August 27, 2014 / 1st of Elul, 5774
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  • I would like to nominate my sister for the Badass Jewish Girl of the Year award. I know this is not an award at the moment, but I don’t care. My sister is so badass she needs awards created for her. She’s like Chuck Norris, only better at leyning.


    There is more than one way to be strong. One can have great moral fortitude and withstand a lot of nonsense in the world, one can have a great mind and win at chess or something, one can have a strong stomach and eat way too man...

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  • A friend’s five year old child has recently begun showing more interest in sparkily things, despite the conscientious feminist leanings of her parents. I would like to dedicate this blog post to her. Rock on, little one! May you wear sparkles and climb trees and save the world.

    I was not allowed to play with Barbies when I was a kid. I was also actively discouraged from wandering into the “girls” section of department stores. My mom was a second wave feminist; Barbie would ha...

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  • Imagine you are standing in a crowded deli, waiting for your turn at the counter. You are holding your little number that you got from the red number-giver-thingy as soon as you walked in the door, waiting very patiently, getting hungry while you stand there staring at the delicious things behind the glass.

    And now imagine that you are watching some of the other people who came in after you get their food before you. You brush off the first one or two, but then there are dozens of them, all these...

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  • Honesty! Integrity! Good luck wishes for sperm?

    What should a friend with a new baby say to a friend who is trying to get pregnant?

    This is an actual email exchange between me and a friend who I've known since high school. My friend is a midwife, and her son was born in September. I never sent her a baby present or a congratulatory note, and I felt super guilty... but also, I felt somewhat unable to engage with her new joy. And then I felt more guilty. So I wrote her an email.

    Her response was s...

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  • Come here and hug me. It's all going to be okay. I love you, and Gd loves you, and the world isn't perfect, but we can still exist. And we can make a difference, one day at a time.

    Don't die.

    During certain periods of my life I suffered from depression. It made me feel like the entire world was broken and it would never get better, like the Gd who comforted my childhood tears had stopped existing and would never come back. I had an endless well of sorrow inside of me, and I wanted to die.

    But I di...

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  • created at: 2013-07-07






    1. A delivery boy stealing a rugelah from a stand in the shuk (popped it in his mouth and winked at me)
    2. A bored looking woman checking texts at the Wall
    3. A shop owner in the shuk giving out free shots and dancing with patrons during the mele an hour before Shabbat
    4. A swimming pool by the Dead Sea with a wheelchair ramp
    5. A young veteran in a wheelchair running a shop in the shuk
    6. Teenagers with backpacks and machine guns
    7. A Hasidic ma...

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  • This place is like the belly-button of the world--right in the middle of everything. I've been here in Israel for one week, and so far everything I've seen is connected to something else. The dry hillsides remind me of California. The busy marketplaces remind me of Asia. The bearded old men remind me of Brooklyn. I managed to live almost thirty years as a Jewish American without ever setting foot in Israel, but now it seems to me like all of my travels to other parts of the world have always been...

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  • Where were you on Wednesday when you found out DOMA was overturned?

    I was at work, obsessively checking facebook on my phone.

    Suzie was in the Moscow airport, en route to Israel for the summer. In Russia they passed a law a few days ago making it illegal to mention the existence of homosexuality in a setting where minors might be present. I worry about her when she travels. She’s very obviously genderqueer, and I wish I could protect her from all the evils of the world.

    I saw a friend po...

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  • Where do we need to go?

    Cambodia is a beautiful country full of monks in saffron robes, heartbreakingly poor children, and tourists with cameras.

    I know this because I’ve been there. I have pictures. I brought a camera.

    And as I was there, getting driven to temples in pedicabs, drinking cocktails from coconuts, I couldn’t help but feel that I was part of the problem. No matter how much money I gave to the children in the street, I couldn’t make up for the fact that their mothers an...

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  • Where there are only 19 people, you can’t have two minyanim.

    I grew up in a place where there weren’t many Jews. My sister and I didn’t talk about Israel politics. Most people didn’t talk about Israel politics. If we talked about Israel politics, we would get into arguments, and if we got too angry at anyone, we just wouldn’t have a congregation anymore. Everyone knew this. There were only two shuls in town, so there wasn’t a lot of choice when it came to Jewi...

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JoJo (@JoJo_Jac, aka TheGlitteryRebbetzin at is learning how to be a rebbetzin while her Suzie learns how to be a rabbi at Hebrew College. However, she also has a non-Jewish-professional life wherein she teaches English at Roxbury Community College, and she will happily geek out about poetry or sociolinguistics or how community colleges can change the world if you ask her nicely.  

Latest Comments

And I've learned from Stephanie Ives that the utility of Tisha B'av lies less in the brokenness (which is always around us) but in an ironic way in the sense that there is a day, once a year, when we can't fix it. It is the one day when we acknowledge our helplessness in the face of all of this. I found this very useful.
Tisha B' Av, Mental Health, and a Broken World
One approach to Tisha B'Av that I learned from Yehuda Kurtzer is the idea that because we (in this case, Jews, but read whatever "we" you need into that "we") have suffered so many tragedies throughout our history, it would be very easy for the calendar to be overwhelmed with days of mourning. By concentrating all the bad things of history onto this one day (whether they actually happened on that day or not), we moderate our mourning and keep it to an appropriate and healthy level. If mourning on Tisha B'Av allows us to celebrate for the rest of the year, then I suppose that's a trade-off I can live with (even if I think the destruction of the Temple and the loss of Jewish sovereignty might have been the best thing that ever happened to the Jewish people).
Tisha B' Av, Mental Health, and a Broken World
Thank you for sharing this very moving post. Hugs and Love.
Tisha B' Av, Mental Health, and a Broken World
Thanks for sharing this nice info expect some more in near future.
Travel and Belonging and Israel (My Neocolonialist Qualms)
Is belonging the only measure for whether or not we need to be in certain places? Sometimes it is our very status as outsiders that makes our presence necessary.
Travel and Belonging and Israel (My Neocolonialist Qualms)