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Teenage Jewesses Get Their Money On

by Rebecca Honig Friedman

Jewish Women International launched Life$avings® for teens, a new arm of their financial literacy program for young women, last weekend, and I was there covering it for The Jewish Channel. The piece comes in above at about 3 mins, 26 seconds into the video.
Full story is available in the broadcast version only, which you can find on TJC-OnDemand — channel 528 on Time Warner, channel 291 on iO Optimum (Cablevision), channel 268 on RCN, channel 900 on Verizon FiOS, and channel 1 on Cox Cable.
For more news and analysis from TJC, check out

“Seeking Happily Ever After”: The Book

by Rebecca Honig Friedman

The editor of the Jewish women’s e-mag 614, Michelle Cove, has just come out with a book, Seeking Happily Ever After: Navigating the Ups and Downs of Being Single Without Losing Your Mind (and Finding Lasting Love Along the Way), based on a documentary film that she co-produced.
Here are excerpts from an interview with Cove, posted in 614 and conducted by Rachel S. Cohen, about the book and the true meaning of “happily ever after.”

RACHEL S. COHEN: I know that Seeking Happily Ever After started out as a documentary. Can you tell us how and why you translated it into a book?
MICHELLE COVE: It was important to me that the film ask questions about why there are more single women today so viewers come to their own conclusions. When the film was completed, I wanted to go a step further and try to answer some of the women’s pressing questions that came up during interviews, such as “How do you deal with the constant pressure to marry?” “How do I know what I want for myself when everyone says marriage is the answer?” and even practical questions like “I worry about being alone and getting sick. What can I do?” I wrote the book to answer these questions and help women feel more in charge of their feelings about being single.

Does this phenomenon of women waiting longer to marry impact Jewish women in any particular way?
Yes. I read an article called “Is e-Dating Good for Jewish Women?” in Lilith Magazine in which the author, Susan Schnur, stated that Jewish women “remain, of all Caucasian groups in America, the ones least likely to marry, and statistical trends suggest that these numbers are growing.” I’m not exactly sure why this is (maybe, in part, it’s because we place such an emphasis on higher education?), but I thought this was fascinating.

In the introduction of your book, you talk about how you experienced both sides—being single “late” in life and getting married and having a baby in your thirties. Did this help you better relate to all types of women during your interviews?
Yes, I could so relate to the pressure most single women still feel in our society to get married—whether they even want to or not. Too many people treated my single status as a puzzle to solve and offered constant advice on my love life without being asked. I often felt like I had to defend my actions to find Mr. Right so that other people could feel better.
Now that I’m married, I also know that marriage and a baby are not “happily ever after.” I love my husband and my daughter, but with my family came new concerns and issues. How do I balance my passion for my work with the time my family needs? How do I make sure I’m getting in enough time with my girlfriends? Are my husband and I planning enough date nights? I miss spontaneous travel. Marriage is not “the answer.” Learning how to tap into your own needs—which shift all the time—and figure out how to fulfill them is the answer.

In the introduction, you also discuss what, as a single woman, you didn’t want to hear. That said, what do single women want to hear?
Many of the women I interviewed would like to be asked questions that have nothing to do with their love lives. Why not ask them about their careers, their passions, their hobbies, their favorite restaurants… anything else! If they bring up the topic of being single, questions are usually good. Ask them how they feel about being single and what kind of relationships they’re interested in. Then listen, without judging them or telling them what they should do. Offer advice only if it’s sought.

So how do you find “happily ever after”?
I think you stop seeking it and focus instead on becoming resilient. There’s so much push in our culture to achieve happiness as if it’s a state of being. It’s not; it’s a fleeting emotion that comes and goes. I think it’s much more important to strive for resilience because every life stage is filled with ups and downs. Life is all about enjoying the up moments and knowing intrinsically that you can get back on your feet after the down moments.

Michelle Cove is the editor of 614. She is also the coauthor of the national bestseller I’m Not Mad, I Just Hate You!: A New Understanding of Mother-Daughter Conflict (Viking, 1999), which appeared on several national talk shows, including Oprah and The Today Show. She has been writing and editing for national magazines for the past 15 years, including Psychology Today, Mother Earth News, Girls’ Life, and Family Fun.

TJC’s Week in Review: Jewish Special Ed and an interview with J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami

by Rebecca Honig Friedman

In light of this article in today’s NY Times, my story about special needs education in Jewish schools in this week’s “Week in Review” is particularly timely.

For more news and analysis from The Jewish Channel, visit For subscription information, go to

CORRECTION to Previous Post

by Rebecca Honig Friedman

Math’s never been my strongest subject.
The Jewish Week’s Tamar Snyder very nicely pointed out to me that following the accepted method of counting, there are only twenty-ONE women on the 2010 list of “36 Under 36,” not twenty-two as was originally stated in the previous post. (She very sweetly allowed that there might have been something wrong with the way she was doing it, but I assured her the fault was mine.)
My apologies to the men on the list, one of whom I must have mistook for a woman in my late-night tally.

Hallelujah! Women Outnumber Men on ‘36 Under 36′

by Rebecca Honig Friedman

The Jewish Week’s 3rd annual list of 36 “changemakers” under the age of 36 goes live tomorrow at noon, and for the first time it includes more women than men! A full twenty-twoone (more than 61% 58%) of those included are female.
(So, okay, now we can start having a discussion about Judaism’s ‘boy crisis’…)

On a personal note, I’m happy to see Susanne Goldstone Rosenhouse on there. She’s been moving and shaking things up in the Jewish community — both online and off — for some time. (And I see from her blog that she’s moving away from New York and giving away her VHS — yes, VHS! — tapes. Get ‘em while they’re hot.)

Also, check out my story on #27 and #28, Alison Laichter and Yael Shy of the Jewish Meditation Center of Brooklyn, in this episode of The Jewish Channel’s Week in Review, at around the 7:10 minute mark (I’ll try to post the full story online and if I can will add a link to it here).

Here’s the complete 2010 “36 Under 36” List (after the jump): Read more…

Anti-Cursing Jewess: Interview With Talia Weisberg (on The Sisterhood)

by Rebecca Honig Friedman

Talia Weisberg, a freshman at Manhattan High School for Girls in New York, is the founder of Bleep!, which is devoted to curbing cursing among kids and teenagers. Sisterhood contributor Rebecca Honig Friedman recently interviewed Weisberg by email to find out what the bleep Bleep! is all about.

Rebecca Honig Friedman: What is Bleep! and how did you get the idea to start it?

Talia Weisberg: Bleep! is the organization I made to stop kids and teens from cursing. I had always hated how my friends would liberally sprinkle bad words into their speech, and when I wanted to get involved in a cause over the summer, I thought of Bleep!. I really wanted to get involved in something that I as a kid with limited resources could personally do, and creating an organization like Bleep! seemed like my best option.

You’re a NY Spelling Bee champion and have written several as-yet-unpublished novellas. Clearly, words matter a lot to you. Why banish a whole set of them from your vocabulary?

Read more on The Sisterhood…

New Episode of The Salon Is Up on TJC!

by Rebecca Honig Friedman

With Rabba Sara Hurwitz, Foundation of Jewish Culture President & CEO Elise Bernhardt, and The Sabbath World author Judith Shulevitz. Hosted by Forward Editor Jane Eisner with Editor At Large Rachel Sklar.
Watch The Salon on The Jewish Channel, available on cable nationwide — channel 291 on iO Optimum, channel 528 on Time Warner, channel 268 on RCN, channel 900 on Verizon FiOS, and channel 1 on Cox Cable. For more info, visit

New Women-Only Performing Arts Space and Interview

by Rebecca Honig Friedman

The women-only performing arts trend, written about here, here and elsewhere on this blog, has a new home of sorts — The Taliah Performing Arts Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Read an interview with its founder, Israeli and Orthodox Jewess Tamar Reich, over at
Best line: “Acting in particular is not a forgiving business if you have principles.”

RCA Resolves: No Women Rabbis

by Rebecca Honig Friedman

The Rabbinical Council of America adopted the following resolution at its annual conference this week, the crux of which is that women learned in Torah should be encouraged to be Jewish communal leaders but not in rabbinic roles, regardless of what they’re called:

Resolution on Women’s Communal Roles in Orthodox Jewish Life
Presented to the 51st Convention of The Rabbinical Council of America
April 26th 2010

1) The flowering of Torah study and teaching by God-fearing Orthodox women in recent decades stands as a significant achievement. The Rabbinical Council of America is gratified that our chaverim have played a prominent role in facilitating these accomplishments.
2) We members of the Rabbinical Council of America see as our sacred and joyful duty the practice and transmission of Judaism in all of its extraordinary, multifaceted depth and richness – halakhah, hashkafah, tradition and historical memory.
3) In light of the opportunity created by advanced women’s learning, the Rabbinical Council of America encourages a diversity of halakhically and communally appropriate professional opportunities for learned, committed women, in the service of our collective mission to preserve and transmit our heritage. Due to our aforesaid commitment to sacred continuity, however, we cannot accept either the ordination of women or the recognition of women as members of the Orthodox rabbinate, regardless of the title.
4) Young Orthodox women are now being reared, educated, and inspired by mothers, teachers and mentors who are themselves beneficiaries of advanced women’s Torah education. As members of the new generation rise to positions of influence and stature, we pray that they will contribute to an ever-broadening and ever-deepening wellspring of talmud Torah, yir’at Shamayim, and dikduk be-mitzvot.

[hat tip: TJC Newsdesk]

Younger Women To Headline JOFA Conference (on The Sisterhood)

by Rebecca Honig Friedman

It’s been three years since JOFA’s last national conference in New York, which may explain the seam-bursting program, with more 50 different sessions in the less than 24 hours. It seems that organizers of the 2010 conference, which begins Saturday night, have decided to cram three-years’ worth of pent-up Jewish feminist activity and thought into a night and a day.
Read more on The Sisterhood…

  • About Jewess

    Jewess is a blog about Jewish women's issues, and is part of the Canonist network of religion blogs.

    Senior Writer:
    Rebecca Honig Friedman
    Contact: E-mail/AIM
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