syndrome - Rosa Felsenburg Kaplan
Scenes from the life of a Jewish lesbian - Alice Bloch
Kaddish from the "wrong" side of the Mehitzah - Sara Reguer
Learning to chant the Torah: A first step - Arleen Stern
History, fiction, and the tradition: Creating a Jewish feminist poetic - Claire R. Satlof
And Deborah made ten - Deborah E. Lipstadt
Reactions to a woman rabbi - Laura Geller

Part Three: Creating a feminist theology of Judaism
The right question is theological - Judith Plaskow
Steps toward feminie imagery of deity in Jewish theology - Rita M. Gross
Bride, spouse, daughter: Images of the feminine in classical Jewish sources - Arthur Green
Feminist Judaism: Restoration of the moon - Arthur I. Waskow
The secret Jew: An oral tradition of women - Lynn Gottlieb
Spring cleaning ritual on the eve of Full Moon Nisan - Lynn Gottlieb


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