Welcome to ChiTribe’s newest venture, the Jewish Feminist Bookclub, a unique and inclusive space designed to explore the intersectionality of Jewish and Queer identities through literature. This initiative, launching in July for the 2023-2024 season, is a testament to our commitment to expanding our reach within the Queer Jewish community. We have a great team of Queer Jewish women working to make this group a safe space for Jewish women, non-binary folks. Each meeting is an opportunity to delve deep into the themes of the books we explore, fostering a rich understanding of diverse perspectives. We are committed to maintaining our space as apolitical, ensuring that everyone feels welcome and comfortable, irrespective of their political affiliations.
Monthly at Women and Children’s First
Mark your calendars for the inaugural meeting of the ChiTribe Jewish Feminist Bookclub, set to take place on July 6th from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM. We are excited to host our monthly meetings at Women and Children First, located at 5233 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640, United States. This venue, steeped in literary tradition, will foster a sense of community as we delve into Queer Jewish narratives. Whether you’re a seasoned bibliophile, a curious mind, or someone seeking connection, we invite you to join us on this unique literary journey. Sign up for free via this link.. Together, we’ll discover new literary landscapes, understand more about ourselves and each other, and build a vibrant community around the shared appreciation of literature. Welcome to the ChiTribe Jewish Feminist Bookclub!
The First Book (July 2023): Yentl’s Revenge
The first book we are reading to mark the beginning of this journey is “Yentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism.” This anthology is a vibrant collection of essays that provides a fresh perspective on the experiences of 20- and 30-something women seeking to embrace Judaism in positive, feminist ways. Far from being a critique of sexism or other shortcomings in some Jewish practices, the book celebrates the diverse spiritual options available to today’s young Jewish women, thanks largely to the struggles of their activist foremothers.
“Yentl’s Revenge” chronicles a range of experiences lived by an entire generation of women, from Judeo-pagan witches to young Orthodox mothers, from rabbis to sex educators. The book delves into topics such as trans Jews, body image, Jewish punk, the stereotype of the Jewish American Princess, intermarriage, circumcision, faith, and intolerance.
Contributors to the anthology include Ophira Edut, who offers a humorous and insightful look at Jewish body image in “Bubbe Got Back: Tales of a Jewish Caboose,” and Tobin Belzer, who explores the intersection of regional and religious identity in “On Being a Jewish Feminist Valley Girl.” These essays, among others, offer a rich tapestry of the contemporary Jewish feminist experience, making “Yentl’s Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism” a fitting choice for the inaugural meeting of the ChiTribe Jewish Feminist Bookclub.
Upcoming Books: Diverse Perspectives on Jewish Feminism
As we embark on this literary journey, we are excited to explore a diverse range of texts that reflect the multifaceted experiences of Jewish women and non-binary folks. Our potential reading list includes “From Dust, A Flame” by Rebecca Podos, a Queer Jewish YA fiction that weaves in elements of Jewish folklore, offering a fresh perspective on the genre.
We may also delve into “Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America” by Letty Pogrebin, a leading feminist activist, author, and nationally known lecturer. Pogrebin’s work explores her struggle to reconcile her feminist beliefs with her Jewish identity, a journey that many in our community can relate to.
“The Coming of Lilith: Essays on Feminism, Judaism, and Sexual Ethics” by Judith Plaskow is another potential selection. This collection of Plaskow’s essays and short writings traces her scholarly and personal journey from her early days as a graduate student through her pioneering contributions to both feminist theology and Jewish feminism to her recent work in sexual ethics.
Finally, we may explore “On Being a Jewish Feminist” by Susannah Heschel. Heschel’s collection of essays addresses topics rarely discussed in print, such as wife abuse in the Jewish community, Jewish lesbian identities, the gendered language for God in our liturgies, and theologies.
These texts represent a broad spectrum of experiences and perspectives, making the ChiTribe Jewish Feminist Bookclub a unique and important space for exploration and discussion. We look forward to diving into these works and the rich conversations they will undoubtedly inspire. As we gear up for our launch, we look forward to welcoming you to the ChiTribe Jewish Feminist Bookclub, where we will explore, learn, and grow together.Discover the intersectionality of Jewish and Queer identities through literature with ChiTribe’s Jewish Feminist Bookclub.