Orthodox Women, Escaping

by Susan Reimer-Torn From the Spring 2016 issue of Jewish Currents FAIGY MEYER BECAME a tabloid headline last July when she leapt to her death from a Manhattan rooftop bar. Faige (shown below) was not a fictional character, nor did she write a memoir. She was a 30-year-old woman who had left behind her ultra-Orthodox […]

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December 23: Peggy Guggenheim

Heiress art collector Peggy Guggenheim, whose artistic and sexual tastes helped shape the modern art world as she built a world-famous collection in less than a decade, 1938 to 1946, died at 81 on this date in 1979. In the 1920s, she lived a bohemian life in Paris; in 1938 she opened a gallery in […]

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O My America: Eight Themes for Khanike Gelt

by Lawrence Bush KHANIKE GELT — SMALL GIFTS OF MONEY — HAS ROOTS IN DAYS OF JEWISH POVERTY when children rarely had a penny of their own. It was also a means of paying kheyder teachers and helping them get around the halakhic injunction against profiting from the teaching of Torah. In contemporary times of […]

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Ricki’s Wah Wah: Music and Male Privilege

by Ilana Masad WHEN I SAW the poster for Jonathan Demme’s new film, Ricki and the Flash, splashed across a huge billboard in Los Angeles, I knew immediately that I wanted to see it, no matter what it was about. There’s something about Meryl Streep dressed in what I dreamed of wearing in high school […]

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March 11: Pornography’s Unofficial Spokeswoman

Porn actress and entrepreneur Nina Hartley (Marie Louise Hartman) was born to communist parents in California on this date in 1959. Her mother was Jewish, from Alabama, her father Lutheran — and both became Buddhists. Hartley was studying to be a registered nurse when she entered into adult films in 1984; she achieved her nursing […]

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October 17: The Creator of Norplant

Sheldon Segal, a biochemist who in 1991 developed Norplant, a progestin-based, slow-release subcutaneous birth control treatment, died at 83 on this date in 2009. Norplant proved to be a controversial medical device and was ultimately removed from the market twelve years after it was approved by the FDA. By then, several judges had ordered its […]

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Politics and Sex: What’s Really at Stake?

by Myriam Miedzian and Gary Ferdman ON NOVEMBER 5th, CONSPICUOUS BY THEIR ABSENCES on the New York City ballot were Eliot Spitzer, defeated in his bid to be the Democratic candidate for City Comptroller, and Anthony Wiener, who garnered only 5 percent of the primary vote for mayor. Meanwhile, across the country in San Diego, […]

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November 2: Brownmiller’s Historic Book on Rape

Susan Brownmiller’s Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape, prompted four articles in a single edition of the Washington Post on this date in 1975, an example of the tremendous media coverage that greeted her remarkable book’s publication the month before. Against Our Will emerged from four concentrated years of research about rape and its […]

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