PSA: Stop Asking Pregnant and Postpartum Women If They Plan on Returning to Work

By Emily Pevnick

As I prepare for a massive identity shift to “mom,” I am reading books about self-care, taking classes on transitioning to motherhood and talking to friends about their experiences. These resources prepared me for some intrusive questions about weight gain and breastfeeding, but they did not prepare me for questions about returning to work.

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Taking Action, Creating Change: Join JWI for Young Women’s Advocacy Day

By Megan Dorward

Every year, JWI brings young women from all over the country to capitol hill to meet with senior staff and key congressional leaders. As part of our dedication to civic engagement, we meet with more than 20 Congressional offices to discuss key legislative issues including the Violence Against Women Act, Reproductive Rights, gun violence prevention, and equal pay. Read more to learn more about one attendees experience and consider joining us on April 1st from 8:00am-1:00pm.

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Purim Round-Up

There’s so much to learn from the Purim story - and the writers on the JWI blog have scratched the surface. Before you commence your Purim festivities, we encourage you to curl up with some hamentaschen and reflect on the varied lessons to be pulled from this joyous holiday.

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Helping Women from Menstruation to Menopause: A Conversation with Vagipreneur Rachel Braun Scherl

By Sue Tomchin

When you plug the word “entrepreneur” into Google you get 791 million results. Rachel Braun Scherl has carved out a unique and gutsy category within this mammoth realm. She calls herself a “vagipreneur™ —an entrepreneur focused on the business of female sexual health and wellness.

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How the Purim story teaches us about gendered appearance expectations

By Rabbi Richard Hirsh

Despite the hyperbole that is characteristic of the Scroll of Esther, this  gender-specific discrepancy in how much time must be allowed to prepare oneself for public presentation remains a conundrum in contemporary teen-age culture, inside the synagogue as well as outside. There remain significant discrepancies between Bar Mitzvah boys and Bat Mitzvah girls when it comes to "how to dress."

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Student D'Vars Bring New Perspectives to Ancient Texts

Our Change the Culture Student Ambassador Program empowers students to be activists, bringing conversations about healthy relationships to their campuses. One way they do this is through Healthy Relationship Shabbats - where students are brought together over dinner for activities and discussion on the qualities of a healthy relationship in a Jewish context. These student d’vars show how students are engaging closely with JWI’s work, and framing their college experience through ancient text.

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The Bachelor Franchise says “Me Too”

By Sasha Altschuler and Erin McMullen

Here at JWI, several of us identify as members of Bachelor Nation, and Caelynn’s disclosure to Colton about her experiences as a sexual assault survivor deeply resonated with us. One in five women are sexual assault survivors, which means one in five women watching the Bachelor are victims of sexual assault. Caelynn’s public confession is more than incredibly brave; it’s an opportunity to open a critical dialogue.

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Life-affirming lessons from Holocaust survivors

By Dara Biton

With their infectious attitudes, bubbly personalities, and overall joyful demeanors, Edith, Mary Bauer, and Martha Sternback, are the embodiment of “not letting them win.” LAMOTH’s L’Dough V’Dough program (a play on the Hebrew, L’Dor V’Dor--from generation to generation) brings together survivors with participants from local schools and organizations. They spend a few hours together braiding challah dough, and while the challah bakes, hearing the survivors’ powerful stories.

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Acting on the Young Women’s Leadership Conference

By Carrie Seleman

We all know the story: You go to a conference; you take note of ideas, strategies and goals; you leave the conference telling people you’re going to implement all of these new ideas, strategies and goals. Then, regrettably, you fall back into your usual rhythm. You come down from the high of being surrounded by successful and inspiring role models without implementing any of the ideas, strategies or goals that you left the conference with.

I’ve starred in this story more times than I can count on two hands. But the YWLC was different.

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Hanukkah and the Normalization of Violence

By Rabbi Donna Kirshbaum

As Hanukkah approaches, we are reminded that we are not the first generation of Jews who have had to balance the desire for peace with the necessity of force.  We gather around hanukiot,  kindling light against the many kinds of darkness that threaten our sense of safety, security and shelter.

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Tikkun Olam and Beyond: What Judaism means to our Women to Watch

The strong Jewish women leaders we feature for Women to Watch come from diverse backgrounds and fields. However, in common they have the Jewish wisdom informs their work - whether in Jewish or secular fields. Values passed down from generation to generation, observance of ritual, and appreciation of our shared history connects the legacy of women honored at Women to Watch.

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I'm not an entry-level employee - here's what I'm planning to gain from the YWLC

By Stephanie Arbetter

You might think that JWI’s Young Women’s Leadership Conference is geared toward entry-level professional women who are facing the working world for the first time: wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, eager to learn the art of asserting themselves in the office. If you already have a few years of professional experience on your resume, I’m here to tell you that there’s a place for you here, too.

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