Shira, a (then) senior in high school, Bronfman Youth Fellow of ’09, co-leader of her school’s feminism club, writer, sister, and yoga-Jew (she had not yet aligned herself with a denomination, but regularly attended Kabbalat Shabbat at a Renewal synagogue where yoga classes are offered). She could easily go from being one of many feminists in my liberal New York City high school to being the token feminist in many a Jewish community. For years, she kept my passion for Judaism hidden or on the backburner because she could not reconcile it with her feminist values. She has now learned to embrace these two essential parts of her identity in exploring Jewish feminism.
Dina is a student, feminist, Jew (no denomination necessary), and fan of poetry, politics, and organic dairy products. She has grown up attending a pluralistic Jewish day school, where she has learned to both appreciate and question traditional Judaism. After a summer spent interning at the National Abortion Rights Action League, she became a recently awakened feminist. Today, she sees herself as a strongly self-identified Jewish teenage girl who occasionally goes to shul, consistently keeps up with a litany of feminist blogs, picks and chooses from the Mitzvot while maintaining a deep reverence for the traditions of Judaism, and belongs to a feminism that is much less scary than many men and women choose to believe.
WHAT? A blog written by young Jewish feminists as a place for people to explore what it means for two identities to collide and progress. We want this to be a place where anyone can come to learn, teach, and express an opinion. Topics range from exploring biblical women’s untold stories to inequities in Halacha to the successes Judaism has had in creating equal opportunities across denominations to the complexities and ambiguity surrounding gender roles in Judaism. With some reproductive rights and politics thrown in. Pretty simple, right?
WHERE? From the Rib resides here on WordPress, but hopefully also inspires dialogue on the streets, in synagogue, during seders, at the Shabbat table, in school, at work, and wherever else opinions are expressed.
WHEN? The issues we discuss range from topical to historical—from the discussion of an upcoming Jewish holiday to a special prayer. As for the posts themselves, check back at least every week for new thoughts, ramblings, and ideas!
WHY? Shira started this blog back in 2009 as her Bronfman Action Project—she saw it as a place to figure out how feminism, a guiding principle in her life, could mix with Judaism, something she had grown to face with a sense of skepticism. Dina, less skeptical about Judaism but equally interested in learning more about its relationship with feminism, joined a few weeks later, inspired by the idea that we, as young Jewish feminists, had something unique to add to the litany of Jewish and feminist blogs (some both) out there. Since then, Shira has left, but the reason we’re still here (including you, readers) remains the same: to discuss and debate issues related to feminism, Judaism, and the line, or lack thereof, between the two.
Send any questions, compliments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org