The Women's Passover Companion: Women's Reflections on the Festival of Freedom

The Women's Passover Companion: Women's Reflections on the Festival of Freedom

by Sharon Cohen Ainsfeld
     
 

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A powerful—and empowering—gathering of women’s voices transmitting
Judaism’s Passover legacy to the next generation.

The Women’s Passover Companion offers an in-depth examination of women’s relationships to Passover as well as the roots and meanings of women’s seders. This

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Overview

A powerful—and empowering—gathering of women’s voices transmitting
Judaism’s Passover legacy to the next generation.

The Women’s Passover Companion offers an in-depth examination of women’s relationships to Passover as well as the roots and meanings of women’s seders. This groundbreaking collection captures the voices of Jewish women—rabbis, scholars, activists, political leaders and artists—who engage in a provocative conversation about the themes of the Exodus and exile, oppression and liberation, history and memory, as they relate to contemporary women’s lives.

Whether seeking new insights into the text and traditions of Passover or learning about women’s seders for the first time, both women and men will find this collection an inspiring introduction to the Passover season and an eye-opening exploration of questions central to Jewish women, to Passover and to Judaism itself.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This Passover "companion" for women will be useful to those who desire a new women's Haggadah and ritual or those who simply seek to better understand the feminist themes of the traditional liturgy. The essays address three key subjects: the Passover holiday, the biblical book of Exodus and the new tradition of women's seders. Vanessa Ochs contributes an essay on "setting a cup for Miriam," tracing the evolution of Miriam's cups at contemporary seders and discussing the importance of having a new ritual object for women. Like many of the other essays, Ochs's is enriched by her personal experiences of inaugurating new traditions for Passover; the book's best section, in fact, is one called "Telling Our Stories." (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Editors Anisfeld, Tara Mohr, and Catherine Spector, a rabbi at Harvard Hillel, a writer, and a law student, respectively, helped organize Jewish Women at Yale, led Yale's Women's Seder, and worked on the Yale Women's Haggadah. These companion volumes reflect their desire to provide both background readings on the many aspects of women's relationships to the Passover holiday, from cleaning and cooking to feminist interpretations of the holiday and the special meanings of a women's seder, and fresh material for the seder itself. The Women's Passover Companion collects commentaries by writers and scholars such as Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Phyllis Chesler, Susannah Heschel, and others, discussing the value of women's seders, Passover rituals for women, Miriam and the women of Exodus, how contemporary women can relate to the lessons of the holiday, and visions and challenges for the future. The Women's Seder Sourcebook, arranged in the order of the seder, provides over 200 suggested rituals, readings, commentaries, and blessings to be used during the seder itself; contributors include Faye Moskowitz, Maxine Kumin, Marge Piercy, Barbara Boxer, Hadassah Lieberman, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as noted women rabbis, activists, and scholars. Both volumes consist primarily of original writings. While a number of very good haggadahs have been published, these volumes succeed beautifully in giving us a wealth of insights on and new connections to the Passover story that will help women create a truly transformative and personally meaningful Passover experience. Highly recommended for public, academic, and synagogue libraries.-Marcia Welsh, Dartmouth Coll., Haverhill, NH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580236140
Publisher:
Longhill Partners
Publication date:
02/16/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Tara Mohr and Catherine Spector first worked together as organizers of Jewish Women at Yale and as leaders of Yale University's beloved and inspiring women's seder. Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld is currently the associate dean for student life at the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. Tara Mohr is currently an MBA candidate at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, focusing her studies on social entrepreneurship. Catherine Spector is currently a lawyer in Chicago and was, during college, part of the steering committee for Yale's two national conferences on Jewish women.


Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Tara Mohr and Catherine Spector first worked together as organizers of Jewish Women at Yale and as leaders of Yale University's beloved and inspiring women’s seder. Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld is currently the associate dean for student life at the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. Tara Mohr is currently an MBA candidate at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, focusing her studies on social entrepreneurship. Catherine Spector is currently a lawyer in Chicago and was, during college, part of the steering committee for Yale’s two national conferences on Jewish women.


Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Tara Mohr and Catherine Spector first worked together as organizers of Jewish Women at Yale and as leaders of Yale University's beloved and inspiring women's seder. Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld is currently the associate dean for student life at the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. Tara Mohr is currently an MBA candidate at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, focusing her studies on social entrepreneurship. Catherine Spector is currently a lawyer in Chicago and was, during college, part of the steering committee for Yale’s two national conferences on Jewish women.


Martha Ackelsberg, PhD, is professor of government at Smith College where she
teaches applied democracy and women's studies. She is the author of Free Women
of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women
, as well as
numerous articles on women's community activism; gender and public policy; and
women in Judaism.


Phyllis Chesler, a founder and board member of the International Committee for Women of the Wall, has been fighting for Jewish women's religious and human rights for more than thirty years. She is a psychologist and the author of eleven books, including Women and Madness and Woman's Inhumanity to Woman. She cofounded the Association for Women in Psychology and the National Women’s Health Network.


Norma Baumel Joseph is an assistant professor in the department of religion at Concordia University, Montreal, and an associate of the chair in Quebec and Canadian Jewish Studies. She is president of the International Coalition for Agunah Rights (ICAR) and consultant to the Canadian Coalition of Jewish Women for the Get. She lives in Montreal, where she and her husband raised four children.


Judith Plaskow, PhD, is a Jewish feminist theologian and professor of religious studies at Manhattan College. In addition to co-founding the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, she has written and edited several significant books in the field, including one of the first feminist dissertations in religious studies, Sex, Sin, and Grace: Women's Experience and the Theologies of Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich. Plaskow also wrote the first full-length Jewish feminist theology, Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective. Her most recent
work is a collection of essays, The Coming of Lilith: Essays on Feminism, Judaism, and Sexual Ethics, 1972–2003. Plaskow is past president of the American Academy of Religion.


Letty Cottin Pogrebin, a founding editor of Ms. magazine and nationally known lecturer and social critic, is the author of eight books, including Deborah, Golda and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America and Getting Over Getting Older: An Intimate Journey.


Judith Rosenbaum, PhD, is director of education at the Jewish Women's Archive and co-curator of the online exhibit Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution. Rosenbaum earned a BA summa cum laude in history from Yale University and a PhD in American civilization, with a specialty in women’s history, from Brown University.


Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, a parent, spiritual leader and storyteller, is the award-winning author of God's Paintbrush, In God's Name, God In Between and many other inspiring books for children of all faiths and backgrounds. The second woman to be ordained as a rabbi (1974) and the first rabbi to become a mother, she and her husband, Dennis, were the first rabbinical couple to jointly lead a congregation—Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis. They have two children, David and Debora, and three grandchildren. Sasso, who holds a doctorate in ministry, is active in the interfaith community, and has written and lectured on the renewal of spirituality and the discovery of the religious imagination in children of all faiths.


Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Nurturing the Spiritual Imagination of Children
  • Tell Me a Story: Reading the Bible and the Religious Imagination of Children
  • Filling in the Blanks: How Women Read the Bible
  • Women and Judaism: A Personal Journey
  • Midrash as a Tool for Spiritual Reflection

Click here to contact the author.


Rabbi Margaret Moers Wenig, DD, teaches liturgy and homiletics at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York and is rabbi emerita of Beth Am, The People's Temple. She contributed to May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor, Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un'taneh Tokef, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

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