Women's Liberation and Jewish Feminism after 1968: Multiple Pathways to Gender Equality.
In acknowledging our debt to these women, we must also credit the second-wave feminist activists whose pioneering movement allowed Jewish feminists to situate their own rebellions. Many of these women liberationists of the second wave--or radical feminists, as they were also called--were Jewish, although they did not often claim their identities publicly. But they are a significant part of the ferment that set the Jewish counterculture in motion. While women liberationists did not specifically rebel against the Jewish patriarchy, their connections to Jewish values helped to shape the legacies of "the Jewish 1968" by enabling the gender revolution that profoundly transformed American life.
Radical feminists helped to provide the theoretical underpinnings and models for radical action that were seized upon and imitated throughout this country and abroad. Their articles and books became classics of the movement, and led the way into new cultural and political understanding in academe, politics, and grassroots organizing. Even a partial honor roll of Jewish women's liberation pioneers needs to include such figures as Shulamith Firestone, Ellen Willis, Robin Morgan, Alix Kates Shulman, Naomi Weisstein, Heather Booth, Susan Brownmiller, Marilyn Webb, Meredith Tax, Andrea Dworkin, Linda Gordon, Ellen DuBois, Ann Snitow, Marge Piercy, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, and many others.
I consider the women's liberationists who were born Jewish (or who converted to Judaism) and the more Jewishly identified "Jewish feminists" as part of a continuum of Jewish activism and feminist rebellion, with different but sometimes coalescing roots and outcomes. Despite divergences, both groups of feminists helped to establish the "1968" legacies with which we still grapple. (1)
The women's movement acted as a crucible for change in society at large and also in the Jewish community, providing opportunities to channel values inherited from Jewish tradition, especially those promoting social justice and tikkun olam. For many women, feminism opened the door to activism by critiquing feelings of marginality that Jewish women had experienced growing up. Yet like the white women who went south on Freedom Rides in the 1960s, most radical feminists did not self-consciously identify as Jews. (2) At a time when the vision of a common sisterhood took primacy within the movement, the claims of any particular ethnic or religious group, especially one identified with white privilege, could not hold sway. Even when radical feminists acknowledged their Jewish roots in a manner that historian Matthew Frye Jacobson identifies as part of a wider ethnic revival, they refrained from explicitly asserting that ancestral inheritances drove the momentum for change. (3)
Movement activists especially held back from making such a connection. "Our identification with the outside world, in opposition to our parents' narrow ... views, was rebellious and progressive, a response against the broader society's divisions by ethnicity and religion," says Vivian Rothstein, a founder of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union (CWLU), "Why would we identify ourselves as Jews when we wanted to promote a vision of internationalism and interfaith and interracial solidarity?" "We identified as universalists," agrees Paula Doress-Worters of the Boston Women's Health Collective, "We were afraid of seeing ourselves as too driven by our particularities; it wouldn't have been proper to call ourselves radical Jews. But that is exactly what we were." (4)
As opposed to historians' acknowledgment of the salience of Jewish women in earlier social movements, their prominence within radical feminism has failed to attract much attention. General histories of second-wave feminism, including those by Sara Evans, Alice Echols, Ruth Rosen, and Susan Brownmiller, do not identify the contributions of Jewish women to the women's liberation movement. Similarly, Benita Roth's study of the racial/ethnic components of feminism does not accord a place to Jewish women. Nor does Winifred Breines' study of black and white women in second-wave feminism. Breines refers to many radical feminists who are Jewish, but the identification is not made and the category not explored. (5) The invisibility of Jewish women as general feminists is a problem within American Jewish history as well, according to David Hollinger, exemplifying the dominance of a "communalist" approach (related to events, persons and trends in the Jewish world) as opposed to "dispersionist" patterns (activities of Jews in the wider social and political world). Hollinger argues that enhanced attention to the Jewish demography of modern feminism would enrich narratives of American Jewish history and help to integrate them more fully into mainstream United States history. (6)
Jewish Women and the Women's Liberation Movement
Women's liberation can be distinguished from its predecessor, the more moderate, "equal rights" wing of second-wave feminism that developed in the early 1960s and which was manifest in groups like the National Organization for Women. The women's liberation movement, generally made up of younger women in their twenties, disdained liberal feminists' legalistic approaches as too accepting of the status quo, calling instead for a full restructuring of society and culture, including the abolition of normative gender roles and--for some leading radical feminists-of the family and gender itself. Organization profiles, strategies, and tactics also differed. Based in organizations like NOW and state commissions for equal rights, liberal feminists pursued such traditional forms of protest as lobbying, picketing, marches, and lawsuits. Women's liberationists joined more fluid, "amoeba'Mike consciousness-raising groups, creating theory that brought together the "personal and the political." (7) Although by the mid-1970s strategies and ideas of the two branches came to converge, different orientations remained, often across a generational divide.
Shulamith Firestone, a young Orthodox Jew from the Midwest, helped to initiate Chicago's West Side Group, considered the first women's liberation group in the United States, in 1967. Soon afterwards, she moved to New York City and organized three important groups in New York City with other collaborators. Firestone edited and wrote for the movement's influential newsletter, Notes from the First Year. In 1970, when she was only 25, she penned the bold theoretical work, The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution. In writer and movement participant Susan Brownmiller's words, Firestone was an "unidentified comet," a "studious, nearsighted yeshiva girl" who transformed herself into a "fearless dynamo ... consumed by a feminist vision." (8)
Firestone had been an architect of a major foundational event of the women's liberation movement. During a convention of the National Conference for New Politics, held in Chicago on Labor Day weekend, 1967, a women's caucus met for days, framing a minority report that called for free abortion and birth control, an overhaul of marriage, divorce, and property laws, and an end to sexual stereotyping in the media. But the conference chair refused to let Firestone and Jo Freeman, the women's caucus representatives, speak, "literally patting [Firestone] on the head" and telling her, "Cool down, little girl ... we have more important things to do here than talk about women's problems." "Shulie didn't cool down," Freeman reported, and "other women responded to our rage." Following this incident, Firestone and Freeman created the West Side Group. Two years later, that group helped organize the citywide CWLU, which became a model for 16 other socialist-feminist organizations in the United States and one of the longest lasting.
The year 1968 was formative for women's liberation, with important conferences held at Sandy Springs, Maryland, in August, and Lake Villa, Illinois, over Thanksgiving. Jewish women played prominent roles in both events, as they did in organizing the feminist action at the New Left's Counter-Inaugural in Washington, DC in January 1969. Firestone and Marilyn Webb, a graduate student and activist from Chicago were scheduled speakers, but again, New Left men were hostile to female leaders. When Marilyn Webb took the microphone, male participants began shouting and chanting. "Take it off! and Take her off the stage and fuck her!" The audience became even more "feral" when Firestone took the stage, with anti-war activist Dave Dellinger trying to "shut Shulie up." Ellen Willis witnessed the event. "If radical men can be so easily provoked into acting like rednecks," she asked, "what can we expect from others?" (9)
As women's liberation groups proliferated, many on the New Left remained hostile. The split between socialist-feminist "politicos," tied to the men of the New Left and their anti-capitalist vision, and "radical feminists," who wanted a women's movement independent of the New Left, did not dim the women's determination to find their voices and raise consciousness about the necessity for gender and sexual equality. Pioneering work was done by new organizations, including such groups as New York's Redstockings, created in February 1969; Boston's Bread and Roses, organized in May of that year, and the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, begun shortly after. As in Chicago's West Side Group, a significant number of women in these two Boston groups were Jewish.
My interviews with members of these and other radical feminist groups reveal that growing up Jewish during the years of the postwar feminine mystique significantly influenced these women's maturation into feminists. (10) In their youth and early adulthood, they encountered a variety of experiences and associations with Jewishness that profoundly affected their activism. These factors included Jewish religion or spirituality; Jewish values and ethics; the Holocaust; antisemitism; radical Jewish politics; the sense of being outsiders; and "cultural" or lifestyle Judaism. While the women saw themselves as part of a broader movement on the Left devoted to fighting sexism and creating new models of change, their links to the Jewish past shaped and motivated them. (11) But more often than not, these connections to Jewish values remained unacknowledged. In the early phases of the women's movement, claims of ethnic or religious particularism seemed to contradict the powerful pull of the ideology of gender universalism.
In years to come, in response to events in their own lives and the possibilities offered by a feminist-based Judaism or by Jewish progressive movements, some of these women found opportunities to engage the Jewish aspects of their identities more deliberately. For example, in New York, Shulamith Firestone embraced Jewish spirituality, attending some Jewish feminist gatherings. Heather Booth of Chicago's West Side Group and the CWLU co-founded Project Amos: The National Jewish Partnership for Social Justice. Various members of Boston's Bread and Roses and the Boston Women's Health Book Collective became engaged in synagogue life and in Jewish cultural and political projects. The growing focus on identity politics that arose in the late 1970s, followed by and blended with new ideas in the 1980s about multiculturalism, and in the 1990s, about intersectionality, provided increasing support for notions of multifaceted female identities that united components from class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality that women experienced simultaneously. (12) Like those of women from other ethnic and racial groups, we need to see the Jewish identities of women's liberationists and identified Jewish feminists as fluid and multi-layered rather than static.
Religious Jewish Feminists and the Movement for Radical Change
Beginning in 1968, self-consciously identified Jewish feminists developed out of several groups, among them, the North American Jewish Students Network, the Jewish Liberation Project, the Brooklyn Bridge and Chutzpah collectives, and the religiously-based Jewish women's group, Ezrat Nashim. As they endeavored to reform Jewish life to give women more equal representation, many of these groups were directly influenced by radical feminism. Yet they rejected a feminism that was devoid of religion or of ethnic, cultural identity. As Paula Hyman observed, "Jewishness was a fundamental aspect of their identity," transcending the constraints that traditional Judaism placed on them because of their gender. "They could not define themselves solely through their feminist ideology and affiliations." (13)
In the early years of their movement, identity politics tended to separate Jewish feminists from those in the Jewish community who saw the women's strong stance on gender issues as potentially threatening to Judaism. Yet these women received less opprobrium from within the Jewish community than women's liberationists who were perceived as eschewing Judaism entirely. Strongly attached to Judaism despite their critique of it, Jewish feminists were treated as "the loyal opposition," as Susan Dworkin wrote in an article in Moment in 1975. (14)
The efforts of religious Jewish women to meld feminist ideas with their Jewish identities could entail painful conflicts with families, friends, colleagues, and others in the Jewish community. (15) While many of these women participated in the Jewish counterculture that developed in the late 1960s, strains between their feminist beliefs and ideas and practices of men in their bavurot (independent prayer groups) were not unusual. (16) According to Martha Ackelsberg, a founder of Ezrat Nashim, there were important similarities between the "bonding characteristic of feminist experience and that of bavurot," but there were disagreements as well. Ackelsberg's story sheds light on the feminist impulse within the bavurab movement. (17) Raised in a Conservative, Zionist family, Ackelsberg graduated from Radcliffe College in 1968; the next month she married a Harvard graduate then in medical school in New York. After she started graduate school in political science at Princeton in the fall of 1968, she joined a consciousness-raising group with the girlfriends and wives of medical students. But the women were still doing the cooking and housework and "spent a lot of our time waiting for our husbands to come home." Together, they realized that "we didn't need to ... continue just sitting here talking about our lives. We need to do something.... Enough!" (18)
Ackelsberg and several women from the CR group started the New York Women's Health Collective. Here Ackelsberg engaged with the new women's liberation movement and honed her skills as agitator. She was also getting inspiration from anthologies like Robin Morgan's Sisterhood is Powerful and Vivian Gornick and Barbara Moran's Women in Sexist Society. "Everybody was devouring these things as they came out," Ackelsberg remembers, "it was just beginning, it was amazing." (19)
Two years after her 1968 awakening as a feminist, Ackelsberg joined the New York Havurah, seeking a holistic world where "the people you prayed with were the people you studied with, were the people you did politics with." It engaged in the same kind of radical rethinking and direct action as did her feminist community; each cross-fertilized the other. (20)
A "do it yourself" cooperative mentality was in the air. "You saw things that weren't working, and so you made something that would," Ackelsberg noted." (21) According to anthropologist Riv-Ellen Prell, the havurah movement was a way in which young Jews could articulate a new form of Judaism by refashioning "the nature of Jewish organizations in light of the aesthetics of the American counterculture." (22)
Within a year, Ackelsberg and a few friends had added a study group on women in Judaism to the havurah's sessions. The impetus for the study group had been a feminist "click" moment--or awakening--for Ackelsberg, who had been present at Shabbat morning services when in a discussion of the meaning of prayer, one man explained the emotional content of an uplifting spiritual experience as comparable to ejaculation. The analogy shocked Ackelsberg: where was she in his description? (23) Gathering a small group of women, most from outside the havurah, Ackelsberg and Dina Rosenfeld organized a weekly text study class to find the answer. (24) They gave themselves the name, "Ezrat Nashim," literally meaning "help for women," but also referring to an area of the ancient temple in Jerusalem that was reserved for women. (25)
A second "click" moment for Ackelsberg came after the women's study group had been meeting for about a year; again she instantly perceived how feminist perspectives about patriarchy described her own community. In the fall of 1971, men of the New York Havurah and Havurah Shalom of Somerville, Massachusetts met to discuss the future of the movement. Since this was a meeting of friends, they explained, no women were invited. Feeling the sting of exclusion, members of the New York women's study group came to Boston to meet with wives of male Havurah Shalom members and other women attached to the group. (26)
The Boston women urged the Ezrat Nashim women to go public with their efforts to foster gender equality. So encouraged, the New York group decided to attempt to present its concerns at the annual conference of Conservative rabbis in a Catskills hotel that winter, but were told that the agenda had already been set. "This being the sixties," Ackelsberg recalls, "we said the hell with that," and decided to go anyway. Xeroxing a few articles on women in Judaism and typing up a one-page "Jewish call for change," the "ten schlemiels" of Ezrat Nashim drove upstate to the Concord Hotel in Kiamesha Lake with their packets of materials. (27) The "storming" of the Rabbinical Assembly took place the next day. Denied a place on the agenda, the women held a counter-session to publicly air their far-reaching demands: that women should be granted membership in synagogues; be counted in the minyan and considered as bound to fulfill all mitzvot equally with men; be allowed full participation in religious observances; be recognized as witnesses before the law; be allowed to initiate divorce; and be permitted and encouraged to attend rabbinical and cantorial schools. (28) Their well-mannered protest unleashed a torrent of media interest and public enthusiasm, planting the seeds for a new Jewish feminism and making history.
Religious feminists worked with secular Jewish feminists on two conferences held at the McAlpin Hotel in New York City, each attracting hundreds of participants, in 1973 and 1974. For less-identified Jews, the conferences became a major "portal into Judaism," according to Blu Greenberg, who gave the keynote address in 1973. For more Jewishly-identified women, it deepened a resolve to bring together the Jewish and feminist aspects of their lives. For Greenberg herself, an Orthodox Jew, the conference was a pivotal event, transforming her life and spurring her to create a new Orthodox Jewish feminism. (29)
In addition to Greenberg's well-received address, a talk given by Judith Plaskow [Goldenberg], then finishing her doctorate in theology at Yale, electrified the delegates. Her words articulated the debt that Jewish feminists owed to women's liberation:
We are here because a secular movement for the liberation of women has made it imperative that we raise certain Jewish issues now, because we will not let ourselves be defined as Jewish women in ways in which we cannot allow ourselves to be defined as women. (30)
For Plaskow, 1968 had marked the beginnings of her awakening as a feminist, though not yet as a Jewish feminist. Plaskow entered Yale Divinity School that year as a doctoral student and joined the Women's Alliance, a consciousness-raising and protest group organized by graduate students. A turning point came when the Alliance held a conference on women's rights. The keynote speaker was Naomi Weisstein, a pioneer feminist from the Chicago Women's Liberation Union and founder of the Chicago Women's Liberation Rock Band, the first feminist rock band in the country. One of the founding Jewish members of the West Side group in Chicago, Weisstein was becoming known for her 1968 article, "Psychology Constructs the Female," which critiqued mainstream psychology for ignoring the social context of the female condition and neglecting empirical evidence. (31)
Plaskow recalled that "every single word" Weisstein uttered about her experience as a Harvard graduate student "described our experience at Yale: the condescension with which we were treated"; the preference given to men, how women shut the door on their own expectations. The critique was painful. "I had wanted to be a rabbi as a girl, and I married a rabbi," Plaskow says. Dissatisfied with her own Reform upbringing, especially after a trip to Israel the summer after the Six-Day War, she admired her husband's greater religiosity; she began keeping kosher and going to Shabbat services with him. "I moved into his world," she says. (32) Weisstein's words became "the minute of utter conversion" for her: "I went home and cried all night that I wasted my life and I was 22." (33)
Weisstein's central theme was not the sorry plight of female graduate students but that women had to come together to create change. "You can't do it alone," she emphasized; it had to be "communal change." (34) Plaskow took this insight into her engagement with feminist theology. She had determined to write a feminist dissertation--perhaps the second in religious studies in the United States--but on the subject of Protestant theology, since she was in a Christian-dominated institution that paid no attention to Jewish experience. But as she set out to become a feminist academic, she was also undergoing a simultaneous, "more difficult process of awakening as a feminist Jew." (35)
The movement towards a feminist Judaism continued throughout the 1970s, with the ordination of the first Reform and Reconstructionist female rabbis; the multiplication of women's prayer and study groups; newsletters, publications, conferences. In 1981, Plaskow, Ackelsberg and roughly a dozen other Jewish feminists formed a Jewish spirituality collective, B'not Esh, to provide the "Jewish context within which to explore feminist questions and attempt to create a feminist Judaism." (36)
Over the last decades, religious Jewish feminists have achieved many of their goals, creating new rituals, texts, art, and music that have revitalized religious practice. They have brought egalitarian language into prayer books, Passover Haggadahs, and liturgy, and introduced new notions of God and Torah based on feminist perspectives. As rabbis, cantors, presidents of temple boards, and community leaders, they participate in all aspects of Jewish life. They have constructed new models of education for girls and women, developing schools, courses, centers, and new scholarly and theological approaches, while challenging the typical hierarchical base of rabbinical service and relationships. Though gaps in their agenda remain, Jewish feminists have transformed religious life and the Jewish community in remarkable ways. (37)
Secular Jewish Feminists and the 1968 Revolution
As opposed to Jewish feminists who targeted religious inequality, secular Jewish feminists focused their battles on what Jewish Network leader Aviva Cantor [Zuckoff] called "the assimilation game"-the fact that "Jewish women have their noses shortened and bleach their hair to conform to the Anglo-Saxon ideal of beauty, or at least, minimize their Jewish differences." (38) Paralleling the emergence of the first women's liberation groups out of the New Left, secular Jewish women's groups arose out of the new Jewish organizations created after the Six-Day War in 1967. Like the women's groups within havurot, a good number of these groups came into being to challenge the sexism of the male Jewish Left.
Cantor, a Radical Zionist, wondered "why so many Jews were so anti-Israel, why they were deserting the community, why they assimilate." For her, "feminism was the missing piece of the puzzle because you can't understand the experience of Jewish exile without understanding the status of women." Like black women, Latinas, and other feminists newly giving voice to identity politics, secular Jewish feminists linked their struggle as Jewish women fighting patriarchal institutions to larger struggles to eradicate capitalism, racism, and sexism. To be fully aware of themselves as Jewish women was a first step toward engaging the multiple causes of oppression.
Secular Jewish feminists were an "overlooked bridge," bringing feminism to the Jewish mainstream and Jewish feminism to the Left, according to a study by Tamara Cohen. Cohen emphasized the structural disadvantages that many of these women faced as middle- and lower-class women, often with little Jewish education, who found themselves in conflict with men empowered by their gender, and sometimes with women empowered by their class, educational status, and Jewish knowledge. In comparison to Ezrat Nashim's battle against religious hierarchies, these women's war against assimilation and cultural stereotypes appeared less media-worthy and urgent. In consequence, secular feminists often came to "belittle" their own issues. (39) But although they received less acknowledgment than religiously-oriented feminists, secular Jewish feminists can also claim success, raising awareness about the right of Jewish feminists to identify themselves as feminists within the Jewish world and as Jews within the women's liberation movement. In marking gender inequality and ethnic neglect as Jewish feminist issues, they opened a pathway to equity that complemented the efforts of religious feminists.
The year 1968 was important for secular Jewish feminists. After the Six-Day War, Jewish radical refugees from the New Left joined Zionist activists and together tried to formulate a theoretical framework for what they called "Radical Zionism." (40) In 1968, they launched the combined group as the Jewish Liberation Project, and began publishing the Jewish Liberation Journal the following year, with Aviva Cantor as editor. So many Jewish groups spontaneously formed that in 1970 the London-based World Union of Jewish Students created the North American Jewish Students Network, informally called Network, a loose association of several hundred groups. Cantor was the only woman to serve on its steering committee. By 1972, Network and the Jewish Liberation Project provided information and resources to at least 50 movement newspapers. Network served as the sponsor of the Jewish feminist conferences in New York City in 1973 and 1974.
Cantor's conversion to feminist thinking had come as a personal "click." A graduate of a modern Orthodox day school and Barnard College, taking two years of study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Cantor was an early leader of the Radical Zionist movement in New York. Wandering through a bookstore one day, she picked up a copy of Beverly Jones and Judith Brown's 1968 "Florida Paper," "Toward a Female Liberation Movement." Reading it, she experienced "a flash of recognition and identification and promptly became a feminist." (41) Jones and Brown were white civil rights activists and women's liberationists in Gainesville, Florida; their pamphlet had a stunning effect on the emerging women's movement. Along with Firestone's Notes from the First Year, it was an early statement of the pro-woman, radical feminist position, standing apart from the male-dominated Left.
After reading Jones and Brown's article, Cantor undertook a feminist research project of her own, beginning the study that would result in the publication of her bibliography of Jewish women in 1979 (the first in the field), and later, her comprehensive study of 3,500 years of Jewish patriarchy, Jewish Women/Jewish Men: The Legacy of Patriarchy in Jewish Life (1995).
Two years after her "click moment," she became part of a Jewish women's consciousness-raising group, which met for several years to explore what it meant to be a Jewish woman and "how our Jewish background made us what we are." (42)
Cantor identified an important difference between the Jewish feminists' response to their male comrades' derisive behavior and that of women's liberation activists to sexism on the New Left. By the late 1960s, women's liberation had provided a framework for analysis that allowed Jewish feminists to modify the separatist and more confrontational approach of "pro-woman" radical feminism. "The shock--and the sexism in the movement generally--did not propel the [Jewish] women to drop out, regroup, and create a separate women's movement as women in the New Left had done," Cantor notes. "Deeply influenced by the women's liberation movement, they already defined themselves as feminists and could discuss their situation in feminist terms." (43) The tools fashioned by radical feminists thus allowed Jewish feminists to raise their own consciousness about sexism within Judaism without necessarily breaking from their male colleagues in the Jewish community.
But confronting the secular Jewish sphere posed difficulties. In Cantor's view, ending female communal powerlessness would have required challenging and confronting the male-dominated, "totally undemocratic" Jewish establishment power structure, a difficult effort since in the post-1967 "Circle the Wagons" mode, Jewish feminists were "already being condemned as enemies of the Jewish people for voicing any kind of criticism." Furthermore, Jewish feminists had no allies or backup, either inside or outside the community. The large Jewish women's organizations were hostile to feminism, and the "general Women's Movement was not interested in Jewish feminism, nor did it extend any assistance to its advocates." (44)
At the conference on Jewish Identity and Women's Liberation that I organized at New York University in 2011, Cantor noted that about 30 percent of individuals in the Jewish Student Movement were women, "[b]ut the atmosphere was extremely male-oriented." (45) To create new consciousness about the difficult issues in Jewish women's lives, Jewish women began to meet on their own, learning "to see Jewish life through feminist eyes." (46)
A five-day conference at a meeting-camp facility in Zieglerville, Pennsylvania, in September 1971, became another vital moment in the creation of a Jewish feminist movement. Organized by the World Union of Jewish Students, the conference brought together over 250 Jewish student activists from around the world. (47) It was the first time that women from Network and those from havurot encountered one another in large numbers. Exhilarated by their common interests and eager to reconcile differences, the women met to discuss their concerns. The men, however, were "annoyed that the women had 'separated themselves,'" as Cantor tells the story. "From left to right on the movement's political spectrum, [the men] shouted them down, hurled verbal insults, and loudly and angrily charged that the changes the women wanted were 'bad for the Jews.'" (48)
Startled by these reactions, the women at Zieglerville recognized the gravity of the problem of sexism in their midst. Resembling events at the 1967 Chicago New Left Conference and the 1969 Nixon Counter-Inaugural when New Left men insulted women and helped to inaugurate the women's liberation movement, Jewish-identified feminists at Zieglerville had their consciousness raised. Six months later, 100 women came together to explore the problem of patriarchy in Jewish life. Several groups were started, among them a gay Jewish women's group and an Orthodox feminist group. (49) The women also began to plan the national Jewish feminist conference that took place in New York City in 1973.
The second national Jewish women's conference that took place the following year was specifically advertised to men as well as women, in the hope that if men attended the conference they "would see the injustice of the many restrictions placed on Jewish women; and they'd join us in our work." (50) With 100 male participants, the 1974 conference led to the establishment of the Jewish Feminist Organization (JFO), dedicated to the "full, direct and equal participation of women at all levels of Jewish life-communal, religious, educational, and political." (51) Although short-lived, the JFO helped place the goal of gender equality onto the Jewish political landscape, including the demand for the full participation of gay women and men in the Jewish community.
A number of other post-1967 Jewish radical groups helped to seed secular Jewish feminism. According to Michael Staub's study of post-Cold War Jewish liberalism, radical Jewish groups such as Brooklyn Bridge (formed in 1970) and Chutzpah (established in 1971) differed from Radical Zionist groups like the Jewish Liberation Project in the way they combined a traditional version of prophetic Judaism with New Left concerns about diversity. "As Jews we carry a vision rising out of our tradition of a radical and inclusive social justice," ran an editorial in the inaugural issue of Brooklyn Bridge. The statement articulated strong Jewish pride, but at the same time made common cause with racial and other minorities. (52)
The New York Jewish Women's Group, formed out of Brooklyn Bridge, was one of the first specifically Jewish women's consciousness-raising groups. A few of its initial dozen members had participated in the emerging women's liberation movement and began to see a link between the internalized oppressions they experienced as Jews and as women. They became interested in understanding the ways they had masked or denied their identities as Jews, embarrassed by what they viewed as Jewish privilege, the politics of the Jewish establishment, or the low status of Jews within their own social worlds. In an article called "Self-Hate" in the first issue of Brooklyn Bridge, New Yorker Cheryl Moch described her identity confusions: "I knew ... that being a Jewish girl from Flatbush was not the hippest right-on thing to be so I tortured myself ... trying to create a false identity." (53) She had been in a "regular" feminist group that did not touch on ethnic or Jewish issues-"self-hatred ... hair ... women having nose jobs." (54) With her sister and sister-in-law, she began recruiting a small, feminist group to explore these kinds of issues as well as the problem of sexism on the male Jewish left.
Chutzpah, the Jewish Liberation Collective, was established as a Jewish alternative to the radical Left. Despite their comradery with male members, Chutzpah's women found it challenging to frame their identities as Jews. Ruth Balser recalls a "major struggle" at one large women's meeting when members of a Jewish study group were called out on the ground that "Jewish activity made the women's movement appear 'Zionist,'" and thus "racist and reactionary." (55) Another difficult encounter occurred at the 1975 Socialist Feminist Conference in Yellow Springs, Ohio, attended by over 1,500 women, including several "defensive and fearful" Chutzpah members. "Thoughts of being hissed at for affirming Israel's right to exist or laughed at for 'making a big deal over being Jewish'" made the women tremendously uncomfortable. Yet they formed a caucus of Jewish women, a first step in "integrating our Judaism with our socialist feminism." (56)
Lesbian Jewish Feminists Confront Patriarchy and Antisemitism
As the politics of identity replaced the emphasis on universal sisterhood that fueled the early women's movement, radical feminists increasingly divided themselves into groups, marking their distinctiveness in terms of separation from others. By 1970, lesbian feminism emerged as a significant outgrowth of the movement. Dissatisfied both with their invisibility within radical feminism and being considered a threat to the liberal women's movement, lesbians created a distinct politics, developing theories, publications, organizations, and coalitions to promote their agendas. (57) They were interested not only in cultural and lifestyle changes, but also in the broad transformation of social relations, patriarchal culture, gender and sexual norms.
Lesbian feminism provided a special perspective for Jewish lesbians to connect to their dual heritage as Jews and as women. Just as feminism had become a portal into religious Judaism for previously unidentified Jewish feminists, as Blu Greenberg noted, for nonreligious women alienated from their Jewish identities and exploring woman/woman relationships, lesbianism became a channel into a deepening Jewishness, providing a perspective for Jewish women to connect to their dual heritage as Jews and as females. "Jewish invisibility is a symptom of antisemitism as surely as lesbian invisibility is a symptom of homophobia," Evelyn Torton Beck wrote in her collection, Nice Jewish Girls: A Lesbian Anthology. (58) By connecting homophobia and antisemitism, and urging lesbian Jewish feminists to make themselves visible as both Jews and as lesbians, which they saw as a linked process, Beck and her colleagues raised consciousness about the multiple forms of discrimination to which Jewish women were subject.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Jewish lesbian feminists, including Beck, Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, Irena Klepfisz, Gloria Greenfield, Nancy Bereano, Bernice Mennis, and Adrienne Rich, members of the Jewish lesbian collective, Di Vilde Chayes, took the lead in confronting anti-Jewish prejudice within the women's movement, tying together the invisibility and discrimination they experienced as Jews and as lesbians. (59) The naming of feminist antisemitism was also an internal process. As Jewish feminists probed the meanings of gender socialization, they turned the spotlight on their own attitudes and backgrounds, discovering biases about Jews and Jewish women that mirrored those of the larger society. (60) Protesting antisemitism was a resistance to the assimilatory patterns of their own lives as well as a response to the personal threats they felt as Jews.
Facing their own ambivalences, these women embarked on new journeys toward self-understanding, which would take some of them toward membership in the growing community of Jewish feminist activists. They hoped to establish networks of like-minded Jewish feminists whom they could call upon in common endeavors, reaching out from "home" across boundaries of race, religion, ethnicity and sexuality to reestablish feminist connections. They especially aspired to forge alliances with women to whom particularistic identities, affiliations, and human rights issues were also vitally important--for example, those who were targets of racism. Antisemitic harms, they recognized, were similar to defamations made about black women as well. (61) But they began by identifying themselves as Jewish feminists within the feminist movement. The growing awareness of and debates about antisemitism thus helped to stimulate a self-conscious Jewish identity.
Zionism and anti-Zionist Feminism in the Global Arena
Jewish feminists of all persuasions adopted the metaphor for being in the closet and coming out Jewishly. (62) Letty Cottin Pogrebin, who had become alienated from Jewish religion decades before because of its patriarchal elements, declared herself "radicalized" and recommitted as a Jew after the United Nations Conference on the Status of Women in Mexico City in the summer of 1975, which passed a resolution condemning Zionism as racism (influencing UN General Assembly Resolution 3379, with the same condemnation, several months later). Pogrebin asserted that the Mexico City conference was "the initial 'click' that started me on my life as a Jewish-feminist"; the United Nations Women's Conference in Copenhagen five years later intensified that conviction. She learned that "patriarchy wasn't the only force wreaking havoc in the human community. That other feminists could be the problem, not the solution--precisely because "woman" wasn't my only significant identity. I was also a Jew." (63) Pogrebin's article about antisemitism in the women's movement in the June 1982 issue of Ms. was based on 18 months of research about both UN Women's Decade conferences and extensive interviews about antisemitism in the United States. (64)
Jewish women increasingly realized that they could not act as feminists in isolation from a wider, international arena. Many came to a new sense of themselves as Jewish feminists, determined to foster Jewish assertiveness and self-defense on their own, but they also began to develop strategies for coalition building all over the world. Their objectives differed from those of earlier women's liberationists who focused primarily on eradicating sexism in the broad American society or those identified Jewish feminists who challenged patriarchy in the secular American Jewish community and within Jewish religion. Adopting the dual strategy of challenging both sexism and antisemitism, they moved outward from individual and locally based women's liberation identities, becoming Jewish-women-in-the world.
For many, the contentious Zionism question that unsettled the UN Women's Decade Conferences in Mexico, Copenhagen, and Nairobi (1985) became a pathway for reclaiming Jewishness. Controversies around antisemitism and Zionism at home as well as abroad shocked Jewish women into a realization that feminists needed to confront issues that they had previously ignored. The attention paid to these issues by feminists suggests a coming-to-consciousness as Jews that was fraught with possibility and risk. Claiming identities as Jews publicly as well as privately meant engaging in parts of themselves that for reasons of fear, self-protection, internalized prejudice, indifference or rebellion had previously been buried or minimized.
Another, smaller group of Jewish women on the Left allied themselves with anti-Zionism, which they argued was not a contradiction to their Jewishness, but a component of an anti-colonialist worldview. For example, Jewish women of the San Francisco group, Women Against Imperialism, opposed the Jewish state as a manifestation of "racist settler colonialism" and supported the Palestinian freedom movement. Their identity projects stood in contrast to those of most Jewish feminists. While many feminists criticized Israel's policies, they did not usually deny its right to exist or condemn Zionism outright. Anti-Zionist feminists' commitment to the Palestine cause derived more from their anti-imperialist beliefs than their Jewish identity. (65)
As they pursued their own goals, Jewish feminists absorbed changing ideas from the feminist movement. Pogrebin continued to identify with and champion second-wave feminism. While Aviva Cantor excoriated feminist antisemitism and anti-Zionism, she admired women's liberationists for their bold vision and often outrageous acts, a style she contrasted with the more conciliatory approach of many Jewish feminists. Because they were less confrontational than women's liberationists, Cantor felt Jewish feminists were less effective. (66)
Cantor, Susan Weidman Schneider and several other colleagues started the Jewish feminist magazine Lilith in 1976; Schneider has been its editor for over four decades. Over its long publishing history, the magazine has explored emerging issues of concern to Jewish women and Jewish feminists, both in the secular and religious spheres. In keeping with its dual mission of engaging feminists in issues of Jewish interest and heightening the feminist consciousness of Jewish women, it has offered stories on such diverse topics as feminist Jewish rituals, lesbianism, Ethiopian women in Israel, "Jewish hair," Jewish mothers, Jewish philanthropy, and more. It has provided a forum for Jewish women's ideas and created a complex understanding of feminism as it has evolved within the Jewish community. (67)
Jewish feminism has in turn influenced women's liberationists, many of whom came to appreciate that ethnic, cultural, religious and spiritual traditions could become "resources for power and connection." (68) Numerous movement pioneers have revealed a late-blooming interest in Jewish religion and/or ethnic roots. Rather than remaining "radicals-who-happened-to-be-Jewish," they affirmed that Jewish religion and ethnicity had been a cornerstone of their activism. (69)
For Jewish women, it has been a "long" 1968--beginning in late 1967, sparking in the fateful months of 1968 as women's liberation gained momentum, and proceeding through the 1970s, when Jewish women defined themselves apart from male allies and the larger women's movement. Their struggles for gender equality continued through the following decades and into the twenty-first century. Despite divergent paths, with the passage of time Jewish women's liberationists and Jewish feminists might agree that the most meaningful legacy of "(1968)" in feminist and Jewish terms is the possibility of a constantly emerging, broadly inclusive activist identity that combines elements of Jewishness, feminism, class, race, sexuality: in other words, a kind of feminist intersectionality, but one couched, unusually, in Jewish terms. (70)
(1.) A fuller treatment of this subject appears in Joyce Antler, Jewish Radical Feminism: Voices from the Women's Liberation Movement (New York: New York University Press, 2018). Also see Paula Hyman, "Jewish Feminism Faces the American Women's Movement: Convergence and Divergence," in American Jewish Women's History: A Reader, ed. Pamela Nadell (New York: New York University Press, 2003) and American Jewish Identity Politics, ed. Deborah Dash Moore (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2008), 221-240; Dina Pinsky, Jewish Feminists: Complex Identities and Activist Lives (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010); and Daniel Horowitz, "Jewish Women Remaking American Feminism / Women Remaking American Judaism: Reflections on the Life of Betty Friedan," in A Jewish Feminine Mystique? Jewish Women in Postwar America, eds. Hasia Diner, Shira Kohn, and Rachel Kranson (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2010), 235-256.
(2.) See Debra L. Schultz, Going South: Jewish Women in the Civil Rights Movement (New York: New York University Press, 2001).
(3.) Matthew Frye Jacobson, Roots Too: White Ethnic Revival in Post-Civil Rights America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006), especially ch. 6.
(4.) Vivian Rothstein, as cited in Joyce Antler, '"We Were Ready to Turn the World Upside Down': Jewish Women and Radical Feminism," in A Jewish Feminine Mystique, 219; Paula Doress-Worters, cited in Joyce Antler, The Journey Home: How Jewish Women Shaped Modern America (New York: Schocken Books, 2007), 283. Also see Amy Kesselman, with Heather Booth, Vivian Rothstein, and Naomi Weisstein, "Our Gang of Four: Female Friendship and Women's Liberation," in The Feminist Memoir Project: Voices from Women's Liberation, eds. Rachel Blau DuPlessis and Ann Snitow (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1998; rev. ed. 2007), 53.
(5.) Among many works on women's liberation, see Sara Evans, Personal Politics: The Roots of Women's Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left (New York: Vintage Books, 1979); Susan Brownmiller, In Our Time: Memoir of A Revolution (New York: Delta-Random House, 1999); Alice Echols, Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989) and Shaky Ground: The '60s, and Its Aftershocks (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002); DuPlessis and Snitow, eds., The Feminist Memoir Project; Ruth Rosen, The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America (New York: Penguin Books, 2000); Sara M. Evans, Tidal Wave: How Women Changed America At Century's End (New York: Free Press, 2003); Benita Roth, Separate Roads to Feminism: Black, Chicana, and White Feminist Movements in America's Second Wave (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Winifred Breines, The Trouble Between Us: An Uneasy History of White and Black Women in the Feminist Movement (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006); Nancy A. Hewitt, ed., No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2010); and Dorothy Sue Cobble, Linda Gordon, and Astrid Henry, Feminism Unfinished: A Short, Surprising History of American Women's Movements (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 2014). On Jewish women and first-wave feminism, see Paula Doress-Worters, ed., and Ernestine Rose, Mistress of Herself: Speeches and Letters of Ernestine Rose, Early Women's Rights Leader (New York: The Feminist Press at CUNY, 2008), and Bonnie S. Anderson, The Rabbi's Atheist Daughter: Ernestine Rose, International Feminist Pioneer (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017). On early second-wave feminism and Jewish themes, see Kirsten Fermaglich, American Dreams and Nazi Nightmares: Early Holocaust Consciousness and Liberal America, 1957-1965 (Hanover: Brandeis University Press, 2006).
(6.) David A. Hollinger, "Communalist and Dispersionist Approaches to American Jewish History in an Increasingly Post-Jewish Era," American Jewish History 95, no. 1 (2009): 1-32. Also see "Scholars' Forum: American Jewish History and American Historical Writing," in the same issue. On the convergence of Jewishness and second-wave radical feminism, see Hyman, "Jewish Feminism Faces the American Women's Movement"; Pinsky, Jewish Feminism, Antler, The Journey Home, chs. 9-11; Hasia Diner and Beryl Lieff Benderly, Her Works Fraise Her: A History of Jewish Women in America from Colonial Times to the Present (New York: Basic Books, 2002), ch. 15. For international developments, see Nelly Las, Jewish Voices in Feminism: Transnational Perspectives (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2015). On Jewish women in earlier social movements, see Melissa R. Klapper, Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace: American Jewish Women's Activism, 1890-1940 (New York: New York University Press, 2013), and Schultz, Going South. On Jews and political radicalism, see, for example, Gerald Sorin, The Prophetic Minority: American Jewish Immigrant Radicals, 1880-1920 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985), and Tony Michels, A Fire in Their Hearts: Yiddish Socialists in New York (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005).
(7.) For an early view of the movement, see Jo Freeman, "The Women's Liberation Movement: Its Origin, Structure, and Ideas" (1970), http://www.jofreeman.com/feminism/ liberationmov.htm. Also see Echols, Daring to Be Bad, 6-11.
(8.) Brownmiller, In Our Time, 17; Joyce Antler, You Never Call! You Never Write! A History of the Jewish Mother (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 153-155. On Firestone, see Susan Faludi, "Death of a Revolutionary," New Yorker, April 15, 2013; Alice Echols, "'Totally Ready to Go': Shulamith Firestone and The Dialectic of Sex," in Echols, Shaky Ground, 103-108, and Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, With Roots in Heaven: One Woman's Passionate Journey into the Heart of Her Faith (New York: Plume Books-Penguin, 1998).
(9.) Among accounts of the break from the New Left, see Ellen Willis, "Women and the Left," in Radical Feminism: A Documentary Reader, ed. Barbara A. Crow (New York: New York University Press, 2000), 513-515; Echols, Daring to Be Bad, 103-137.
(10.) Interviews with author, in Joyce Antler, Jewish Radical Feminism. Several of the women were known to me through professional networks and women's studies work; I did not participate in any of the groups whose members I interviewed.
(11.) See Antler, '"We Were Ready to Turn the World Upside Down.'"
(12.) On multiculturalism, see, for example, Jacobson, Roots Too, passim; David Hollinger, Postethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism (New York: Basic Books, 1995); and David Biale, Michael Galchinsky, and Susannah Heschel, eds., Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998). On intersectionality, see Kimberle Crenshaw, "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics," University of Chicago Legal Forum (1989), issue 1, article 8, 139-167; and Crenshaw, "Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color," Stanford Law Review 43, no. 6 (1991): 1241-1299.
(13.) Hyman, "Jewish Feminism Faces the American Women's Movement," 225.
(14.) Susan Dworkin, "A Song for Women in Five Questions," Moment (May-June 1973), 44, cited in Ann Lapidus Lerner, "Who Has Not Made Me A Man: The Movement for Equal Rights for Women in American Jewry," American Jewish Year Book 77 (1977): 6.
(15.) The rich scholarship on religious Jewish feminism includes Elizabeth Koltun, ed., The Jewish Woman: New Perspectives (New York: Schocken Books, 1976); Ann Lapidus Lerner, "Who Has Not Made Me A Man: The Movement for Equal Rights for Women in American Jewry," American Jewish Year Book 77 (1977): 3-38; Steven Martin Cohen, "American Jewish Feminism: A Study in Conflicts and Compromises," American Behavioral Scientist 23, no. 4 (1980): 531-532.; Susannah Heschel, On Being A Jewish feminist: A Reader (New York: Schocken Books, 1983); Judith Plaskow, Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990); Ellen Umansky and Dianne Ashton, eds., Four Centuries of Jewish Women's Spirituality (Boston: Beacon Press, 1992); Sylvia Barack Fishman, A Breath of Life: Feminism in the American Jewish Community (Hanover: University of New England Press, 1995); Karla Goldman, Beyond the Synagogue: Finding a Place for Women in American Judaism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000); Pamela S. Nadell and Jonathan D. Sarna, eds., Women and American Judaism (Hanover: Brandeis University Press, 2001); and Riv-Ellen Prell, Women Remaking American Judaism (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2007).
(16.) On the Jewish 1960s, see Michael E. Staub, Torn at the Roots: The Crisis of Jewish Liberalism in Postwar America (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002) and Staub, ed., The Jewish 1960s: An American Sourcebook (Hanover: Brandeis University Press, 2004). On secular Jewish feminism see Tamara Cohen, "An Overlooked Bridge: Secular Women of the Jewish Left and the Rise of Jewish Feminism" (MA thesis, Sarah Lawrence College, 2003).
(17.) Martha A. Ackelsberg, "Spirituality, Community, and Politics: B'not Esh and the Feminist Reconstruction of Judaism," Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 2, no. 2 (1986): III.
(18.) Antler, interview with Martha Ackelsberg, August 5, 2013.
(19.) Martha Ackelsberg Oral History, interviewed by Julie Colatrella, Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, April 16, 2010, 25.
(22.) Riv-Ellen Prell, Prayer & Community: The Havurah in American Judaism (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989), 69-70.
(23.) Antler, interview with Martha Ackelsberg, August 5, 2013.
(24.) Ibid. Alan Silverstein paper on Ezrat Nashim, NCJW Resource Library, reprinted in "The Evolution of Ezrat Nashim," Conservative Judaism (Fall 1975): 41-51; Paula Hyman, "Ezrat Nashim and the Emergence of a New Jewish Feminism," in The Americanization of the Jews, eds. Robert M. Seltzer and Norman J. Cohen (New York: New York University Press, 1995).
(25.) The name was ironic, connoting separation of the sexes, since the group dedicated itself to promote women's religious equality, largely through integration and equal access.
(26.) Antler interview with Martha Ackelsberg.
(27.) In addition to Ackelsberg and Rosenfeld, this first Ezrat Nashim group included Paula Hyman, Arlene Agus, Leora Fishman, Elizabeth Koltun, Deborah Weissman, Betty Braun, Tobie Gottlieb Brandriss, and Maureen McLeod.
(28.) Martha Ackelsberg, "Women at Rabbinical Assembly Seek Full Religious Participation," Genesis 2, April 20, 1972; Ezrat Nashim Study Guide, Blu Greenberg Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.
(29.) Antler interview with Blu Greenberg, February 5, 2013; "Women's Liberation and Jewish Identity: Uncovering a Legacy of Innovation, Activism, and Social Change," conference convened by the author, discussion, the Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History, New York University, April 9-10, 2011.
(30.) Judith Plaskow, "The Jewish Feminist: Conflict in Identities," address delivered to the National Jewish Women's Conference in New York, February 1973, in The Jewish Woman, ed. Koltun, 3-10.
(31.) Naomi Weisstein, "Kinder, Kuche, Kirche as Scientific Law: Psychology Constructs the Female," was originally published by the New England Free Press in 1968, and reprinted in the Journal of Social Education 35 (1971): 362-373.
(32.) Antler interview with Judith Plaskow, August 5, 2013.
(33.) Plaskow, "Intersections, An Introduction," in The Coming of Lilith, 9.
(34.) Judith Plaskow Oral History, interviewed by Allison Pilatsky, March 22, 2010, Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College.
(35.) Plaskow, The Coming of Lilith, 9.
(36.) Antler interview with Judith Plaskow.
(37.) See Prell, Women Remaking American Judaism, 11. In Prell's words, Jewish feminists have "reenvisioned," "redefined," and "reframed" Judaism. Also see Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr and Rabbi Alysa Mendelson Graf, eds., The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate (New York: CCAR Press, 2016).
(38.) Cantor notes that although these groups did not prioritize religious goals, they usually did not use the word "secular" to describe themselves. I use the word here to distinguish the different groups.
(39.) Cohen, "An Overlooked Bridge;" "Cheryl Moch," Jewish Women's Archive, http:// jwa.org/feminism/moch-cheryl; and "Sheryl Baron Nestel," Jewish Women's Archive, https:// jwa.org/feminism/nestel-sheryl-baron.
(40.) Aviva Cantor, "Halcyon Days: The Sixties Movement for Jewish Regeneration," culturefront (Winter 1997), 57.
(41.) Aviva Cantor, "Jewish Women's Hagaddah," in The Jewish Woman, ed. Koltun, 95.
(43.) Aviva Cantor, Jewish Women/Jewish Men: The Legacy of Patriarchy in Jewish Life (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), 414-415.
(44.) Cantor, "Women's Liberation and Jewish Identity Conference."
(47.) Israel Shenker, "Jewish Students in 5-Day Seminar," New York Times, September 7, 1971. The conference was entitled "Jewing It, '32: Encounter in the Month of Elul."
(48.) Cantor, Jewish Women/Jewish Men, 414.
(49.) Cohen, "An Overlooked Bridge."
(50.) "Cheryl Moch," Jewish Women's Archive; Antler interview with Cheryl Moch, June 5, 2009.
(52.) "Revolutionary Jewish Nationalism," Brooklyn Bridge 1, no. 4 (1972): 21, cited in Staub, Torn at the Roots, 238-239.
(53.) Cheryl Moch, "Self Hate," Brooklyn Bridge 1 (1971): 20, cited by Cohen.
(54.) Antler interview with Cheryl Moch, June 5, 2009.
(55.) Ruth Balser, "Liberation of a Jewish Radical," in Chutzpah: A Jewish Liberation Anthology, eds. Steven Lubet, Jeffry (Shaye) Mallow, Adar Rossman, Susan Schechter, Robbie (Sholem) Skeist, and Miriam Socoloff (San Francisco: New Glide Publications, 1977), 17
(56.) Susan Schechter, "Solidarity and Self-Respect: Coming Out Jewish at the Socialist Feminist Conference," Chutzpah: A Jewish Liberation Anthology, 57-59.
(57.) See, for example, Ginny Berson for the Furies, "Beyond Male Power," in Radical Feminism: A Reader, 163-166.
(58.) Evelyn Torton Beck, ed., Nice Jewish Girls: A Lesbian Anthology (Boston: Beacon Press, 1989, rev. ed), xvii.
(59.) Beck, Nice Jewish Girls, and Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz and Irena Klepfisz, eds., The Tribe of Dina: A Jewish Women's Anthology (Montpelier: Sinister Wisdom Books, 1986). Also see Christie Balka and Andy Rose, eds., Twice Blessed: On Being Lesbian, Gay, and Jewish (Boston: Beacon Press, 1989).
(60.) See Sander L. Oilman, Jewish Self-Hatred: Anti-Semitism and the Hidden Language of the Jews (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986).
(61.) See Jacobson, Roots Too, 235.
(62.) Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America (New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1991), 154, and original article in Ms. 7, (June 1982).
(63.) Letty Cottin Pogrebin, "A Writer, A Woman, and A Jew," Forward, January 13, 2006.
(64.) On the UN Women's Conferences, see Marjorie N. Feld, Nations Divided: American Jews and the Struggle Over Apartheid (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), ch. 5.
(65.) On the criticisms of American Jewish feminists' identity work, see Ellen Cantarow, "Zionism, Anti-Semitism and Jewish Identity in the Women's Movement," Middle East Report 154, no. 18 (1988): 38-43.
(66.) Cantor, Jewish Women/Jewish Men, 425.
(67.) "Susan Weidman Schneider," Jewish Women's Archive, accessed on May 25, 2015, http://jwa.org/feminism/schneider-susan-weidman; Antler interview with Susan Weidman Schneider, January 29, 2009.
(68.) Martha A. Ackelsberg, "Spirituality as a Resource for Activism: A Response to Michelle Lelwica," Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 14, no. 2 (Fall 1999): 133.
(69.) See Jacobson, Roots Too, 217. These views were expressed by many participants at the 2011 "Women's Liberation and Jewish Identity" Conference at NYU, and in the interviews I conducted for Jewish Radical Feminism.
(70.) On Jewish women and intersectionality, see Maria Brettschneider, "Critical Attention to Race: Race Segregation and Jewish Feminism," Bridges 15, no. 2 (2010): 20-33; Brettschneider, ed., The Narrow Bridge: Jewish Views on Multiculturalism (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1996) and Brettschneider, Jewish Feminism and Intersectionality (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2016). Also see Biale, Galchinsky, and Heschel, Insider/Outsider.
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|Publication:||American Jewish History|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2018|
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