seder plate

Why Is There an Orange on the Seder Plate?

As a kid, my mother taught us to put an orange on the seder plate as an act of feminism. Around that same time, she gave me a hot pink T-shirt with rainbow sparkle letters that read, “Anything boys can do, girls can do better.” It was the ’80s and my passions for girl power, […]

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3 Reasons Why Mary Tyler Moore Was a Feminist Icon

By Joanna Valente TV icon and women’s rights advocate Mary Tyler Moore, who was in an interfaith marriage, died today after being hospitalized in Connecticut. She was 80 years old. Her representative, Mara Buxbaum, told the Huffington Post in a statement: “Today, beloved icon, Mary Tyler Moore, passed away at the age of 80 in the company of […]

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Surprise! It's a Rabbi!

In the days after our engagement, we began to imagine our wedding. I had thought about a possible future wedding many times in the past, but the realness of that imagined wedding became heightened by our official engagement. Distant ideas like, “getting married outside might be nice,” were suddenly translated into Google searches for “outdoor […]

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Do Today’s Women Understand What/Who Came Before Us?

The first week of September I was privileged to introduce a discussion at Brandeis University between Anita Hill and Letty Cottin Pogrebin about faith, feminism and race. The discussion was framed by Pogrebin’s new book, Single Jewish Male Seeking Soul Mate. Without ruining the book for those who haven’t picked it up yet, the main […]

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Faith, Race, Feminism and the Ties that Bind

Zach Levy, the left-leaning son of Holocaust survivors, promises his mother on her deathbed that he will marry within the tribe and raise Jewish children. When he falls for Cleo Scott, an African American activist grappling with her own inherited trauma, he must reconcile his old vow to the family he loves with the present […]

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Raising Strong Girls, Telling the Purim (and Passover) Stories

Before I had daughters, I had a pretty clear idea of how I wanted to raise them.  I had been raised with what I considered exceptional feminist ideals, and I planned to do a knock-out job of solidifying my future daughters’ self-image as strong, powerful human beings who could do anything they wanted, for whom […]

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It’s Time to Dispel the Urban Legend of the Orange on the Seder Plate

If you, like me, are past the age of 40, you may remember years ago hearing the claim that Little Mikey of LIFE cereal fame died from the explosive effects of mixing Pop Rocks candy with soda pop. Or you may have heard that children’s television show host Mr. Rogers (Fred Rodgers) always wore long-sleeved […]

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Gender Equality in Wedding Planning

Last weekend, entering the meeting with our florist, my fiancé, my mother and father and I had the distinct impression it may have been the first time a groom entered this sacred bridal territory, as though he were alien to this particular planet. We’re five weeks out from our wedding. Life is truly insane. If […]

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Welcome to Exodus!

This is kind of exciting: we start a new (secular) year on the calendar and start a new book of the Bible, Exodus or Sh’mot which in Hebrew means “[These Are the] Names,” taken from the opening phrase of the book. The book begins with a very short history of how the Children of Israel […]

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Profile: Novelist and Poet Marge Piercy

Profile of Marge Piercy, a Jewish Renewal writer and poet whose most recent works are featured in The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems With a Jewish Theme.

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