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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘WOMEN’

Weizmann Institute Professors Launch Course Helps Women Juggle Science and Motherhood

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Profs. Maya Schuldiner of the Molecular Genetics Department, Nirit Dudovich of the Physics of Complex Systems Department and Michal Sharon of the Biomolecular Sciences Department were discussing the challenges their female students undergo as they move from childlessness to motherhood, and they reflected on the difficulties they had experienced during this time in their lives.

“Why don’t we give them the benefit of our own experience? We all wished we had such a course when we were in that situation. Maybe if we’d had one, the transition to becoming a mother would have been easier for us.” – Michal Sharon

The three professors approached Prof. Daniella Goldfarb, the President’s Advisor for Advancing Women in Science, who was happy to allocate funds for the course. They then consulted Orit Viterbo, Head of Social Work at the Institute, and she joined them in the planning and execution of the course. Finding interested participants for the course was the easy part; the difficulty was in having to turn away others. To maintain an intimate and open environment, the course is limited to twenty women.

The course consists of six sessions, in which the young women are taught practical solutions for managing their career and family life, emphasizing the need to maintain open communication with their advisors and set realistic expectations. Decision making is another area they work on, as is learning to define their own interpretation of success and learning to pay less attention to the expectations of others.

 “We are part of this culture in which, as women, we are pushed to be perfectionists. To be the best mother ever. To be the best scientist ever. We say: You don’t have to be best at one or the other. You can be happy about the way you mother and happy about the way that you do science, and you can combine them in a way that is optimal for you and not the outside world.” – Maya Schuldiner

Although the presence of women in the field of science has seen notable increase, there is still much progress to be made. At the Weizmann Institute 85 percent of the principal investigators are male. In the life sciences 70 percent of the PhD students are female, but they make up only 15 percent of the principle investigators. The childbearing period is also the critical juncture where women often decide not to proceed to the next stage in a scientific career. Indeed, many women at the Weizmann Institute of Science have their children while they are doctoral students. According to Schuldiner quite a few women obtain advanced degrees; it is the lack of support just when they are deciding whether to continue that often leads them to abandon their careers. This, she says, is why the course is vital. The women who participate are learning how to navigate a challenging situation, but during this process they also become confidantes who encourage one another and continue to meet after the conclusion of the course.

“When a student feels her situation is impossible, even if it doesn’t directly help to solve her specific problem for the day, knowing that other women – women who eventually succeeded in their careers – faced the same difficulties, it gives her some perspective. I think there is something relaxing about knowing that you are not the only one who faces certain difficulties.” – Nirit Dudovich

Schuldiner, Dudovich and Sharon all say that the biggest lesson they hope the participants will take away is that they are the sole proprietors of their careers. Balancing motherhood and a scientific career is difficult, but with the correct approach it is doable and can be very successful.

“There are voices that say if you try to combine family and a career, this is doing science like a woman. We say this is a good thing: Do science like a woman! ” – Schuldiner.
JNi.Media

CAIR Says Trump’s ‘Hibi-Jabis’ Comment Endangers Muslim Women [video]

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization which has been shilling for some of the worst anti-women regimes on the planet, believes the real danger to Muslim women in the US is presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. This is because of Trump’s “apparent support for an Islamophobic town hall question which will endanger American Muslim women.”

During a question-and-answer session Thursday at a town hall event in Manchester, NH, an audience member asked candidate Trump, “Why aren’t we putting our military retirees on that border or in TSA? Get rid of all these hibi-jabis they wear at TSA?”

The questioner was referring to the “hijab,” the Islamic head scarf worn by Muslim women, as part of their task to conceal themselves entirely from male eyes, because males cannot be blamed if they are overcome by their desire and end up raping said women. In fact, under Islamic law, the raped woman is more often than not the party to be punished.

Trump appeared to support the questioner’s anti-Muslim views when he responded, “I understand. . . You know, and we are looking at that. . . And we are looking at that. We’re looking at a lot of things.”

“By appearing to endorse the bigoted views of one of his supporters, Donald Trump is placing all American Muslim women who wear Islamic attire in danger,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. “American Muslims, and particularly Muslim women, are facing an unprecedented spike in discrimination and hate attacks, due in no small part to Donald Trump’s Islamophobic rhetoric and policy proposals.”

McCaw added that the proposed removal of Muslim TSA staffers devalues the crucial work they do on a daily basis to protect the nation.

Not crucial enough, apparently, as was evident last month when the acting head of the Transportation Security Administration was reassigned after an internal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security had found security failures at dozens of the nation’s busiest airports. The breaches allowed undercover investigators to smuggle weapons, fake explosives and other contraband through 95% of TSA checkpoints.

Earlier this year, CAIR said Donald Trump’s continued his use of “a debunked myth” about US General John Pershing executing Muslim prisoners in the Philippines using bullets dipped in pig’s blood was endangering ordinary American Muslims who were already facing a surge in hate.

But is it a myth?

In 1941, TIME Magazine ran a letter to the editor from a soldier named J. R. McKey who had served with Pershing in the Philippines decades before. In the letter, McKey describes using pigs in burials to deter Muslim insurgent activities, but does not ascribe the act to Pershing.

McKey wrote, “US soldiers … had a pretty good cure for juramentado [Moro swordsmen] activities. Knowing the horror of the Mohammedan for any contact with swine, and particularly with its blood, these American roughnecks, when they had killed a juramentado, held for him a very public funeral. The body of the defunct bad man having been deposited in the grave, a pig was brought, stuck, its blood sprinkled freely over the D B M, the dead pig thrown in with him, and the burial completed.”

Some reports do say that Pershing was engaged in burying Muslims with pigs or throwing pig’s blood on them. According to the History News Network, a Chicago Daily Tribune article from 1927 describes Pershing sprinkling prisoners with pig’s blood, then setting them free to warn others of being doused with the blood. “Those drops of porcine gore proved more powerful than bullets,” the article wrote.

Christopher Capozzola, a history professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also cited an incident in which Pershing brought a pig’s head to a ceasefire negotiation with a Muslim leader.

CAIR has previously stated that Trump’s pig’s blood claim and other instances of his “Islamophobic rhetoric,” including his calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, his false claim that “Islam hates us,” his refusal to rule out special IDs for American Muslims, and his willingness to consider closing down American mosques place millions of innocent, law-abiding citizens in the American Muslim community at risk.

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide since the Paris terror attacks, the San Bernardino shootings and Trump’s call for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States.

It is possible however that the former two may be at least as important as the latter reason for hate against Muslims…

JNi.Media

Women of the Wall Caught in Mix of Bad Timing, Bad Taste

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

On the same day thirteen and a half year old Hallel Yaffa Ariel from Kiryat Arba was murdered in her bed by a 17-year-old Arab, and just as hundreds assembled to bury her on Thursday afternoon, the organization Women of the Wall sent out an email blast with the subject: “Demand Justice for Frannie.”

It turns out there were other girls out there whose suffering needed our attention. In the case of twelve-year-old Frannie — well, she is “traveling over 6,000 miles to join Women of the Wall for her Bat Mitzvah. Will she be able to hold a Torah scroll on her special day?”

Yes, this is what constitutes an urgent cause these days in the minds of the organizers of the WOW: will this American girl, who could have her Bat Mitzvah literally anywhere else on the planet, including all of the land of Israel (other than the Temple Mount, where Jews these days are verboten) — will she be embracing a Torah scroll in front of the supporting wall King Herod erected outside the temple he renovated circa year zero.

Women of the Wall will meet next week on July 7 at 7AM in the women’s section of the Western Wall for Rosh Hodesh Tammuz prayers and for Frannie’s Bat Mitzvah. And they declare with fierce determination: “We will ensure that Frannie has a Torah scroll to read from for her Bat Mitzvah ceremony.”

Indeed, the urgent email continues, “Despite police harassment, intimidation and detainments, we will be bringing a Torah scroll in to the Kotel. Will there be more arrests? Will another woman be arrested for the act of simply holding a precious Torah scroll?”

This is so brave and subversive. It’s also going to take place around the time the family members of Hallel Yaffa Ariel will rise from the Shiva week, so maybe they, too could come and support the courage of the WOW.

With about 300 people in all of Israel giving a hoot about Reform Judaism in general and the WOW in particular, and in light of the seriously tough times Israelis are having these days, Women of the Wall Executive Director Lesley Sachs could have probably waited a couple of days with her urgent message this time.

Happy birthday, Frannie, may you grow up to marry a Jewish guy some day if you are so inclined.

David Israel

What is the Truth About Financial Equality for Women?

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Does financial equality really exist for women?

Financial advisor Cary Carbonaro, best-selling author of The Money Queen’s Guide: For Women Who Want to Build Wealth and Banish Fear, reveals that women are still far from being financially equal to men. Generally, women live longer than men but work for a total of fewer years, for lower salaries, and as a result they tend to accrue two-thirds less savings than men.

Find out how women can improve their financial situation and what they should do in the event of a divorce or the death of a partner.

What happens to a brokerage account when its owner dies, and if there isn’t a will? Get tips and advice on how to claim the assets, what to do if the deceased lived in a different country, and what paperwork you need to start the process.

The Goldstein On Gelt Show is a financial podcast. Click on the player below to listen. For show notes and contact details of the guest, go to www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Women In The Workforce

Monday, June 20th, 2016

As a woman who founded my own company and authored several books, I often have parents asking me how they can promote their daughters natural abilities. Today, we’ve seen more and more frum women entering the workforce in high-powered jobs. How can we support our daughters and their futures? Here are some thoughts.

Q: I know that traditionally boys are better at math than girls, but how can I help my daughter excel in math?

A: There is a common misconception that boys are better at math than girls, or that men are better with numbers than women. In fact, this false impression is so prevalant that the U.S. Department of Education created a statement to combat it:

“Although there is a general perception that men do better than women in math and science, researchers have found that the differences between women’s and men’s math and science-related abilities and choices are much more subtle and complex than a simple ‘men are better than women in math and science.’”

Until recently, the scientific community believed that male-female differences in math and science were caused by biology. In other words, because boys’ and girls’ brains are wired differently, the two genders are better suited for different subjects. The notion is that boys have superior spatial abilities, making them better suited for certain mathematical manipulations. Girls, on the other hand, are supposed to be better at language and writing. However, recently, this biological argument has been debunked.

Over the past two decades, researchers have focused on the influence of a child’s environment on his or her math and science achievement. Think about what toys boys and girls are given to play with, even from a very young age. Boys are encouraged to play with blocks, Legos, racing cars, and other moving objects. Girls, on the other hand, are pushed to play with dolls, toy kitchens, and dress-up clothing. While boys’ toys often involve principles inherent in math and science, girls’ toys focus on imagination and creativity. From these early experiences, it’s easy to understand why girls gravitate to English and history and boys are drawn to math and science.

How can you help your daughter excel in math and science? Below are some suggestions:

            Choose toys thoughtfully. Encourage your daughters to play with building toys and support your boys in imaginative play. Both the left and right sides of your child’s brain will grow from these alternative types of play.

            Talk to your child’s teacher. Find out what your child is doing in math and science at school. Does he or she come home excited about fun experiments in school? If not, maybe you can do some fun science experiments at home: cook up a volcano, shine some pennies in vinegar or make your own rock candy.

            Promote math and science courses in high school. Competitive colleges want to see students who took advanced math and science courses – don’t let your daughters shy away from these classes.

            Provide strong role models. If the mother in the family does not feel comfortable with math, then look towards other females who are mathematically or scientifically inclined.

Q: It seems as if boys are diagnosed with ADHD much more than girls. Can girls have ADHD? How can you tell?

A: For years, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been diagnosed as a predominantly male syndrome. While it’s true that the majority of those suffering from ADHD are male, there are a surprising amount of women who deal with ADHD. According to one study at Harvard University, about forty percent of those with ADHD are women – except that many women with ADHD are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Rifka Schonfeld

Do Women Recite Birchas HaTorah?

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

The Rambam begins Hilchos Talmud Torah with the following halacha: Women and slaves are exempt from Talmud Torah. A man is obligated to teach his son Torah, as it says, “v’limaditem osam es beneichem ledaber bam.” However, a woman is not obligated to teach her son Torah because whoever is obligated to learn is obligated to teach – and since a woman is not obligated to learn, she is not obligated to teach.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 47:14) says that women should recite birchas haTorah. There is a machlokes Rishonim whether women can recite a berachah on a mitzvah from which they are exempt from performing. According to the Rishonim who opine that they can recite a berachah, it makes sense that they can recite the berachah on learning Torah as well. But the Mechaber rules in favor of those Rishonim who do not permit women to recite a berachah on a mitzvah from which they are exempt. How then can he rule that they should recite a berachah on the mitzvah of learning Torah?

The Magen Avraham quotes the Beis Yosef, in the name of the Agur, and explains that women are obligated to learn the halachos that pertain to them and are obligated to say the pesukim of korbanos, just as they are obligated to daven. Thus, they may recite the berachah on learning Torah. The Magen Avraham also explains that it is for this reason that women can say in the second berachah of bentching, “v’al Torasecha she’limaditanu,” since they are obligated to learn the halachos that pertain to them.

The Vilna Gaon does not agree with the Magen Avraham’s answer since the Gemara derives from the pasuk, “v’limadetem osam es beneichem” – v’lo benoseichem – that women are exempt from the mitzvah entirely. This exemption applies even to learning about the mitzvos that they are obligated to perform.

HaRav Shach, in his sefer on the Rambam, explains that there are two obligations to learn Torah. One is a general obligation to learn the entire Torah. This obligation is derived from the pesukim of “v’shinantam” or “v’limadetam.” It is from this obligation that women are exempt.

However, there is another obligation to learn Torah that is a component of every specific mitzvah, demanding that one learn how to perform it. In other words, included in the commandment to perform each mitzvah is an obligation to learn how to properly perform that mitzvah. And this obligation is also a mitzvah of learning Torah.

Women are exempt only from the first general obligation to learn Torah, not the second, more specific one. Thus, they may recite the berachah on the mitzvah of talmud Torah, even according to the opinion that women may not recite a berachah on a mitzvah from which they are exempt.

Rav Shach brings a proof from a Tosefos in Avodah Zarah (3a) that this obligation (to learn how to perform the mitzvos that one is obligated to do) is considered a mitzvah of talmud Torah. The Gemara says that a non-Jew who learns Torah is comparable to a kohen gadol, and he is rewarded just as one who is not obligated to perform the mitzvah (which is a lesser reward than the reward received by a person who performs a mitzvah he is obligated to carry out). Tosafos explains that the Gemara is referring to a non-Jew who learns Torah that pertains to the seven mitzvos that non-Jews are required to perform. (A non-Jew is not allowed to learn any other part of the Torah.) If learning the halachos of how to properly perform a mitzvah is not considered a mitzvah of Talmud Torah, why does the Gemara make reference to a non-Jew who learns Torah? The Gemara should have said: “A non-Jew involved in preparing for a mitzvah he is obligated to do.” By using the language that it does, one can infer that there is an obligation to learn the halachos of each mitzvah, and that that is a mitzvah of talmud Torah.

Rabbi Raphael Fuchs

8 Women Receive Orthodox Ordination in Largely Political Endeavor

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

On Tuesday night, according to a report by Ynet, eight women received certificates of Orthodox Jewish ordination in Jerusalem and selected for themselves various equivalents to the commonly used “Rav” or “Rabbi” by males: some picked “Rav,” instantly making the title unisex; others went with “Rabba,” which would be the female conjugation of the male title, although the term is not in everyday use; some went with “Rabbi,” which in the genderless English grammar has been a common title for Reform and Conservative women clergy for decades.

One preferred to go with “Doctor,” possibly recalling the shamanist attributes for which some Jewish scholars were once renowned. Or more simply, because she has a PhD, but no ordination.

No one went with the prevalent “Rebbetzin,” presumably because to become a Rebbetzin one doesn’t need to study, just marry well.

The ordination was given personally by Rabbi Daniel Landis, a YU graduate who is the head of the Pardes Institute, an open, co-ed and non-denominational Jewish learning community, based in Jerusalem and operating programs worldwide. Landis is also a senior member of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC).

In his message to the freshly ordained Orthodox female rabbis, Landis explored the fact that his graduates are different from ordinary ordained Orthodox rabbis not merely because of their sex, but in their emphasis on Jewish studies, and on any studying at all for that matter:

“I very quickly abandoned the ambition to achieve only rabbinic expertise, and moved on to the more important initiative of promoting you as creative scholars, with integrity, sensitivity and courage, who have access to the members of their generation,” Landis said.

“Yes, but can they pasken on a chicken?” you might ask. It appears that ruling on the mundane needs of rank and file Orthodox Jews was not the top priority of this ordination, which is not a comment on the quality of scholarship of the graduates. They simply appear to put a different emphasis on their future roles in the Jewish community:

Rav Avital Campbell-Hochstein, one of the graduates, said at the ordination ceremony: “Receiving the ordination is not merely a score for knowledge. Ordination, or permission, like halakha itself, is focusing on human beings, on the image of God. Human beings must be seen and heard. The halakha and the Torah are sensitive to the slimmest signs of humanness.” And so, she continued, “in order for halakha, which is an emanation of the will of God, to be relevant and applicable, we must first and foremost be attentive. Human dignity is our driving force. Halakha can be a divider and it can be a meeting ground. It can be a wall and it can be a bridge. Choosing between those component depends on the human beings who use it, and who represent it.”

So, basically, no paskening on chickens for now. Instead, there was a lot of talk about advancing the status of women in halakha and in Orthodox society. You may have to rely on someone else for your kashrut decisions, but in areas of marriage, conversion, and burial, these ordained female rabbis will make sure, as Rav Naama Levitz-Applbaum put it, “that women will be counted, in the full meaning of the word, and to feel as full partners along the path.”

Perhaps as the number of ordained Orthodox female rabbis grows and as each ordination ceases to be viewed as a revolution and starts to be more commonplace (as has been the case in every profession women have entered over the past two centuries) we’ll start hearing about women Orthodox rabbis who are not so heavily invested in the feminist politics of their role but in caring for their congregations. At which point we should be able to assess this fledgling but growing movement not based on our political views but instead on the concrete scholarship and the halakhic contribution of these female rabbis. Because, let’s face it, Orthodox Jews need rabbis to interpret halakha for them. They have plenty of social workers doing everything else.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/8-women-receive-orthodox-ordination-in-largely-political-endeavor/2016/06/09/

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