Lynn Gottleib, Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution
1 א
During the last 32 years of my rabbinic practice, I have come to understand more deeply the profound interconnectedness of all human rights struggles and the primary place of women within these struggles. We who seek liberation from the oppressive structures that deny us the same economic, educational, and spiritual opportunities as the privileged among us need each other. We need coalitions of broad diversity. We need the entire range of creativity and wisdom gained through the struggle for human rights throughout the world. We are not separate one from another. By 1975, I was committed to the belief that active non-violence is the only viable spiritual foundation for meaningful social change. From the time I began working on Jewish-Palestinian reconciliation in 1966, I came to see that Jews are also tempted to ensure their security and safety by military strength. As a woman and a rabbi, I reject this solution. I believe that the highest rendering of our tradition teaches us that non-violent activism is the only way to achieve long-lasting security and peaceful coexistence with our neighbors. As a woman and a rabbi, I embrace the courage and wisdom of the nonviolence I learned as a young adult and continue to apply its lessons to the task of repairing the world and making a safe place for Jews, women, and all people to flourish in peace. [From the Jewish Women's Archive, www.jwa.org/feminism/)
2 ב

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What is Rabbi Gottleib's understanding of interconnectedness and coalitions? What does it mean that "we need each other?" What other philosophers hold this same opinion?

2. What is the relationship, according to this text, between non-violence and feminism?

3. How does Rabbi Gottleib hope to achieve "safe space?"

3 ג
Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)