Talia Weisberg, 18

Young, Orthodox and feminist.

It all began with Betty Friedan. In the summer before ninth grade, Talia Weisberg, started perusing “The Feminine Mystique.” “Once I started reading, I couldn’t go back.”

Weisberg currently runs Star of Davida, a Jewish feminist blog where she writes biweekly articles about topics ranging from eating disorders within the Orthodox community to her experiences at the 2012 NOW conference. Weisberg also co-created Maidelle.com, a writing, art and fashion website for Jewish young women. And she founded Bleep!, an organization whose mission is to eradicate cursing among kids and teens today. Started in 2009, Bleep! has nearly 1,000 members from 31 states and 12 countries. An advocate for women’s and LGBT rights, Weisberg is “constantly writing something!” Her writing has appeared over 150 times in more than 40 publications.

Proudly Orthodox, she has received some raised eyebrows from within her community. “If someone tells me, defensively, that she’s not a feminist I say, ‘Do you support equal pay for women? Do you support equal political and economic rights for women?’ So, nu, you’re a feminist,” said Weisberg. “Want a badge?” she added with a smile.

Weisberg hails from a long line of empowered women. The grandchild of Holocaust survivors, she dedicated her blog in memory of her grandmother and great-grandmother. “My great-grandmother was a businesswoman in Hungary. My grandmother would have taken over the business had the Holocaust not happened. My mom taught me how to make the future my own.”

Next year, Weisberg is headed to Harvard where she plans to pursue a degree in gender studies. Plans for the future? “Law, writing, who knows? The way I’ve learned to live is this: If you don’t like something, do what you can to change it.”

Harry Potter guru: Weisberg has a not-so-secret obsession with the world of witchcraft and wizardry. Which house would she be in? “Ravenclaw,” she said. “Although, when I took the quiz online they kept putting me in Hufflepuff, which was strange.” Harvard happens to be known for its Quidditch team. Plans to join? “At this point in time, I can’t say I’m planning on it. Blogging is one thing — riding a broomstick is another.”





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June 7, 2013 As an Orthodox Jew, I have strong reservations about Ms. Weisberg's complete endorsement of Feminism and LGBT rights. In regard to Feminism, there are things to applaud with Feminism. Greater opportunities for women and safe abortions as opposed to back alley abortions are among the accomplishments that should be applauded. Contemporary feminism has several ugly aspects which also need to be discussed; the presentation of women as victims and the disparagement of the role of the woman as wife and mother are among them. Secondly, you can not advocate for marriage equality for same sex couples and be an Orthodox Jew at the same time. Orthodox Judaism views same sex intimacy as forbidden to Jew and non-Jew alike. In addition, the adoption of same sex marriage in New York places kosher institutions such as restaurants and catering halls in legal jeopardy for failure to host a same sex marriage. There should be equal rights for LGBT but that vehicle should be a strengthen civil union statute not same sex marriage as in New York. If you support same sex marriage, on that issue, you can not said to be Orthodox. ALAN
We are so proud of Talia- and thrilled that she is a voice for the Jewish Women's Archive Blog! If you want to read more of Talia's words, you can do so here: http://jwa.org/blog/author/talia-bat-pessi.
She really is an impressive girl. With an awesomesauce personality to match. I wish her much luck in Harvard. I hope she makes the Quidditch team :)

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