Jewish Women of Words

Recent Articles

  • Because we are Jewish
    We gather around the Shabbat candles. My fourteen-year-old daughter holds T, who’s almost four. I motion for her to take one step back. I’m worried that T is still too close. I light the first candle and T immediately begins to sing “Happy Birthday” in Cantonese as she tries desperately to blow out the candles between breaths. Instinctively, my fourteen-year-old takes a few more steps backwards. T struggles. She is determined to blow out the candles. I point... Read more »
  • We Moved to Neverland
    I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability — to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It feels like this: When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans… the Coliseum, the Sistine Chapel, Gondolas. You may... Read more »
  • Five Feminist Principles to Strengthen Jewish Organizations Today
    In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, countless women have come forward to share their accounts of harassment, sexual assault, and abuse at the hands of powerful men in nearly every industry. As our Facebook feeds swelled with #MeToo stories, we were sorely reminded of the ways in which all institutions – including Jewish ones – tolerate sexism and misogyny in day-to-day interactions. Most of the testimonials we’ve heard are not as severe as... Read more »
  • Alternative Justice
    ‘Can I get a Clinic update please?’ ‘Sure Judge. Mr Smith* tested positive for opiates and cocaine today. He attended four out of five treatment sessions last week. Mr Smith tested positive for opiates and cocaine in those sessions.’ A silence engulfed the courtroom. ‘Can you come up to the bench Mr Smith?’ Mr Smith approached tentatively, looking vulnerable and ashamed. I thought to myself, ‘surely this time the Judge will not find anything positive to say to poor... Read more »
  • Everything He Loved
    Never before I have felt so loved, comforted and secure. I always felt so lucky to be a part of the Jewish community and have embraced the opportunities it provides. But, over the past two weeks I have felt more connected to the community than ever before. In the past I always took our community for granted, never really thinking about it properly, I always thought “yeah I’m part of the Jewish community, it’s great... Read more »
  • Living with Epilepsy
    I live with one of the most unpredictable conditions in the medical world – Epilepsy. I’ve encountered four stages over the last thirty years attempting to live it:  Avoidance, Denial, Rebellion and finally, finally, actually not fully there yet but….Acceptance. When I was fourteen, my parents got divorced. Back in the 80’s this wasn’t a very common thing in the bubble world in which I was living. I think I knew one other person who had... Read more »