Out Loud

  • Why I Give

    05 December 2013

    Giving to NIF lets me know that I am supporting individuals and communities in Israel who truly need my help.

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  • Spread the word! 2014-2015 Social Justice Fellowships

    20 November 2013

    Last year, I had the immense privilege to spend a year in Israel as a NIF/Shatil Social Justice Fellow.

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  • Thinking Locally

    31 October 2013

    An initial analysis of the results from last week's local elections in Israel shows grounds for optimism, but also cause for concern.

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  • We Know, We Know

    14 November 2013

    "We who are active in the American Jewish community know that the conversation has moved on from ‘Israel-right-or-wrong’ to asking a deeper question: How can we help our Israeli cousins build an Israel that is right?"

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  • Bigger than Feminism, Better with Feminism

    29 October 2013

    By Susan Silverman, October 2013

    When I became a Woman of the Wall, I became more fully Jewish.

    I had been a rabbi for almost 20 years the day I was rounded up, with nine other women – including my seventeen-year-old daughter – by police for wearing a tallis and praying out loud at the kotel. That day was followed by a lot of forced introspection – the media requests for interviews came flooding in.

    I knew in my heart why I was there. My Jewish practice called me to it, the desire to join the historic flow of Jews at that place called me to it, feminism called me to it.

    But over the weeks of forced introspection, I realized something much deeper and more existential. Judaism was at stake for women and men. For all our children. For the Jewish future. I had always felt that the centuries of missing women’s voices had created a skewed Judaism – like a tree that had been deprived the right balance of sustenance. Now a narrow, idolatrous view of God and covenant was being codified in civil law! Mitzvot were more and more the jurisdiction of Hareidi Jews, becoming ends in themselves, not building blocks for a society in which the prophets could rejoice.

    With WoW, I realized that my feminist, progressive fight was for the deepest purposes of our nation.

    Rabbi Susan Silvermanis a writer and activist. She and her husband, Yosef Abramowitz have five children and live in Jerusalem.


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Israel's dilemma: Who can be an Israeli?

By Daniel Sokatch and David N. Myers

13 January 2014