March 2017

Topic of the Week: Lilith Magazine Archive 

March 23, 2017

Looking Back, Looking Forward:
A symposium celebrating the Lilith Magazine archives and Jewish feminist collection at Brandeis University | March 26-27, 2017

Sunday, March 26, 2017
“Milestones in Jewish Feminism” 
Location: Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Moderator: Susan Weidman Schneider ’65, editor-in-chief, founding mother, Lilith
  • Susan Schnur, “recovering” rabbi, psychotherapist, and writer,
  • Idit Klein, founder and executive director of Keshet, working for LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Jewish life,
  • Rachel Kadish, prize-winning novelist,
  • Lori Lefkovitz ’77, Ruderman Professor and Director of the Jewish Studies Program and Director of the Humanities Center at Northeastern University
Reception following the panel with a toast
led by Elaine Reuben ’63, who lent generous support to the acquisition.
Monday, March 27, 2017
Conversation with Susan Weidman Schneider ’65
Location: Archives & Special Collections, Goldfarb Library, 1:30 pm. – 3:30 p.m.

Join Susan Weidman Schneider ’65, Lilith editor-in-chief, for a special conversation in the archives as she takes us through the Lilith collection and shares the stories of its founding, the major themes it explored, the barriers it broke, and much more.

Visit event website for more information. Learn more about the Brandeis University acquisition in a 2015 HBI Fresh Ideas blog, Brandeis Acquires Lilith Archives, Cornerstone to Jewish Feminist Collections

Topic of the Week: Helène Aylon Art Exhibit

March 16, 2017

Afterword: For the Children 
Helène Aylon Opens Monday, March 20, 2017

Waltham, MA—Internationally-acclaimed Jewish feminist artist Helène Aylon presents her conclusion to The G-d Project: Nine Houses Without Women, her 20-year series highlighting the dismissal of women in Jewish traditions and text, March 20 to July 16. In Afterword: For the Children, Aylon dedicates her finale in the series to the future generations, challenging all who regard The Ten Commandments not to shrug off a dark foreboding which emanates in her view, from the patriarchy – not from God.

The text of the Second Commandment holds future generations responsible for the sins of their fathers. The artist’s examination of this text reveals a universal dilemma through its connection to contemporary policies and practices that shape the world our children will inherit. The concept of “Tikkun Olam” (correction of the world) holds significance in Aylon’s immersive digital installation, as her continuous attempt at “repairing” the revered text becomes​ a​ quiet yet assertive protest.

Read more about the exhibit in

HBI commissioned this show to honor founder and director Shulamit Reinharz before she retires in June of this year. Aylon’s exhibition “Afterword: For the Children” will travel to the Jerusalem Biennale 2017 opening on October 1, 2017.

Join us for the opening on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 with an artist’s talk at 5:00 p.m., reception from 6:00-8:00 p.m. and performance by Helène Aylon at 7:00 p.m. All events take place in the Kniznick Gallery, Epstein/Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University, 515 South St., Waltham.

Topic of the Week: Kaddish

March 3, 2017

Kaddish Away from Home

This blog is reprinted with permission from the Times of Israel and the author, Deborah Klapper.

I am almost finished saying kaddish for my mother. I have said kaddish hundreds of times in a dozen places. But the first Monday morning in November won’t go away, no matter how much I tell it to. The memory brings distress, shame, and sadness. I am writing about it in the hope of sparing other women the same painful experience.

I was away from home at a conference with other religious day school educators. We didn’t have a Torah scroll at our hotel, so we went to a local shul for the Shacharit service that Monday. One of the other women and I were saying kaddish for our mothers. There we were, dressed in long skirts, long sleeves, high collars, stockings, and shaitels (wigs), me holding a well-worn pocket siddur and she with a siddur in one hand and a gemara in the other. Both of us were obviously familiar with the siddur and the weekday davening.

When it was time for Kaddish d’Rabbanan, after the braita of Rabbi Yishmael, we began: “Yitgadal v…” But that’s as far as we got, because the hazan loudly began, “Mizmor shir hanukat habayit l’David,” and everyone present followed him. The rabbi then came into the women’s section to tell us that “if you say kaddish, that’s like being the hazan, and we’re Orthodox here, so women don’t do that.” But, he said, he would say a kaddish with us after Aleinu.