JOFA Conference – Jewish feminism speaks out

12 Mar

Am attending the JOFA Conference this weekend here in New York. This is the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance annual (biannual?) event, with probably 1000 participants and any ‘JOF’ of note (Blu Greenberg, Tamar Ross and other heavyweights, as well as newer arrivals such as Rabba Sara Hurwitz, who attracted so much news coverage in recent times because of her newly endowed title ‘Rabba’ – feminine of ‘Rabbi’)  in attendance.

It looks like a MASSIVE event, with sessions covering anything from sex slavery and human trafficking, ovulation, and Agunot (‘chained women’ who are denied a religious divorce from their husbands), to women’s leadership in Orthodox synagogues, prenup’ agreements and issues of prayer and ritual.

There’s also a film festival on the Saturday night, as well as a number of Jewish women artists displaying their work (including English artist Jacqueline Nicholls who’s bringing her wickedly subversive ‘Ladies Guild’ paper-cuts challenging rabbinic misogyny over the pond.)

Reassuringly to see  in the 21st Century, it looks like quite a lot of ‘JOF’ speakers are of the male variety. Phew, the message finally got across to the male half of the population that feminist issues are relevant to them too.


2 Responses to “JOFA Conference – Jewish feminism speaks out”

  1. Tovah @ Gluten-Free Bay March 15, 2010 at 00:14 #

    This is Aliza’s friend Tovah. So what did you think? It’s crazy how I didn’t run into anyone I knew for more than a second… the space wasn’t really conducive to hanging out or really meeting new people or anything like that. But I still had a really good time, it was reinvigorating for me because my community is not the most feminist.

  2. Gaelle May 8, 2010 at 13:41 #

    To Tovah, it take courage and intelligence to think differently than one’s community. I respect you.

    Incidentally, this term of feminism p*** me off. If there is no such a term as masculism, it simply is because guys do not have to continually defend their rights/ or, and their rights are not most of the time under attack.

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