Archive for : Purim

Jewish women of color highlighted in new campaign

This article originally appeared in Cleveland Jewish News on February 13, 2018.

By Josefin Dol

A new online campaign highlights the stories of Jewish women who identify as Sephardi, Mizrahi and women of color. The #ShareHerStory campaign, which launched on Tuesday, is tied to Purim — the holiday during which Jews celebrate the story of Esther, the Jewish queen who saved Jews from their deaths at the hands of the Persian King Ahaseurus and his henchman Haman.

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Jewish women of color highlighted in new campaign

This article originally appeared in the JTA on February 13, 2018.

By Josefin Dolsten

(JTA) — A new online campaign highlights the stories of Jewish women who identify as Sephardi, Mizrahi and women of color. The #ShareHerStory campaign, which launched on Tuesday, is tied to Purim — the holiday during which Jews celebrate the story of Esther, the Jewish queen who saved Jews from their deaths at the hands of the Persian King Ahaseurus and his henchman Haman.

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#ShareHerStory from Jewish Multiracial Network, Jewish Women’s Archive, and Repair the World, to Spotlight Jewish Women of Color, Mizrahi, and Sephardi Women

New York, NY – Whether fighting hunger, leading spiritual communities, producing Jewish gospel music, or even saving the Jewish People millennia ago, Jewish women of color, Mizrahi, and Sephardi women have for centuries been leaders, teachers, storytellers, and changemakers in the Jewish community. But all too often, Jewish holidays, narratives, and spaces, fail to celebrate and amplify these critical stories. Inspired by the Jewish holiday of Purim, the new campaign #ShareHerStory from the Jewish Multiracial Network, Jewish Women’s Archive, and Repair the World, shares the stories of modern Jewish women of color, Mizrahi, and Sephardi women who are creating a more inclusive and just Jewish community and society in a multitude of ways. Short, easy-to-share vignettes tell the stories of these powerful Jewish leaders. Access the stories at weRepair.org/Purim.  

“What could have easily been another forgotten moment in history has become a festival of celebration for one reason only: Jews persisted in telling her story for generations,” says Tamara Fish, president of the Jewish Multiracial Network. “The fact that we mark Purim as a holiday is a testament to the power of storytelling. We can learn a lot from this! So in the spirit of Esther, we are ringing out loud the stories of risk-taking and groundbreaking Jewish women of color, together with Sephardi and Mizrahi women, who deserve to be remembered in history.”

#ShareHerStory is the first time Repair the World, the largest Jewish service organization in the country, has included Purim in its ongoing social justice campaigns. Purim is an incredible opportunity for collaboration between the Jewish Multiracial Network, an organization which advances Jewish diversity through empowerment and community building with Jews of Color and Jewish multiracial families, the Jewish Women’s Archive, an organization which documents Jewish women’s stories, elevates their voices, and inspires them to be agents of change, and Repair the World, the leading service organization engaging millennials in year round conversations about social justice. Purim recounts the tale of Esther, a Persian Jewish woman, whispering words in a king’s ear and ultimately risking her life and her autonomy to save others.

“Purim is a holiday that teaches us about the power of women’s stories to make change,” says Judith Rosenbaum of the Jewish Women’s Archive. “But these stories can only have an impact if we remember them, and too often, women’s stories are left out of the narrative. This Purim, we will celebrate the holiday by sharing the compelling and inspiring stories of Jewish Women of Color, Mizrahi, and Sephardi women who have made—and are making—their mark on history.”

“For hundreds of years, women, people of color, especially women of color, and other marginalized communities have mobilized to fight persistent challenges that face our society. Finally, mainstream institutions and media have started to catch up with those movements. Together, we can act now to amplify their stories,” added Laura Belinfante, Director of Digital Campaigns, Repair the World.

Repair the World’s ten-month call for young adults to Act Now has included the 2017 High Holidays (Act Now for a Different Kind of Service), Thanksgiving (Act Now Against Hunger), MLK Day (Act Now for Racial Justice); and, after #ShareHerStory, will conclude with the Jewish holiday of Passover. Repair the World has found that connecting urgent needs to address specific issues with specific moments in the calendar can increase mobilization, as people look to connect their celebration of a holiday with what they care about. Nearly 10,000 people participated in service experiences as part of MLK Day’s Act Now for Racial Justice.

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#ShareHerStory to Spotlight Jewish Women of Color, Mizrahi, and Sephardi Women

This article originally appeared in eJewish Philanthropy on February 13, 2018.

Whether fighting hunger, leading spiritual communities, producing Jewish gospel music, or even saving the Jewish People millennia ago, Jewish women of color, Mizrahi, and Sephardi women have for centuries been leaders, teachers, storytellers, and changemakers in the Jewish community. But all too often, Jewish holidays, narratives, and spaces, fail to celebrate and amplify these critical stories.

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From Queen Esther to Emma Watson

It’s no coincidence that the Jewish holiday of Purim typically falls in March, AKA Women’s History Month. Okay, maybe it’s a coincidence, but it’s a great one. The Purim story, after all, is built around two mighty women: one who stands up for her rights (Queen Vashti) and another who stands up for the rights and safety of her people (Queen Esther).

As we remember and celebrate Jewish tradition’s early female heroines, it is also important to remember that women’s rights issues – everything from gender pay inequality, to women’s healthcare and education access – are still critically important both in America and around the world. That’s why, this Purim, we want to shed light on this ongoing work.

Who better to do that than Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations, Emma Watson, herself? In addition to giving a killer speech about gender equality at the UN a couple years back, Watson is a leader of HeforShe, a UN Women campaign focused on bringing all voices around the world together in support of women’s rights.

In the video below, Watson teams up with Broadway star Lin Manuela Miranda (of Hamilton) for an amazing beat box/freestyle flow session about gender equality. It’s worth a watch – we may have watched it twice – and a visit to the UN’s HeforShe campaign page.

And for more on Purim’s heroines, check out this post on My Jewish Learning called Vashti & Esther: A Feminist Perspective.

Buy (Kosher, Sustainable) Meat from Grow & Behold and Support Masbia

Eating delicious food is a reward in and of itself. If it is also sustainably produced and kosher, that’s even the better. But what happens when the amazing dinner on your plate gives back to those in need? Win, win, win.

This Purim, Grow & Behold, the kosher sustainable meat company, will donate 5% of all orders delivered next week (March 14-18) to the kosher soup kitchen network, Masbia. In addition to partying, Purim is filled with many opportunities to give back to our friends and community. The Purim tradition of matanot l’evyonim, specifically instructs us to give charity to those in need. Grow & Behold donates products to Masbia year-round, but in the spirit of holiday, they up their game. And you can help!

Grow & Behold’s poultry and meat is raised on small, family-run farms. They adhere to strict standards of kashrut, animal welfare, worker treatment, and sustainable agriculture. Masbia, meanwhile, provides everyone in need – kosher keeping or not – meals with dignity.

Find out more about Grow & Behold’s products and place your order on their website. And learn more about the great work at Masbia your purchase will support at the video below:

Happy Purim!

5 Ways to Give Purim Food Gifts (Mishloach Manot) To Those in Need

March is Get To Know Your Neighbors month at Repair the World. Check back all month long for inspiring posts.

Giving mishloach manot, the gifts of food people share on Purim, is one of the most delicious Jewish traditions. Derived from the Book of Esther and literally translated as “sending of portions,” people bundle up hamantaschen and other edible goodies (brownies, granola bars, raisins, juice boxes) and deliver them to friends and family.

But get this: giving mishloach manot have an underlying message of social change. Each person is required to deliver at least one Purim basket to someone else. The reason? To ensure that everybody, wealthy or not, has enough food to enjoy their Purim celebration. In other words, it’s a bit of food justice built right into the holiday!
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