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Julie Rezmovic-Tonti, with Jessica Kirzane

Julie Rezmovic-Tonti teaches middle school Jewish history and serves as Outreach Coordinator at Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax, Virginia. She has a BA in Women's Studies from the University of Maryland and an MA in Jewish Studies from Siegal College. She also studied at Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo and the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.  She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with her husband, three children, typewriter, pottery wheel, and garden.

Chuppah

The Global Value of Peace in the Home

by Steph Black

Shalom bayit is the Jewish concept of peace in the home. It refers to the domestic harmony that comes with a solid partnership between spouses. When we work against domestic violence and spousal abuse, we uphold this Jewish value. And when our government turns away asylum seekers fleeing domestic violence, it violates a core Jewish tenet.

White Thin Bridesmaids Stock Photo

Size Matters

by Larisa Klebe

“We only carry sizes 1, 3 and 5. You could try Sears.”

We’ve all heard the saying, “it’s funny because it’s true,” and that certainly applies to this iconic quote from the movie Mean Girls. Even though the average woman in the US is a size 16, many clothing stores and companies have decided that if you’re not thin, you don’t deserve fashion

Topics: Feminism, Marriage
Anita Diamant With the Jewish Wedding Now

An Interview with Anita Diamant

by Leah Berkowitz

The latest edition, The Jewish Wedding Now, came out this month, and I was delighted to interview Diamant after hearing her speak to the Women’s Rabbinic Network at our biennial convention.

Rising Voices Fellow Aliza Abusch-Magder

Radical Feminist Idea: Independent Identity

by Aliza Abusch-Magder

Her struggles are relatable, and her story is compelling, giving hope that we too can break free from the patriarchy. By talking about her life with such brutal honesty, Liz Gilbert provides a cautionary tale for women about what happens when we define ourselves by our relationships with men. 

Topics: Feminism, Marriage, Film

Jessie Bernard

Sociologist Jessie Bernard anticipated feminist theory by discussing the differences between men’s and women’s experiences and arguing that quantitative studies did not accurately represent women’s stories.

Joyce Brothers

Joyce Brothers used her unlikely success as a game show contestant to launch her career as one of the best-known media psychologists in America.

Cheryl Moch

Long before gay marriage became a reality, Cheryl Moch dared to dream a gay marriage fairy tale.

Rachel Adler

As a theologian, a committed Jew, and a pioneer of the Jewish feminist movement, Rachel Adler challenged her religion from within.

Idit Klein

As executive director of Keshet, a non-profit dedicated to creating a welcoming and supportive Jewish community for GLBTQ Jews, Idit Klein built the organization into a national leader in making the Jewish community more inclusive.

Anna F. Solomon

Anna worked side by side with her husband. She ran Solomonville's store and the local hotel, all while raising their six children in a refined and cultured home in the midst of the desert southwest. Anna died in San Diego, California, in her late eighties on May 4, 1933.

Rachel Calof

Rachel first landed in New York. From there, she and Abraham journeyed to join his family already living on homesteads in North Dakota. They arrived in Devil's Lake in 1894. Rachel's memoir highlights her growing regard for her husband and her own struggle in adapting to the difficult conditions in which found herself. The early years were especially difficult—no privacy, extreme financial hardship, minimum fuel and food to get through the harsh winters.

Frieda Piepsch Sondland

A designer of haute couture, Frieda Sondland used her creative skills to survive the Holocaust. Born in Berlin, Germany in 1921, she married Gunther Sondland when she was sixteen and a half years old. When she was seventeen, and pregnant with her first child, Frieda and her parents were forced to leave Germany for South America. Frieda supported herself and her daughter by working as a clothing designer in Montevideo, Uruguay. Eight years later, Gunther joined them. Frieda and Gunther moved to Seattle in 1953 to reunite with Gunther’s family who had emigrated there after the war. In Seattle, Frieda worked in the alterations department for both John Doyle Bishop, and Frederick and Nelson until she and Gunther opened their dry cleaning and alterations business in West Seattle. In 1957, their son, Gordon, was born. Since arriving in the United States, Frieda has become a beloved and active member of Seattle’s Jewish community.

Missode Israel Piha

Born in Tishmay near the Isle of Rhodes, Greece where she was raised, Missode Piha spent her childhood in a tight-knit Sephardic family of which her father was Hazzan [cantor]. In 1928, she met and married her husband, Sam, an American visiting his family in Rhodes, and leaving her family behind, moved to the United States with him. First settling in Atlanta, Georgia, they moved to Seattle in 1932 where they raised four children and Missode became a beloved volunteer and member of Seattle’s Sephardic community and Congregation Ezra Bessaroth. Missode Piha died on October 17, 2003.

Alix Kates Shulman

The idea was simply this: that a woman and man should share equally the responsibillity for their household and children in every way...

Marge Piercy

The poems in The Art of Blessing the Day were written over a 20-year period.

Rivka Haut

While these attempts did much to increase knowledge about agunah agony, this unjust situation is still widespread.

Tamara Cohen

We knew that Jewish feminism needed to be suffused through all of Jewish practice so that it would be impossible to ignore.

Audrey and Jeff Cohen

What's In a Name: Audrey Cohen

by  Audrey Cohen

"You're changing your name? I'm surprised."
"Why are you surprised?"
"I don't know. You just seem like the kind of person who wouldn't."

I had this conversation with my friend Ben a few months before my wedding, after I mentioned that I was planning on taking my husband's last name. Presumably, what Ben meant when he said "the kind of person who wouldn't" was educated, career-oriented, politically progressive- someone for whom getting married was a pleasant parallel track to other goals instead of an ambition in and of itself. Apparently, it's difficult to believe that a woman with a career, who strongly believes in women's equality, would take her husband's name.

As we continue to develop our series on names, please let us know if you are interested in sharing your story.

Topics: Feminism, Marriage

Love, Marriage, and Names

by  Jordyn Rozensky

Being based in Boston, the Red Sox are a pretty big deal. I’m not a sports fan, but I get the allegiance.  (And, I get that that the Red Sox Nation is an important part of our city’s identity—feel free to ask me about the fireworks that kept me up late last night following the Red Sox World Series win.) Which is why I found a statement I heard at a wedding last weekend particularly illuminating.

The bride, a New Yorker and Yankees fan, was marrying a Boston Red Sox fan. During the toasts her sister shared, “it is easier for someone in our family to change their last name than to change their sports team.” Marriage and the decision to change, not change, hyphenate, combine, invent, or otherwise alter one’s last name is a controversial one.

Topics: Marriage
Mimi Garcia

What's In a Name: Mimi Garcia

by  Mimi Garcia

Ken and I talked about our names for a long time before we got married. He always said he wanted everyone in our new family to have the same last name—particularly when we had kids. And I would say, "Okay, you are always welcome to be a Garcia." I said that as a joke, but I really meant it. 

I've worked long and hard to create Mimi Garcia. I often joke, "It's a good brand and I've worked hard to make it. I don't want to change it." 

Topics: Marriage
Hannah White

The Power to Name Myself

by  Hannah Pearlman

Changing my name is a choice that I can make. I can keep my name if I want, or change it, or come up with something entirely different. By deciding to take my soon-to-be-husband’s last name, I am naming a particular moment in my life, my transition from single to married. I am changing my name, not because that is what I am expected to do, but because I am signaling a unified partnership, as we are both helpers to each other. Adam isn’t naming me, like the birds and the beasts. I am claiming the power to name myself.

Topics: Marriage, Motherhood

A Jones by Any Other (Married) Name

by  Abigail Jones

I recently got engaged, and despite the fact that my byline is short and simple, figuring out what to do about my last name will be tricky.

Topics: Marriage
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