Femme Friday – Jewish American Heritage Observance

I just love the Heritage months! I started doing them last month with the Femme Friday/Arab American Heritage Month Crossover and plan to keep at it. There are just so may observances in each month it may get a little hectic. This month is both Haitian American Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month. I hate the idea of choosing but there is more than one Friday in a month and I’ve already highlighted my one and only Haitian American author (that I know I’ve read) a while back on one of my first Femme Fridays, simply titled FemmeFriday! and discussing Roxane Gay. I still couldn’t help using a quote this week from her that discusses her heritage.

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots - Deborah Feldman

Getting to the point of this week’s post, let’s talk about Deborah Feldman. I read her first book  Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots a while back. What I like about using this book for this post is that it directly addresses her Jewish and American heritages and the way they intertwine. It’s not the best portrayal of Jewish life in America, but there will be many points of view. This is just one. She followed it up with Exodus: A memoir about her life after Unorthodox. 


Women of the Wall: Claiming Sacred Ground at Judaism's Holy Site - Phyllis Chesler The struggle that is central to this book is not within American, but several of the women involved, as I recall, do live in American and are Jewish American.

The Women of the Wall “is a group of Jewish women from Israel and around the world who strive to achieve the right to wear prayer shawls, pray and read from the Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem, Israel.”

This book chronicles the beginning of their journey, for updates on their progress or to find a way to support them, visit their website here.

Yentl's Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism - Danya Ruttenberg,Susannah Heschel,Eve Rosenbaum,Ryiah Lilith,Karen “Chai” Levy,Ellen Friedrichs,Yiskah Rosenfeld,Ursula Katan,Emily Wages,Loolwa Khazzoom,Tobin Belzer,Billie Michele Mandel,Hanne Blank,Dalia Sofer,A.C. Hall,Jennifer Bleyer,Ophira Edut,HaviYentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism is a book I’d like to read. I only recently heard of it when I was looking for something else. I love that. There is a TTT topic that is “Books I picked on a whim” and I realized I couldn’t post about it because almost all my book are picked on a whim. The title is interesting or the cover is interesting or the name of the author is exotic. Anyway, to better explain this one, here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Thanks in large part to the struggles of their activist foremothers, today’s young Jewish women have a dizzying array of spiritual options. Yentl’s Revenge chronicles a range of experiences lived by an entire generation of women, from Judeo-pagan witches to young Orthodox mothers, from rabbis to sex educators. Contributors ponder Jewish transgenderdom, Jewish body image, Jewish punk, the stereotype of the Jewish American Princess, intermarriage, circumcision, faith, and intolerance. Essays include “Bubbe Got Back: Tales of a Jewish Caboose” by Ophira Edut, and “On Being a Jewish Feminist Valley Girl” by Tobin Belzer.

Doing the Reading Women of Color challenge is a part of getting me out of my comfort zone, just like Read Harder, and these books would count for that, if I read them this year. What books by Jewish American have you read and enjoyed? Do you plan on adding any to your TBR stack? 

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