Taking feminism and Judaism seriously, and putting it in print
Danya Ruttenberg grew up fiercely liberal. Her family attended a Reform synagogue in Chicago, but she says, “I was a cranky atheist ... the feminism came early and was never really questioned.” During her last year at Brown University, the death of her mother prompted her to rethink religion. She began sitting shiva, praying, asking the cosmic sort of questions that a strictly realist view of the world could not alone answer.
“I felt threatened by it,” she says of her sudden spirituality.
Several numbers structure Susanne Goldstone Rosenhouse’s life. There’s 613, the number of mitzvot that Orthodox Jews like herself observe. And then there’s 140, the character limit on Twitter, where Rosenhouse spends much of her workday.
Hindy Poupko’s life as a public figure began while she was growing up in Montreal. The middle child in a rabbinic family, born between two sets of twins — “Twins, Hindy, Twins” — she would deliver divrei Torah at Shabbat meals, join rallies outside of embassies and accompany her father, Rabbi Reuben Poupko, to interviews at TV stations.
Encouraging young Jews to care for the global community
After visiting relatives in Israel during the Gaza war, and attending four days of intensive briefings with heads of intelligence and military leaders, Daniel Pincus boarded a plane bound for Qatar. He was the only Jew to attend the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow Conference in the Islamic kingdom’s capital city.
Through his interfaith work as chair of ACCESS NY — the young leadership branch of the American Jewish Committee — Pincus has become involved with New York’s young Muslim community.
Rachael Neumann wasn’t sure that a business career was for her until 2006, when she volunteered at a Burmese refugee camp in Thailand. Her passion for health led her to the camp medical clinics, where she used her business savvy to devise a new system to combine Western and traditional Burmese medicine for patient treatment.
Gilah Kletenik likes keeping busy. A graduate of Stern College at Yeshiva University, she is a full-time fellow at the university’s Graduate Program for Women in Advanced Talmudic Studies (GPATS). At night, the young Orthodox woman is pursuing a second graduate degree in Jewish philosophy at YU’s Bernard Revel graduate school. “I’ve always wanted to study Torah on a serious level and GPATS is really the best place for doing that,” says Kletenik.
Event takes place amid controversy over plans for a four-story mosque in the neighborhood.
Special To The Jewish Week
To organizers of the Children of Abraham Peace Walk, an annual event in which Jews, Muslims and Christians march through various areas of Brooklyn, the idea of wending their way this year through Sheepshead Bay — to the site of a proposed mosque — seemed like “a lovely gesture,” said one the planners, Rabbi Ellen Lippmann.
I am savoring an unusual moment of calm amid the morning rush, when my daughter Talia startles me: “Next year I want to go to a Hebrew school where I can keep up my Hebrew.”
I roll my eyes toward my husband. Her pronouncement comes a few hours before the end-of-year party at her afterschool Jewish program — a program I consider to be one of the best-kept secrets of the Hebrew school world.